Vintage and Retro Furniture – What’s the difference?

Hi there, I’m so glad you have stumbled across this page. I presume you want to know what the difference is between Vintage & Retro furniture?  I could not find a definitive answer  and there appears to be no right or wrong answer to this question. However, I have done a bit of research and  I have come up with my own view on this.

So what’s the difference between vintage and retro furniture? When I first became interested in pre-owned, mid-century furniture, props and accessories I decided to try and find out through a bit of research what the difference was .

G Plan Sideboard

Where The Word Vintage Came From

Let’s start by finding out what the word vintage actually means. I bet you didn’t know that the word vintage was first used in the early 15th century? OK, if you did know then you earn a brownie point from me! The  Old French word ‘vendage’ means wine harvest when translated and this is where the term vintage originally came from. So vintage was first used to describe the process of picking the grapes and creating a harvest to complete a finished product – wine. For a wine to be classed as vintage the grapes that it was made from must have mainly, or all have been grown and harvested in a specified single year. So, I expect you have heard enough about my interesting synopsis on the word vintage.

The Meaning of the Word Vintage – When Describing Furniture

Why don’t we  get to the nitty gritty – what does vintage mean when referring to furniture?

The conclusion that I came to was that a piece of furniture should be at least 40 years old to be properly classified as vintage and no older than 100 years. Once a piece of furniture is 100 years old it is normally classified as antique. A vintage piece of furniture is normally an old piece of furniture that is a good example of the era it came from. A good example of this in the 1960’s would be a G Plan Fresco Sideboard. This had all the characteristics of Mid Century Danish Style furniture.

There were certain prominent manufactures of furniture particularly in the 1950’s to 1970’s such as Stag, Ercol, A H McIntosh, Younger and Archie Shine, Nathan and G Plan.

The Meaning of the Word Retro – When Describing Furniture

So what about retro furniture then? I would say Retro furniture is furniture that reflects a certain trend, style or era normally from the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s and more recently the 80’s. Retro furniture does not have to be old it simply needs to be built in the style of that era. Retro furniture is making a huge comeback and is once again adorning our homes.

Vintage retro fine – retro vintage not !! 30 years to 100 years to be vintage the furniture should define an

Author: Linda

Retronovia was born out of a love of everything Vintage & Retro. We are a family run business who love to offer something different. If something can be recycled and brought back to it's former glory we just love the challenge. We lovingly restore furniture so that it can have many more years of love with a new family. Retronovia also love to source unusual props and accessories - so do not hesitate to contact us if there is something in particular you are looking for.

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