Alongside the meteoric rise of thrifted and vintage fashion, purchasing pre-loved home goods is increasingly popular. And for good reason: Used is often cheaper than new, points out Joe Kunis, owner of Bay Home Consignment, in Berkeley, California.
Second-hand items are also less affected by pandemic-related supply chain woes—you can get them immediately, notes Mona Ying Reeves, a San Francisco Bay Area-based architect and founder of Kickstart House, a home renovation support community. Plus, purchasing used is a potential path to higher quality pieces, she says. “Older furniture is often crafted better than today’s mass-market furnishings.”
Environmental concerns are also a factor in second-hand furniture’s popularity. “Used furniture offers an alternative to consuming more new furniture than may be necessary,” Kunis says.
But how do you find just the right piece that you’ll love having in your home for years to come? We spoke to experts to get insight about what to keep in mind before you pick up a second-hand bureau, coffee table, couch, or any other piece of furniture.
Have preferences, but be open to new options.
Shopping for furniture—new or used—can be overwhelming. Start by browsing design websites, magazines, and social media (taking advantage of hashtags) to refine your preferences. “You want to have a menu before you go out so you’re not just haplessly looking at stuff,” Kunis says.
Once you’ve got a sense of your taste and a list of items you’d like to acquire, remain open to possibilities as you explore stores and listings, Kunis recommends. Maybe you won’t find the dresser you had in mind—but you’ll come across a credenza that can play the same role in your bedroom.