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Retro or Vintage but probably not Antique?

I’m pretty sure everyone knows that an Antique is generally something over 100 years old. At least that’s’ the general understanding.  But Retro and Vintage are words commonly banded about when it comes to trying to describe a style of furniture design and the lines here are a little more blurred.

A Vintage piece normally has a specific age line alongside such as a Vintage 1960’s Mercedes and the word itself comes from the French word vendage meaning the ‘grapes picked during a season’ or a secondary definition of a ‘period of origin or manufacture’. Ideally this would mean the very best examples of a piece reflecting a period- something you could look at and ‘date’ by the very style of its shape or perhaps even its colouring. A precious reminder of an era.

Retro furniture does not need to look old fashioned...

Retro can be a bit more fluid but essentially shoudn’t just look old fashioned or out dated which is altogether less attractive. For example, deliberately including a paisley brown floral wallpaper in a 1970’s retro scheme (cool) is not the same as not having redecorated since 1979 (yuk)! Sometimes ironic, it’s a difficult look to pull off and takes a confident operator to reflect a retro style as it often refers to high fashion from a period; which can induce a love it or hate it reaction depending on how your customers feel about the 1980’s or 1990’s for example, or whether indeed it has any relevance to their lives at all.

"Vintage style furniture is all the rage"

In my mind Vintage probably predates the 1960’s, with the high style and ‘Mary Quant’ geometrics easing style into a Retro look. However, that’s just me!

Of course, with age comes wear and tear, and in the current climate it’s not OK to have chairs looking stylishly distressed but unsafe to sit on. So, furniture manufacturers such as Pub Stuff are concentrating on replicating Vintage and Retro looks using modern manufacturing techniques designing ‘vintage’ and ‘retro’ style features into products to allow operators to create the ‘feel ‘ without the worry of furniture being unserviceable or not conforming to modern fire regulations.

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