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  • Foto van schrijverJanneke de Haas

The 80-20 Rule You Should Follow These Days

80 percent vintage, 20 percent new. It's a choice I'd like to go for these days. Not just because it's the sustainable choice or a trend.

Image Courtesy of Studio 3000 Amsterdam

And don't get me wrong, I love new pieces of furniture, clothes, accessories. Unused, spotless and the smell of new leather. But this article isn't about convincing you why vintage really isn't old, dirty, and old-fashioned. It's about the power of repurposing the preloved.

Over the years, my list of preloved items I once hope to own grew longer than the wishlist with new items on it. My interest in design and my perception of preloved furniture shifted. This didn't just apply to me, I recognized this shift in the lives of my friends and family as well. Although it felt like a natural shift - considering my profession - the speed at which this happened was encouraged by the algorithms in the world we live in today. The discovery of vintage instagram accounts and finding that amazing showroom in a foreign city was never so easy. Vintage has always existed, but is more accessible, hot and important than ever.

And that kids, is how my 30 percent became a flexible 80 in just a couple of years.

Nothing Beats the Feeling of Finding that Amazing Piece on a French Market for That Price - It's almost Addictive.

The Great Catch

Suddenly the temptation for vintage design, but also accessoires, fabrics, clothes and jewelry became my weakness. And I'd even pay more money for it than I would for new objects.

Why this Shift? What's the Catch?

Quite simple. Nothing beats the feeling of finding that amazing piece on a French market for that price - it's almost addictive.

Sometimes you didn't even know you were looking for it. Every time you see that item in your house you relive that moment of joy.

That little bit of adrenaline rushes right back in.

Shopping for an object at a high street brand just doesn't give me that same feeling. No matter how happy I am with the purchase. It is no coincidence or luck, no once-in-a-lifetime find. It's just a nice object on the shelf with eight identical twin brothers next to it. And that's ok, because those finds can be amazing - sometimes even indispensable - too and don't prevent me from using it in a project. But the story, the characteristic value, the kick of the find. That's just not something you'll find during one of these shopping hauls.

Trending Topic

I find myself getting a little angry when buying vintage is being seen as just one of this year's trends. As if it will be gone again next season. Nothing wrong with following a trend every now and then, I mean it's kinda hard to escape them. But a trend is transient, vintage is actually a collective name for preloved objects subdivided into styles of different movements, shapes and materials.

Let's be honest, vintage 'the trend' feeds the interest of people, the growth of the amount of dealers, rental services and instagram webshops and made it so much more than just old, dirty furniture, waiting for someone to pick them up from the attic where they've spent the last 30 years in. So YES to the 'trend' of buying vintage, but no to the perception of vintage furniture 'just being a trend'.

Trends decay, buying vintage is here to stay.

Alky Chair by Giancarlo Piretti for Castelli Italy, 1969

There's Something About Alky

Funny how a 20th century chair suddenly becomes a trending topic. It's like how a color we almost forgot it existed suddenly being in season again.

Take the Alky chair. A true hit for the big crowd at the moment, after which it'll maybe disappear and will be back in 20 years. Only the enthusiasts move him along.

That's What Trends Do. Inspiration, Recognition, Validation - The Perception of the Crowd.

But the durability of the object and the cycle of its existence are of way better quality than of objects from high street home stores.

Design objects no longer disappear in attics or the trash, but are being resold through online marketplaces, dealers or at vintage markets. The value of the object remains the same, sometimes even increases, although the price may fluctuate depending on the popularity of the object.

The Original Repurposed

The lifecycle of the design object is what makes vintage furniture the perfect sustainable choice, while still buying something 'new'. Upcycling helps to provide a longer, happier life for the object. A fresh new upholstery or that extra layer of furniture oil makes them alive and kicking again. Ready for their new purpose. I don't have to explain that it is more sustainable to buy a vintage design object than going for that new piece of furniture where mass production has swallowed a tiny piece of our climate.

So many beautiful things have already been made, why not first look and search for that object with a beautiful story before you immediately go to the cheapest webshop for a chair that's already standing in the living room of many.

Some People Read Palms, Well I Read Interiors.

That leads me to my next point: Character. Buying that rare piece, or this interesting object you've never seen before. It tells you something about a person or the identity of a hospitality business. About their story, their vibe. Some people read palms, well I read interiors. It's the communication of personality. The world is simply a better place with original, unique and authentic interiors. And it's right in that unique mix of vintage and contemporary new design.

It's Like Tapping into a Story, Where a Piece of Personality Comes into Play. Why Are YOU Drawn to It?

So promise me one thing: Just try it - even if it's only one percent - and you'll see, that one special object will make you relive that exciting feeling day after day. Because in the end, it's all about the vibe.


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