How To Invest In Designer Furniture That Will Last You A Lifetime

Modern contempory room with Eames Lounge Chair

Buying luxury designer furniture is not just a popular fashion choice. It can be a sensible investment opportunity for many families that want their property to increase in value.

They can resell it later or gift it to the next generation. Trendy investment pieces include designer Italian furniture, British classics, and even ensembles made in Contemporary style are popular.

Well-built designer furniture can stand the test of time, offering incredible comfort and able to elevate any interior. The value of such statement pieces is derived not only from the name of the designer, but also the materials that went into production and the level of craftsmanship.

How to choose a piece that is investment-worthy? Here’s a list of questions you should ask yourself (and the seller) before you decide to make a purchase.

What Do You Get From Investing?

The first question you should ask is whether investing in designer furniture is a good idea at all. Let’s take a look at how well the market performs. According to the industry experts, the global market for luxury designer furniture will grow at 3,8% annually reaching the value of $31 billion (approximately 27 billion in GBP) by 2024. That is a reasonable return on investment that looks appealing to conservative investors.

Chippendale Settee Loveseat
Chippendale Settee Loveseat

Remember, that different pieces grow in value at different rates. Also, to be able to derive real value from your furniture, you have to wait at least a couple of decades.

Think about designer furniture pieces as collectible heirlooms. Many people will pay a pretty penny for items that follow a certain style or aesthetic. So, don’t just buy separate pieces. Start a collection, and you have a good chance that it will perform well over time in terms of its investment potential.

Should You Look Into Pricier Options?

Or in other words, is more expensive designer furniture better in terms of investing? Generally, yes. With most luxury pieces, the price point reflects the quality of craftsmanship and the value of materials that went into making a furniture ensemble.

Pricing is reasonable if you consider the quality and provenance of materials. High-value investment pieces are built using sustainable materials like wood, glass, metal, and marble. Fabric are often processed using traditional methods that reflect the rich tradition and history of European and Asian furniture makers.

How Well Do You Know the Designer?

Do your due diligence before you decide to take out your checkbook. You should know your designer well. Consider that person your investment partner of sorts. Designers that have recognised, widely publicised creative journeys can offer higher value. They should be respected in the professional community and able to produce solid work at a steady pace over a long period of time.

Red and blue chair of the year 1917 by designer Rietveld
Red and blue chair of the year 1917 by designer Rietveld

Emerging young designers and “rising stars” are riskier but often under-valued at the beginning of their creative journeys. Designers are like painters or sculptors. Their personality, fame and personal history affect the value of their work.

When you decide to invest in collectible designer furniture you will become an art connoisseur. Learn to recognise specific styles and design languages or hire a professional that can explain these ideas in layman’s terms. Don’t just follow trends blindly. Talented designers often focus on a timeless aesthetic and create their own language of artistic expression.

What Is the Provenance of the Furniture You Are Looking to Buy?

Fakes exist not only in the art world. Beware of pieces that come without proper documentation. Avoid sellers that can’t provide a certificate of authenticity, or prove the country of provenance.

Hillestak style Robin Day Chairs
Hillestak style Robin Day Chairs

All designer pieces can be cross-checked in a special register. Look for a nameplate on the furniture. It could be a stamp, carved inscription or a plaque made from metal.

Expert Tips on Buying Designer Furniture

  • Fall in love with the item you are going to buy. If you don’t have a strong emotional connection with it, you won’t be happy keeping it. Choose furniture the same way you are choosing jewelry. It should be valuable but also pleasing.
  • Look for sets. Collections always provide better returns long term. You can consult sellers or browse through designer guides if you are looking to assemble a set.
  • Avoid the hype. Popularity comes and goes, timeless classics remain. When you buy designer furniture, think about your children and even grandchildren. Will they be able to enjoy it in their homes?
  • Hand-crafted pieces are worth more than mass-produced. Always look for documented proof that furniture was crafted and assembled manually.
  • Innovative ideas can bring additional value. While the classical approach is always a safe bet, designers that use innovative materials or ways of creating furniture may positively affect your future returns on investment.

Where Should You Look for Inspiration?

For people who are new to the designer furniture niche, finding their first investment piece can be a long and painful journey. You can make it pleasant and relaxing if you start with the style you love. Find a creative idea that inspires you. There are hundreds of online and print catalogs that let you choose your favourite colours, textures, materials and styles.

If you are not sure where to start, create a mood board if you are looking to elevate the interior of your room or the entire home.

Conclusion

If you want to buy well-made designer furniture that will serve your family for generations and increase in value several times over, do your research first. Don’t be shy to ask questions and demand proof of authenticity before you make a purchase. Will you fall in love with a piece of furniture or regret buying it? This is the most important question you have to answer.

Main image = Eames Lounge Chair

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