While the average individual may have some knowledge of home interior design, it is rare that they know the true difference between antique decor and vintage decor. Regardless of whether it is furniture, wall art or a random knick-knack, not all home accessories can be classified as antique even if sold at an antique store. In fact, the items may not be considered vintage or retro either – so what is the true classification? This article will provide information on the difference between vintage home decor and antique home decor.
What Is Antique Home Decor?
According to the technical definition of antique decor, the antique home accessory refers to any item that has a minimum age of 100 years. This applies to all items including furniture, clothing, home accessories, old trade equipment, paintings, etc. If the item is not 100 years in age it cannot be considered an antique home decor item.
What Is Vintage Home Decor?
If age is the defining characteristic of antique home decor items, then what would be considered the defining characteristic of a vintage piece? According to the technical definition, the classification of an item as vintage is dependent on the individual and will vary from dealer to dealer. Fortunately, there is a large consensus of the term being subject to the requirements noted below:
For a home decorating item to be considered vintage, it must be less than 25 years of age. However, in some circles the term “vintage” will also refer to items that have circled back into a trend including those that are more than 25 years of age. This means that the term can be used broadly to describe items ranging from the 1970s and early 1980s. Unfortunately, this factor makes definition of the term “vintage” in home decor difficult and accessories re-entering society with the term may be confused in their classification.
Vintage home accessories can often be confused with retro or collectible decor, but there is a marked distinction between these items. Collectible home decorating accessories are those items between the ages of 0 and 99 years. Once the item reaches the age of 100 years it falls into the classification of antique home decor. Many items from mid-century modern styled furniture can be considered collectible items.
Retro is a term that was thrown into the mix during the 1990s. It is more easily defined as retro tends to refer to a single time period and all items from this time fall into the category. The vast majority of people believe and accept that retro decor refers to pieces from the 1950s, however, there are those that feel it refers to items between the ages of 50 and 99 years. Examples of retro furniture include mid-century modern furniture.
The fact of the matter is that unless there is documentation to verify the age of the home decorating item, such as personal knowledge or a seal, it can be difficult to know when an item was manufactured. Therefore, it can be difficult to classify the item. However, even if the date of manufacturing can be determined there are several issues surrounding the terms that make terminology confusing.