#AskAlexa: Antique vs. Vintage Décor: What to Buy and When

We asked our Creative Director, Alexa Hampton, her pro tips on popular design topics. Follow our #AskAlexa series to get the inside scoop on what goes on behind her world-renowned designs!

Antique vs. Vintage Décor

A room without an antique can feel a little bit soulless.  Even if you have a very modern sensibility, you would be surprised at how incredible some periods of design lend themselves to a clean, sleek, and pared-back style.  The difference between an antique and a vintage piece is that an antique is over 100 years old.  I recommend buying antique furniture frames.  There is a reason these pieces have stood the test of time.  They are well-made with craftsmanship that is hard to come by in this day and age.  With an antique piece of upholstery, you will need to invest in recovering the piece in a fresh fabric, but it will last you for a lifetime and will be a worthwhile investment.


Right now, there is a predominance of mid-century modern on the market; therefore, keep your eye out for items that aren’t mid-century modern.  The other tip that I have for purchasing either an antique piece or a vintage piece is to be vigilant when you are considering the scale of the piece.  Scale is the biggest issue with antiques.  It seems that as the years have progressed so, too, has the scale of our furniture.  If you place an antique chair on either side of a newly made overstuffed sofa, they will be dwarfed and look like doll’s furniture.  You want to be sure you really take scale into account before investing in a special antique or vintage find.


Alexa Hampton is a world-renowned designer and owner of the iconic Manhattan-based Mark Hampton design firm, and is an invaluable resource for knowledge on design and the trending brands found at The Mine.

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