Another question I am always asked is why do I have a thing for antique armchairs?
I always respond that at the end of the day the quality of these 100+ year old armchairs is significantly higher than anything made today for the same price. Most of my chairs are pre 1900 and everyone has a solid wood frame, solid wood legs and not a single bit of chip board or plywood anywhere.
These frames were made by talented craftsmen who took hours to create beautiful shapes and designs that they took pride in. Today there is still a small number of these highly skilled crafts peoples, I personally know a lot of them and they all charge significant amounts of money for their chairs, and its absolutely justified by their quality of work. But I apprecite that not everyone can afford four figures for just the frame so I try to supply complete chairs for more affordable prices that do not compromise on quality.
I can achieve what I do by buying antique and spending a bit of time restoring each chair and taking back to the calico so you can have a perfectly useable chair, in blank canvas state so that you can add your own personal choice of fabric.
If I was to work it out depending on the fabric you chose how much you spend to get a complete single chair you will be around the £1000 mark which may sound a lot but I challenge you to find a solid wooden framed chair built today fully upholstered in a nice quality fabric that is a similar price. I think you will be surprised.
But with antique chairs its not just the quality you get for your money, you get an authentic feel as I use horse hair stuffing in all chairs, You get character and attractive wear that cannot be copied in the same way as it does from natural use and possibly best of all you get a chair that will be worth similar if not more to what you paid as you can still sell it as a Victorian chair. This certainly comes in handy when your style changes which inevitably it does. The frame is so good you could keep the chair and just continue to get it re upholstered over time.
For me buying antique chairs has opened my eyes to what quality should be, and that goes with all antique furniture really, what new furniture company sells solid mahogany or walnut table? very few because the cost is to high for them. So they use veneer covered cheap wood and then try to age it to look antique, they then have the cheek to charge you 4x their cost price for something that looks old when you could have the real deal for significantly less.
Now I know some of you will be thinking "well obviously he will think that he is antique dealer!" and yes I am a bit bias but the proof is out there. Next time you go to John Lewis make a note of the cost of an armchair, feel the level quality and then come to me and have a look at my chairs for a similar price and you tell me if I am right or not.
The final factor that makes me love antique furniture is the fact that most pieces are one offs meaning you will have a truly unique piece for your home and who doesn't want that?