Retro is in … really it never went out. Some us just crave a CUTE kitchen. But retro can go belly up if you don’t know how to shop for quality vintage pieces. The line between shabby chic and just shabby is very thin.
Here, we gathered some information from the pros on how to sort the gold from the gross, and make it work in your kitchen.
“A kitchen is like a lab for food prep.” Eddie Ross, Chef & Designer
First to “work” in your kitchen, vintage material must actually WORK. Simple right? Often we fall for the gorgeous piece that is a little off, the drawers don’t pull out easily or the shelves are rickety. Do not shy away from small issues but be honest with yourself about the quality of the piece you are dying to purchase.
In addition to functioning well, vintage kitchen items have to be durable. The kitchen see’s a lot of action. No matter how many years an antique has already survived, it has to be durable enough to survive your kitchen. The truth is many vintage materials have lasted because of fact that they were made so well. Learn how to recognize durability. For wooden pieces, check that the joints are still holding up, and the wood is still solid throughout. Pick it up, or try to, good quality tends to be heavier than bad.
“If you’re going down the vintage route, you want to celebrate wear and tear on an item,” says Kevin O’Shea, Interior Designer. “ BUT, how flawed is too flawed? If an item has a little chipping paint, fine but if you see rot or cracks that means structural damage. Move on.
You do need to consider safety when shopping vintage. Think about lead paint. Ancient wiring. Any painted item pre dating 1978 most likely contains lead-based paint. You can purchase a test kit for a song, this will be a great aide when vintage shopping.
Before vintage kitchen shopping, take detailed measurements of the area you aim to fill. Always keep a tape measure on you. Hit the shops with an open mind, be thorough, dig around, look in the back corners of the store, you never know what gems have been waiting for you.
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