A Tale of Two Vintages: How Wine and Vintage Furniture Are Alike

by Keith Lobo

Seeing a glass of wine sitting on a vintage table recently brought to mind thoughts of what those two different “vintages” have in common.

Like fine wines, quality vintage furniture is distinctive and has a unique appeal to an individual’s senses. While it challenges the sameness of today’s mass produced consumer goods, like a versatile wine, vintage furniture can be as unpretentious and as comfortable with take-out pizza as it is in a formal dining room. How else are vintage furniture and wine alike? Read on to find out.

Harmony and Balance

A wine is described as ‘elegant’ when it reaches a perfect harmony or balance of flavors and ingredients; in other words, when all things come together. The same sense of balance can describe vintage mid-century modern furniture. Often referred to as functional pieces of art, mid-century modern designs removed the complexities and weight prevalent in previous furniture.

Simple clean lines complemented by long lasting, quality construction equals timeless pieces that are as readily transported from decade to decade as they are from room to room. By incorporating vintage pieces into your home you could unconsciously be adding harmony and balance to the lives of generations of future furniture guardians.

Rich Colour

The deep colour of wine is a sign of its character and age. Similarly, the colours in vintage furniture show the unique character of each piece while offering hints of its age. The patina that develops in various woods—and especially teak—gives each piece its own distinct look and a richness of colour that simply doesn’t exist in “younger” furniture.

In Demand

Vintage furniture and wine are both experiencing a surge of popularity. The growing number of local wineries attests to Canadians’ increasing interest in wine, as does our wine consumption which has grown to around triple that of the global average.

The vintage furniture trend may not be as obvious to detect. Vintage furniture’s multi-functionality and simple design allow it to blend seamlessly into homes across the country. But the trend is growing. As our living spaces shrink, the demand for quality furniture that is more streamlined and multi-functional is rising. Vintage furniture not only finds itself at home in today’s smaller spaces, but it is equally comfortable within most budgets. Vintage furniture can cost much less than contemporary furniture of similar quality.

It is worth noting however, like a limited quantity Bordeaux, limited availability will eventually be reflected in its cost. If you want a unique piece, the time for shopping is now.

Locally Sourced

For the sake of our environment and for reasons of economy, more and more attention is being paid to where products are purchased and produced, from home décor to food and wine. We can no longer ignore the environmental impact that unnecessary global sourcing and its related transportation related consequences have on our world. Supporting our fellow citizens and businesses is important, for us and for our children’s’ children.

Buying at local vintage furniture shops like Vintage Home Boutique means you are saving quality used furniture from landfill sites. This circumvents the entire sourcing, manufacturing, transportation, and landfill cycle of today’s mass produced, disposable furniture.

And shopping local is fun! It gives you the freedom to return frequently to your favourite stores to compare products and to wait for just the right piece. Shopping locally for wine can be equally rewarding, giving you the chance to visit the actual vineyard where the grapes were grown and meet the people whose expertise went into each bottle.

Making ‘Simple’ a Statement

Trying to find ‘simple’ can be hard these days. The ‘wood’ used to manufacture most contemporary furniture is closer to compressed sawdust than the natural substance that has kept trees standing for centuries. Most of today’s consumer beverages are full of ingredients no one can pronounce. This is not the case with vintage wood furniture or traditionally crafted wine.

Wine and vintage furniture are both the result of crafting that sees minimal manipulations in production. With fewer adjustments and additions, products remain closer to nature. Our senses can appreciate a product’s natural personality and life when we get closer its source.

Telling a Story

Just as each bottle of wine is a reflection of the terroir where the grapes were grown, each piece of vintage furniture tells a story of its origins, from an artisan’s workshop to a home where it was cared for and passed on to future generations.

The next time you are gathered making memories with friends or family as swirling legs of wine cascade down your glass, consider another set of legs: the ones supporting your table. What history do they hold? How long will your table be the bedrock of family tales, encouraging extended family feasts and the stories that emerge from them? If history is any indicator, when the legs are holding up a piece of vintage furniture, your family has a solid foundation to build on.


This post was written by our guest blogger and friend of VHB, Brenda Coonan. We hope that Brenda will be a regular contributor here at VHB.

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