Reproductions vs. Antiques: The Pros and Cons

Reproductions vs. Antiques: The Pros and Cons

Whether you're refurnishing your entire home or replacing a piece or two at a time, no one wants a "cookie-cutter" home. One of the best ways to get your own look is to find unique, historical pieces.

If you want a vintage style, you have two options: original antique furniture or reproduction furniture. Some people assume genuine antiques are always better if you can afford them, but that's not always the case.

To help you evaluate your options, our historical furniture experts are laying out all the pros and cons to consider.

Antique Furniture vs. Reproduction Furniture

Both antiques and reproductions have pros and cons to keep in mind while you shop.

Benefits of Buying Antique Furniture

While they're pricey, authentic antique furniture does come with several advantages.

They Have History

For many people who are passionate about historical furniture, the benefit of antiques is that they come with a story. It can feel incredible to know your furniture saw an era you didn't.

They're Conversation Pieces

Especially if you entertain often, antique furniture can lead to great discussions about history. It can also help you realize a shared interest among your guests.

They Make Great Family Heirlooms

For people with a true passion for antiques, there's a sense of pride that comes with finding a piece your family can cherish for generations.

They Have Lasting Value

Antiques can retain their value or even increase in value. You may not get the same back in value from modern furniture when you get rid of it. Antiques can hold their value well, though, because they will always have that historical significance. However, don't buy antique furniture solely as an investment unless you're very knowledgeable.

They're One-of-a-Kind

For many homeowners, making a space their own with one-of-a-kind items is a source of pride.

As you can tell, antique furniture has plenty of benefits, and most are tied to its emotional value.

Disadvantages of Antique Furniture

Despite all their advantages, antique furniture pieces do have some drawbacks you need to consider before you buy them.

They Can Be Expensive

Antique prices vary based on age, condition, and other factors. You can always expect antiques to be more expensive than reproductions, though. It isn't just the purchase price you need to consider, either.

It's important toinsure your antique furniture, which lowers your risk of loss but it does add to your monthly expenses.

They're Less Durable

Antiques are often less stable than reproductions because of the effect age has on wood and other materials.

They Need to Be Handled Delicately

Antiques can be damaged easily, so they may not be a good idea for homes and rooms where small children and/or pets could do damage. Because they're more expensive, you also have more to lose if your antiques get damaged.

They Have Maintenance Costs

In some cases, antiques can be expensive to maintain as well. There are certain ways you can and cannot clean them, and you risk losing their value if someone doesn't care for them properly.

They Can Be Falsified

While shopping, you need to be cautious to ensure you're buying a genuine antique. There are plenty of scam artists in the antique furniture market as well as people who truly think they have an antique when they don't.

Shopping Online Can Be a Challenge

If you don't buy the antique in person, you can never truly know its condition until you see it. This is particularly important because an antique's condition makes a strong difference in its value.

Considering all the potential problems with buying antique furniture, you need to weigh the pros and cons before you buy.

Benefits of Buying Reproduction Furniture

While antiques certainly have their issues, reproduction furniture can be a great alternative. If you're considering a reproduction, these are just a few of the advantages you'll enjoy.

They're More Durable

Reproductions tend to be sturdier and more durable than antique furniture. This is an especially important consideration with furniture like areproduction armchair because it needs to be able to hold weight.

They're High-Quality

While they aren't as old as antiques, many reproductions are still hand-crafted by a skilled artist. You still get the benefit of a high-quality piece that was made with care.

It's Easier to Find Your Style

There is more variety available among reproductions so it's easier to find the perfect piece to fit your home's style. If you want an antique, on the other hand, you could spend months or years searching for the perfect fit.

They Look New

Reproductions are made with newer materials so they typically have a brighter and more attractive look than antiques.

They're More Affordable

For many buyers, the largest advantage to reproductions is that they're much less expensive than original antiques. This also reduces the value you'll lose if the item gets damaged.

They Can Still Be One-of-a-Kind

You can still have a unique or even one-of-a-kind piece if you buy a reproduction. True reproductions aren't mass-produced; they're artisan-crafted items. In fact, you can also getcustom reproduction furniture that's made exclusively to fit your home.

While they may not carry the same sentimentality as antiques, reproductions do offer all the great benefits above.

Disadvantages of Reproduction Furniture

Despite their pros, reproduction pieces do have their cons as well.

They Don't Have the History

They don't have as much history behind them as genuine antiques do. For some people who are passionate about antiques, knowing their piece has a long life behind it can be worth all the added costs and risks.

You Don't Get the Social Benefits of Antiques

Some people want the social advantage of saying they have antiques. They may get embarrassed when someone asks about the piece and they tell them that it's a reproduction rather than an original.

However, keep in mind that reproductions are so high in quality that they can also become family heirlooms and develop a history of their own.

Ultimately, the disadvantages to reproduction furniture are centered on the emotional rather than the practical aspects of the piece.

Choosing the Right Furniture for Your Home

There's no definitive answer about whether antique furniture or reproduction furniture is better. It's all about assessing the pros and cons and figuring out which one is the best fit for your home, and the tips above can be your guide.

If you're ready to find the perfect piece for your home, you can start right now byshopping for reproduction furniture online.


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