Many things qualify as vintage — none of them new

The world of interior design does share some similarities with the clothing industry. Both are strongly influenced by fashion trends, for example.

Yet there are dramatic differences, as well, such as the staying power of styles that were introduced 50 to 75 years ago. Not many women today are wearing the types of dresses that were fashionable in the mid-20th century, but the looks of some of the home products manufactured at that time remain quite popular.

Q: Shops that sell old and used designer apparel often refer to their wares as “vintage clothing.” And now I’m seeing stores offering “vintage furniture.”

Can you tell me what exactly that means? I do like both traditionally styled and modern furniture, whether newly made or originals. Can modern-type furnishings qualify as “vintage”? And where are some places to find them?

A: The term “vintage furniture” can refer to a wide range of styles as well as to a broad span in the age of pieces and their relative quality. It has also become a hip designation used by sellers of all sorts of furniture — modern and traditional alike — for originals and reproductions that are not identifiable as “antiques.”

Modern pieces, as you’re probably aware, can be the acknowledged classics of 20th century design, or can might be simply funky, exotic or downright weird. Furniture of that sort reflects the exuberance and experimentation that characterized interior design during the 1960s and ’70s.

Maybe you’ve seen chairs of that era that look like huge baseball mitts, ice cream cones or even eggs. One example of this genre is shown in the accompanying photo, which comes from an interesting book about collecting and living with vintage furniture. Written by Fay Sweet and published by the Antique Collectors Club, it’s called, appropriately enough, “Vintage Furniture: Collecting and Living with Modern Design Classics.”

Here we have a sofa produced in homage to the surrealist painter Salvador Dali. He had actually designed a quite similar piece in the 1930s that was meant to resemble Mae West’s lips. Studio 65 updated Dali’s design in 1972 and called it the Marilyn Sofa, in honor of Marilyn Monroe.

Both the Dali original and the Studio 65 version can be considered vintage classics. But that designation does not apply to the actual piece seen here — a newly manufactured copy in a material different from what was used for the 1972 original. Another such reproduction differs even further from the original in that it’s intended mainly for use outdoors.

You asked where to find vintage modern pieces. There are stores that specialize in this kind of furniture. It can also be found at auction and on the Internet, though not necessarily in the best condition.

But buyer beware! As I noted, all sorts of pieces can qualify as “vintage,” but the one thing they have in common is that none of them are new.

Rita St. Clair is a syndicated columnist with Tribune Media Services Inc. E-mail general interior design questions to her at rsca@ritastclair.com.

ad-high_impact_4
Life
Roy Choi on cooking for Park MGM employees
As he prepares to open his new restaurant Best Friend later this month at Park MGM, celebrity chef Roy Choi took the time to cook for the resort’s employees Tuesday. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Great Santa Run
People participated in the 14th annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run which raises cubs for Opportunity Village.
World Holidays Exhibit At The Natural History Museum
Migratory Bird Day teaches adults and kids to celebrate birds
Different organizations offered activities for kids and adults to learn about birds and celebrate their migration journey at Sunset Park. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Jackson: The Red Rock Canyon Burro" is a children's book about Red Rock Canyon
"Jackson: The Red Rock Canyon Burro" is a children's book about Red Rock Canyon (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Interfaith Amigos speak in Las Vegas
Celebrity photographer dedicates dance book to Las Vegas shooting victims
Behind the scenes with local celebrity photographer Jerry Metellus as he talks about his Dance For Vegas coffee book dedicated to the 58 victims of the October 1 shooting. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Dreamsickle Kids Foundation founder Gina Glass talks awareness
Gina Glass, 35, founded Dreamsickle Kids Foundation to raise awareness for sickle cell disease in Nevada. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Home and Garden Video
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like