6 tricks you need to know to shop for vintage furniture like a pro
Olive Ateliers' co-founder Kendall Knox shares her hard-won secrets, from picking authentic pieces to shopping 'newstalgia'
Love shopping for vintage furniture? It's a fun way to spend time, and an easy way to be more sustainable at home.
But there's so much more to shopping for vintage pieces than just sourcing sustainable furniture from a local store.
So we asked the expert: Olive Ateliers' Kendall Knox. She shared her expert insights on how to buy vintage furniture the right way, and how decorating with antiques can give your home an added level of character.
Kendall Knox was born and raised in Sydney, Australia. Knox graduated Macquarie University, Sydney with a Bachelor of Media before launching her fashion career and moving to Los Angeles in 2014. For the past 15+ years, she has launched, nurtured, and built brands to iconic status. Notably, leading public relations and celebrity talent partnerships for REVOLVE, successfully taking the lifestyle brand public in June 2019.
Most recently, Knox entered the world of entrepreneurship as Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Olive Ateliers, the coveted lifestyle brand taking the home decor industry by storm. Knox confidently projects her vision and leads the creative genius behind the Olive Ateliers. The brand catapulted onto the scene in 2021, quickly catching the attention of clientele such as Kendall Jenner, Elsa Hosk, Kristen Bell, and Kim Kardashian and regularly engaging a loyal audience of over 100,000 on Instagram. Kendall has also been selected for Create & Cultivate’s annual CC100 list in the Arts & Culture category.
What do you think is the most important thing to look for when shopping for vintage decor?
'Let the object choose you,' says Kendall. 'The beauty of vintage decor is there’s no "trend" to abide by, it’s about being drawn to the object because it is authentically unique and piques a curiosity in you, versus following a rule or style you’re expected to follow.'
How can shoppers be sure the items they are interested in are authentic and not a reproduction?
'Always ask the source or vendor for the history of the object. When we import our objects, we require a certificate of antiquity which specifies whether the object is antique, vintage, or a reproduction piece.
'We transparently share that information with our community, and marry this transparency with our fair pricing model, valuing the object based on the age, material and from where the object is sourced, without any inflated markups.'
What tips do you have for mixing vintage and modern pieces?
'Whenever we choose to mix old with new (‘newstalgia’, as we call it), we tend to stick to natural fabrics and materials to ensure a somewhat sustainable, natural approach.'
Where do you suggest newcomers go when they start shopping for vintage decor?
'Prior to sourcing and importing our own vintage wares, we were (and still are) huge fans of the hunt for one-of-a-kind objects by way of local flea markets.
'Another great resource is Etsy, a marketplace filled with collected and often handmade art and decor.
'Pro tip is to be in touch with the vendor prior to purchase to check the shipping costs. Finding the perfect piece often comes with hurdles, and shipping and handling costs can certainly be one of them.'
Are there any vintage stores you enjoy shopping at?
'We love the curation at Big Daddy’s Antiques in Culver City, Urban Americana in Long Beach, The Hunt, our neighbors in the Arts District of Los Angeles, and Galerie Provenance in West Hollywood.
'And although not local to Los Angeles, we love cheering on family run vintage curators like @thecottonshed and @eastendsalvage who both offer a beautiful assortment of french country, european and american salvaged wares.'
Can you give us some tips on styling vintage pieces?
'For us, texture is a color. Don’t be afraid to lean into mixing textures in a space. Let the light in, the more natural, abundant light, the more your vintage object will shine.'
Lucy Searle has written about interiors, property and gardens since 1990, working her way around the interiors departments of women's magazines before switching to interiors-only titles in the mid-nineties. She was Associate Editor on Ideal Home, and Launch Editor of 4Homes magazine, before moving into digital in 2007, launching Channel 4's flagship website, Channel4.com/4homes. In 2018, Lucy took on the role of Global Editor in Chief for Realhomes.com, taking the site from a small magazine add-on to a global success. She was asked to repeat that success at Homes & Gardens, where she has also taken on the editorship of the magazine.
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