An enduring vintage

Last Updated : 08 October 2015, 19:03 IST

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One of the pertinent ingredients for a good looking home décor is  furniture. While plastic and wood are regular features in Indian homes, vintage furniture has been gaining popularity.

Meant to denote the time when something of high quality was produced, “vintage is labelled as any piece of furniture which is at least 30-70 years old”, interior designer Neetu Arora tells Metrolife. Specialising in art deco style of visual design, Arora adds, “It is a main trend as it represents an era and the quality is extremely well-made.”
Agrees Aradhana Anand, founder and creative director of furniture line, Limón who says, “Take for instance, a dressing table called Philadelphia Lowboy or a chest of drawers called High Chest.

With distinct features that dominated early 18th century furniture like the cabriole leg and gilt-brass escutcheons, if reproduced today, would classify and be recognised as vintage.”  From fabric sofas to teakwood mirrors, from coffee tables to metal chairs, the variety combines kitsch with luxury. “For instance, sofas and chairs with fine curves and intricate detailing in wood and metal are popular,” says Arora who also heads furniture line, IVY Concepts.

For a long time, much of this furniture has been heavily influenced by European and British styles. In recent decades, modern 20th century styles have gained prominence including Art Deco, and increasingly, Mid-Century Modern (like Eames, Heywood Wakefield, Danish, etc.).

Describing her choice of design, Anand says, “Vintage period styles that influence my design sensibilities are mainly Chinoiserie and Georgian from the 17th century, Rococo and Queen Anne from the early 18th century and Mid-Century Modern.” She adds, “I have used a combination of vintage chair forms and sari styles for upholstery like Ikat, Baluchari and Munga for the debut collection of my furniture brand.”  While mentioning that vintage furniture defines the style of bygone era with distinguishable design elements, synonymous to that particular period, she distinguishes between antique and vintage furniture. Anand says, “Furniture passed down the ages (more than 100 years old) or inherited from one’s forefathers, would justify as antique. Antique furniture tends to be expensive, to own and maintain, unlike vintage.”

As with any collecting category, quality is key. Arora notes, “Dealers have to find out which era the furniture belongs to and whether it is representative of that era. They should be undamaged pieces and should have original finish without lamination.”
Sandeep Asri, owner of Vintage Sales, dealing in manufacturing and trading of vintage furniture says, they cost anywhere “between Rs 5,000 yo Rs 35,000”. He says, “Buyers usually look for original finishes, hardware, and patina or sheen over wooden furniture.”
But Arora points out that one should pick only what one likes. “It is a play of personal choice and creativity that matters,” she concludes.  

Published 08 October 2015, 14:37 IST

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