Looking to do a little home improvement... make sure you get the most for your money!

How to Buy Antique Furniture 

Perhaps you just bought your first home and you want to fill it with one-of-a-kind furniture that will be loved and admired for years to come. Many people turn to antiques because they love the idea of including pieces of furniture with history or an interesting story behind it in their home. However, do you know the right way to buy antiques? There are some things you should keep in mind when antique shopping to ensure that you purchase quality pieces at a good price. Here are our best tips for buying antique furniture.

Frequent local antique shops, vintage stores and markets

The best way to educate yourself about antiques and find deals is to talk to the experts. Find local antique and vintage shops, or even flea markets, and learn about the items they carry. Even if you're not there to buy quite yet, most shop owners and vendors will be open to telling you about their pieces because you could be a customer at a later date. 

Starting up a rapport with antique experts in your area is also a good way to find a deal on antiques. If the shop owner of an antique store gets an item in that they know you'll love, they might call you and let you know before anyone else; and if they really like you, they might just give you a discount. 

Look for markers of good craftsmanship

At some point, you will want to do some in-depth research if you're interested in buying antiques from certain eras. For instance, dovetails on a piece of furniture is a sign that it was made in the 17th or 18th century. Long dovetails indicate even better craftsmanship. No dovetails means that it was probably made in a factory. 

Another important factor to look at as a marker of quality is the hardware. Is the hardware on drawers and doors original? Also, check whether the drawers slide out well. All of these small details are indicators of good craftsmanship and quality. 

Is there a manufacturer's stamp?

Many antiques have a stamp, usually on the bottom, from the manufacturer. Or it might include the signature of the craftsman. These markers can give you lots of information about where the piece was made and how old it is. 

Only buy pieces in good condition

Even though these pieces of furniture are old, they should still be in good, working condition. Scratch marks and other scuffs are fine and unavoidable in most cases, but you should never buy a piece that is damaged. If the overall frame is not in good condition, it will be very expensive to repair. Or if you find a chair or sofa with good bones but torn or dirty upholstering, think twice before you buy it. Reupholstering is difficult to do on your own and expensive to hire someone else to do. Always keep your eye out for pieces that are structurally sound and in overall good condition.  

Know what you're looking for if you buy online

It's become increasingly popular to buy antiques online. Many people use eBay or Etsy. However, you definitely need to know what you're looking for if you choose to buy online. You should be a little more educated than the average person about antiques because you won't get a chance to see or touch these pieces in person. Look for online shops with stellar reviews, and don't be afraid to strike up a conversation with the seller. Ask questions about the pieces you're interested in and get to know the seller a bit. Keep in mind that buying online usually comes with hefty shipping costs. So make sure it's worth it to make an online purchase rather than going to a store. 

Do you have any advice or stories about shopping for antiques? We'd love to hear from you!

 

Make a Pet-Friendly Space

 

Hazard-proofing

Take a look around your house with fresh eyes to reveal a myriad of dangers to animals. The most common to watch out for are:

  • Anything that could choke or electrocute. Tuck away wires and looped cords, and keep pulls for window blinds short.
  • Food and medications should be sealed away and out of reach, even from determined cats, which can climb up high.
  • Trash cans are a huge temptation for curious pets! Be sure yours closes with a tight lid.
  • Monitor your greenery, as some plants, including lilies, mums and aloe vera, are toxic to pets. Check inside and out for these plants, and research a new plant before you buy it.
  • Household cleaning products, fertilizers, pesticides and antifreeze all are toxic to humans, let alone your pets. Keep them in a secure place away from sniffing noses.
  • Be sure window screens are sturdy and correctly installed to stop falling felines.

Inside the home

Fido and Tabitha have needs of their own just as you do, and they probably need a bit of space designated just for them.

  • Give your pets a bed, a water source and some toys to create their own area.
  • Consider giving them access to the door so they can run outside at their leisure; a well-exercised pet doesn't get into trouble or bug you all night.
  • Put the litter box in an area that has some but not too much privacy so your pet feels comfortable using it.
  • Decorate inside with sturdy furniture fabrics and hardwood floors that will withstand wear and tear. Carpet can trap germs your pet brings in, so vacuum it twice a week. Stains are always easiest to remove fresh, so get on them quickly!

Careful eats

The Food and Drug Administration has your furry friend at heart; it's best to follow its suggestions for storing and serving pet food:

  • Dry food should be stored in its original bag and then placed inside a food-grade plastic container to keep away pests. Don't use a trash can, which can leach chemicals into food over time.
  • Use a small cup to scoop the food out of the bag; do not use the food bowl.
  • Store wet food in the refrigerator.

Special care for pets

Some animals require more special care than cats and dogs do. Small animals are deceptively high maintenance and often are given to children as "starter" pets. But they need the most specialized care and demand the same amount of attention as dogs and cats. Always do your own research on any animal you adopt for your home.

The best thing you can do for your pet is provide a comfortable home with loving company. Attend to their needs and they are sure to stay happy and healthy and live a long time. Enjoy the love!

 
 

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