Retro and vintage furniture are today a big trend because of multiple reasons. In the first place, it looks good and original, making your home really friendly. Another good point it’s that it could be really cheap. The pieces of this kind of furniture are not expensive, and also, we can recycle old furniture. This last thing makes this style a sustainable one too, saving old furniture from going to the bin.
So, then we can find the terms “vintage”, “retro” and “antique” furniture everywhere normally but, do we know what does it mean exactly? Even when most people use these terms as the same, if you are thinking about implement this style in your home, it’s better to know what you are buying!
Mostly, this kind of words is making reference to the age of the furniture that we are talking about. Let’s start:
ANTIQUE: Means that something (mostly furniture, art o a decorative object), that was made at least 100 years ago. The time can change depending of the piece, for example wouldn’t be the same for cars. As we said before, the determining factor is the age.
VINTAGE: Is any piece that is between 30 to 100 years old. This furniture is not antique. Any definition refers to furniture made in the 20th century, even if the fanatics use the term for furniture of any period. Technically, any piece that dates from the '80s or later is just simply used furniture. The term vintage was original a term associated with wine to refer to wine made from grapes picked in a specific season. Then, Vintage about furniture should be datable to an approximate period too.
RETRO: It refers to something that is culturally outdated or aged in style, what would means that it looks out of style for the current time period. So it's a less specific term. This includes new furniture and dressing that copy designs of the past, and also, furniture and clothes that were popular in the 1990's, so they are not technically vintage yet. Essentially, retro pieces refer to replications of designs, that imitate trends and fashions of the past but they are not vintage or antique.
In the other hand, the term Retro furniture has come into colloquial interchangeably use for furniture of Mid Century Modern, that strictly speaking should be labeled from period into the 1990’s, by the upheavel and aftermarth of the two world wars. The mid-Century Modern style that is now recognized by scholars and museums worldwide as a significant design movement. This style has been enjoying a moment since the aught of the 21st century; this would be correctly labeled both vintage and retro.
So, now we know that the fact of been simply old doesn’t make any furniture vintage in the technical sense. No neither if they just copy designs of another period. Anyway, we can normally find the expression “style” or “design”, like “Vintage Designs” and “Retro Style. This would refer to pieces that are not authentically old, but they copy the style of the period that it emulates.
Which one would you like for your home?