There are some trends that are just so hot right now like authentic 1920s home decor, it’s hard to think twice about them. And you know what? That’s totally fine. Last year it was all about opulent art nouveau prints and Bohemian chic, and this year it’s all about going authentic with your home decor.
But do you know how to go authentic? How do you know what is actually real wood and traditional craftsmanship? What if the furniture is made in China or some other far-away place? There are so many questions, it’s hard to cut through the fog of temptation that obscures our judgment.
1. Do I want real wood?
It depends on how you define that. If you subscribe to the idea that a real wood veneer is not real wood, then you’re already off in your thinking. Veneers can be authentic and natural looking for so many applications, and their durability makes them a smart choice for low-maintenance furniture.
2. Do I want furniture or decor?
A lot of times, we envision decorating with pieces that will just blend in with our homes instead of standing out as focal points. On the other hand, we want to surround ourselves with furniture that makes us feel at ease and that serves a purpose. Choosing a piece of furniture too large for any real room is a surefire way to go for the latter. When you make your furniture a focal point, you give yourself plenty of room for styling.
3. Can I withstand the element of surprise?
Authentic furniture is handcrafted, with all the quirks that come from that. This can mean uneven surfaces and minute imperfections in the wood. But it also means that each piece is truly unique and original, since no two trees are alike. If you want your home to be authentic, you should give up on the idea of planning out every little detail before you take a risk. Interior design is all about taking risks and learning from whatever experiments or mistakes that might come along with it.
4. Do I want an heirloom?
I’m sure there are purists out there that would argue that you can’t have real furniture unless it’s made from real wood. But for the rest of us, that can be a bit daunting. After all, even “real” furniture gets old eventually, and we never know if the next piece will be better. That’s fine for them and if that’s what you’re going for, then you should keep it authentic.
5. Do I ever want to redecorate?
This is a big one. If you have a new baby and are just settling into a family home, then your furniture will likely be chosen more for function than aesthetics. Authentic home decor is a lot like art in the sense that you will probably be able to sell your genuine furniture, piece by piece, instead of having to sell the entire room at once.
6. Do I want it to last?
The biggest factor that contributes to the authenticity of a piece of furniture is when it’s built with traditional craftsmanship. While not all true pieces of furniture are old, they’re created with traditional techniques and materials, which means they’ll likely last longer than furniture made today. Craftsmanship isn’t so important when it comes to decor, but if you want it to last, you’ll probably want things like hand-carved chairs and solid hardwood floors.
7. Is there a style I haven’t yet tried?
Authentic home decor has a certain look that’s hard to describe, but it’s easy to spot. It’s also hard to copy. If you’re looking for a cool style, then you might want to stick with something more contemporary or trendy rather than trying to be authentic. If you’re at a loss for authentic home decor inspiration, then look to your local antique stores or flea markets. There are all sorts of designer styles that were popular in the 1800s, but they don’t really exist anymore.
8. Am I going to get out of my comfort zone?
Authentic home decor is just that: authentic. While some might be able to get away with more contemporary furniture and accessories, most people will look like a total amateur if they fake the look. If you’re going all-in on authenticity, then you’re probably not going to want to spend a lot of money on your decor. But if you’re willing to go all-in, authenticity can be really rewarding!
9. How much will it cost me?
Authentic home decor can range widely in price. For the most part, you have to pay a premium for furniture that’s hand-crafted or otherwise made with traditional methods. Authentic home decor costs more than mass-produced items. You can probably expect to spend around $1,000 or more on a single piece of furniture.
The main thing you can take away from this article is to not jump into anything that you’re not sure about. You’ll have to do some thinking, but it will be worth it. Authentic home decor is becoming more popular, so if you want to be a trendsetter, you can’t afford to miss this one.