How to Buy an Antique Side Table

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How to Buy an Antique Side Table

Before purchasing an antique side table explore the definition of antique and what it means to you. Learn about the different types of antique side tables available and how to choose one in good shape. You can also purchase a side table that merely looks antique to decorate on a budget.


Explore the Definition of Antique

In general, people use the word "antique" to describe objects that are at least 100 years old. However, this is not a hard rule, so some sellers might describe 60 to 90 year old tables as antique. They are not wrong because the word does not have a strict definition other than the dictionary's description: "a collector's item" of "considerable age". When buying an antique side table, consider what antique means to you.


Wiggle the Antique Side Table

Imagine carrying home the most amazing antique table only to find that its legs are loose and tightening the bolts is a temporary fix; it's a matter of time before the legs work loose again. See if the antique side table is stable, especially when planning to use it on a regular basis. Antique tables with wobbly legs can usually be fixed by tightening the bolts or replacing the hardware with larger bolts because the holes have been stripped. Occasionally, the table legs are uneven, and a repair might be too costly to justify purchasing the antique.


Look at Different Types of Antique Side Tables

There are dozens of different styles of side tables from piecrust tables to gate leg tables. Browse digital pictures of side tables to find a style that strikes you. Some styles are rarer than others; for example, hutch tables fold upward to become an b, and they are quite uncommon, especially as side tables. You can also stop by a local antiques shop to browse their selection, although they will have far fewer tables than an online shop.


Buying Antique Side Tables on a Budget

Antique side tables can be hundreds of years old. The rarity of this furniture increases its value, and sometimes that value isn’t within a person's budget. Fortunately, many furniture manufacturers create "vintage side tables" that are only vintage-inspired. This is one way to achieve a shabby chic look without the price tag. In fact, shabby chic side tables are commonly found new rather than antique.


Shipping Antique Side Tables

When shipping antique side tables or any antique furniture, make sure the shipper packages the product well. You might also wish to purchase insurance in case the package gets lost or the item arrives damaged and beyond repair. In some cases, it may make the most sense to dismantle the table and flat pack it to minimise the odds of it breaking.

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