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Consider antique furniture for your eco-friendly home makeover

Consider antique furniture for your eco-friendly home makeover

  • 1 July 2019
  • OCBC Home Loans

Uncover fun facts you didn’t know about antique furniture, such as how choosing a pre-loved piece over a new one can positively impact the environment.

There’s a lot to be said for antiques. They provide a unique style and can be priceless additions to your home. Plus, they can be great conversation pieces at your housewarming, provided you know a little about where the piece came from, who owned it before, and how it might have been restored.

We delve into why they’re a great investment for you when it comes to eco-friendliness and stylishness.

1. Antiques help to reduce your carbon footprint

Choosing an antique is the ‘greener’ choice. We’ve got the facts to prove this. According to Carbon Clear, a London-based sustainability consultancy firm, the annual carbon emissions associated with buying an antique piece can be as little as one sixteenth of a new piece of furniture.

The analysis, published in 2010, drew a comparison between the greenhouse gas emissions produced for two chests of drawers.

One was an antique piece, made in 1830. The antique chest was likely crafted by hand, resulting in an emissions factor close to zero. Even with restorations factored in, the antique wins at the starting gate simply because these days, pieces are largely machine-crafted and are made abroad (requiring shipping to the country of sale), upping the carbon emissions readings.

2. Antiques Mean Quality

Furniture that lasts longer means furniture that doesn’t need to be replaced, and thus cuts down on your carbon footprint. Antique furniture pieces are usually made using hardwoods such as rosewood, mahogany and satinwood. These are particularly suited to the tropical climate in Singapore as they are able to withstand most extreme conditions. In contrast, softer woods like pine, which modern furniture-makers tend to use because it is plentiful and easy to shape, will warp in Singapore’s humidity.

An example of an antique furniture provider that provides high-quality pieces from the past is The Past Perfect Collection. You’ll find items from the time the British ruled in India.

And remember the chests of drawers that Carbon Clear studied? The antique chest had an estimated life cycle of 195 years, while the high street equivalent was estimated to last just 15. We think those numbers speak for themselves.

3. The Exclusivity Factor

Aging is a delightful thing when it comes to antiques. When it comes to the look of a piece, antique items of the same style from the same country and of the same age, can already be markedly varied. (Put this down to the joys of craftsmanship). Then, the natural process of aging adds to this charm, giving each piece an exclusive feel. And when you buy it, it is something unique that helps create a distinct ambience in your home.

We need to spend a moment here on speaking about respecting that aging process. Even if you see a worn-out antique, think about refurbishing it. Some of the best-loved items in a home can be something that was once marked for the trash – but got rescued and upcycled into something beautiful. This is part of being more attuned with using the resources that already exist, and in a sense, respecting nature.


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