Brooklyn hipsters. Real life Portlandia people. Old ladies. What do they all have in common? They love vintage things. I don’t know about you, but most of the people in my inner circle wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a genuine vintage piece and a reproduction if their lives depended on it. So, it would be suuuuuuuper easy for me to pull off reproductions. Some people wouldn’t dare embrace a knock-off; and I have to admit, I get super excited when I know I have the real deal (that feeling deep-down could also be buyer’s remorse seeping in *eeek*).
Creating furniture reproductions is becoming a growing industry as more people embrace replicas. Also, millennials like myself have no money and thus no choice when it comes down to choosing between a reproduction or an antique. So sad, but not really; many reproductions are nearly indistinguishable from actual antiques.
Recently, I was drooling over some pieces on 1stdibs when I asked hubby if he would buy a $110K armoire if we had the funds. After explaining what an armoire is to him, his response was a very adamant “I can think of a lot of other shit that I’d rather buy!” I’m sure many others also share his sentiments.
Repros won’t break the bank … most of the time
Sometimes I embrace my inner hedonist who looks for any opportunity to self-indulge. Even with my self-comfort in mind, I always will opt to save $$$ if and when possible. Who wouldn’t?? It’s almost a no-brainer if you’re taking on a design project and you choose to go with a reproduction, money could be allocated towards something else that is just as exciting as having a genuine antique piece. Also, some antique reproductions often look identical to true antiques, but come decked out with discreet modern features (like wireless charging stations). How cool??
If your space is outfitted with traditional heirlooms, it might make sense to choose something that fits seamlessly into your decor, i.e. an antique. However, with minimalistic modern interiors, the addition of an odd piece of furniture with traditional influence can help to make the space appear softer and more welcoming. In this regard, it might make more sense to settle for a reproduction.
The ultimate draw with high-quality reproductions is that you’re getting the look without the pricetag. While this is often true, some reproductions are so well done that they still might cost you a pretty penny.
If done right, you probably won’t be able to tell
Your guests most likely wouldn’t know you have a knock-off unless they happen to be Antiques Roadshow host, Mark L. Walberg (not to be confused with the rapper turned actor, Mark Wahlberg).
Like, seriously, can you really tell the difference between the antiques & repros here (granted you are looking at this online)?
Lots of reproduction companies do such a great job making replications that mirror the real deal. On the flip side, go for an authentic antique if your heart is set on it. If you are on the hunt for a true antique contact a dealer (if you can) or look for signs of wear or slight damage. My general rule of thumb when distinguishing between antiques & reproductions is if it looks too new, it probably is.
There are no hard and fast rules for design
Antiques will stand the test of time better than reproductions and if you value the authenticity and history associated with an antique then splurge.
If you are a person like myself who loves to switch up your decor every couple of years (or even months) the more affordable option is definitely for you. I also consider the fact that I would have a full-on mental breakdown if my delightful child ruined a prized antique. Things to consider, people.
Ultimately, examine your space (and your bank account) and choose what works for you. The beauty of design is that you get to figure out what works for you!
Here are some resources that you may want to tap into if you are considering a reproduction or an antique. I’m really excited about this list!
- English Georgian America
- Laurel Crown Handcrafted Furniture
- Century Furniture
- Modern Source (Mid-century modern reproductions)
I’ve laid out all my points for why I think reproductions are cool, and I want to know what you think. Have you included knock-offs in your decor? If not, what are you reasons?
Featured Image: Elizabeth Messina