Antiques, Vintage, and Retro Furniture: What's The Difference?-KONTRAST

Antiques, Vintage, and Retro Furniture: What's The Difference?

Antiques, Vintage & Retro Furniture: What's The difference?

Terms like ‘antique furniture’ and and ‘vintage furniture’ are thrown around a lot in the home furnishing industry. In recent years there has been a boom in the demand for old yet high-quality furniture. Such products lend an air of sophistication to residential homes all over the UK. 

Although these two terms are on the same spectrum, they refer to completely different styles of old furniture. 

There are different schools of thought about what separates these two similar terms. The dictionary definition of ‘antique’ is ‘a collectable object such as a piece of furniture or work of art that has a high value because of its age and quality.’

One thing is for sure, all UK vintage furniture will one day become antique. A piece of vintage furniture loses its title and transitions over to being called an antique when it is over a hundred years old. 

A piece of furniture becomes vintage when it is over thirty years old and under a hundred years old. 

Following on from the consensus that vintage furniture becomes antique after 100 years, we can conclude that items from the 1910s and 1920s are now antique. 

Retro Striped Living Room / Lounge


What's The Difference Between Retro Furniture, Vintage Furniture, and Antique Furniture?

The term ‘retro’ refers to products made between the years 1940 and 1980. These items are also referred to as Art Moderne and Mid Century in style. This period is known for glamorous, colourful, and elaborate pieces. A lot of retro furniture artists used teak.

Antiques & Vintage items whats the difference

Pieces of antique furniture are over a hundred years old, priceless, and desirable. They are objects of beauty and rarity. You will often see unique features on antique furniture. Furniture of this nature represents the signature of a previous era or specific period of time.


Antiques - cannon hall museum

The term 'vintage' is derived from a French word that was primarily used to refer to wine. Furniture becomes vintage when it is over thirty years old. 

How Are They Different?

Antique furniture, vintage furniture, and retro furniture are all alike in that they are defined by their age. They represent different moments in time. Antique objects are the work of ancient societies. A lot of people collect antique sculptures, furniture, and other decorative objects. 

Antiques are the most valuable of these three types of furniture. Experts from the field set the price for these products based on quality, grace, age, and beauty. 

When distinguishing between antique and vintage, it is important to consider the relevance of the item. Experts may call a lamp from the 1800s antique because it is no longer functional, and therefore becomes an object to be studied. In contrast, a Ford Coupe from 1940 might be considered vintage if it is drivable. 

It is much easier to distinguish between vintage and antique clothing, which is defined solely by age. 


Vintage, Retro, and Antique Furniture At Kontrast

At Kontrast, we have a wide range of vintage furniture, retro furniture, and antique furniture. Whether you are looking for handmade tables, chairs, or drawers, we have got you covered.

We love providing our customers with the opportunity to purchase vintage, retro, and antique furniture pieces. Each piece carries stories of its past life on its surfaces. Investing in a time-worn, rustic piece of furniture could add a bit of character to your home. A lot of our furniture functions as a talking point for guests and family members alike. 

Browse through our furniture and discover your new favourite piece.

Zak & Elery Stradling

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