I ran across an interesting discussion in a forum about vintage and antique furniture. Someone was appalled that people were taking antiques and upcycling, recycling and/or repurposing them. There were plenty of comments s on both sides — and some were none to nice.
Right, wrong or somewhere in the middle, this is my personal view on the subject.
Vintage/Antique Furniture Purists
There are those out there that I call purists. There are actually a few sub-groups of purists too. A purist believes that the old items — antiques — should be preserved, period. One sub-group believes that you can restore these antiques and that will add to their monetary and intrinsic value while another believes any alteration ruins the integrity of the piece and even the monetary value.
Vintage/Antique Furniture Progressives
A progressive is someone that wants to change any and every vintage or antique piece of furniture into something different — other than it was intended — re-purpose or wants to change the original looks of a piece of furniture (stained wood to painted, painted wood to stained, stained wood to decoupaged, etc…). When they look at an original piece, they want to re-create it in some way.
Vintage/Antique Furniture Moderates
A moderate is where I seem to fall on the graph. Some pieces of furniture are so well preserved, designed and hold the design of a certain era or generation so beautifully, I feel that it would be a shame to tear it apart or re-build it.
Other pieces are just not in great shape or their function is not functioning anymore. These pieces of furniture to me, should be reworked to use in today’s world of design and style. This is eco-friendly — upcycling or recycling.
Taking it a step further — whenever you can take any item that is vintage or antique but can’t be used, is in too bad a shape or isn’t necessary in today’s world for its original purpose, recycling or upcycling it into another item that can be used is just good for the environment. Reusing materials that might otherwise end up in a landfill is environmentally responsible.
So, where do you fall on the graph?