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Edwardian bookcases & beyond: why brown furniture is bang on-trend


Flatpacks have had their heyday - homemakers, collectors and taste setters yearn for the individual craftsmanship and centuries-old hardiness that comes with furniture from the past. Today, we’re heralding the return of brown furniture - from antique walnut desks to oak Edwardian bookcases. Add walnut and cherry and mahogany and you have a rich spectrum of beautiful woods to bring into your home decor. Buyers, designers and antique buffs love it.

Post-nineties, country-house aesthetics were neglected as the Ikea hype led to homes filled with stripped pine. At last, dealers can delight in the fact brown furniture is popular again and commanding pleasing prices at auction. We have a few ideas as to why this is happening…

  • Buyers want quality

MDF or mahogany? It’s a no-brainer. Chipboard bookcases can cost around £100 these days. You can spend the same amount of money on a piece from a glorious range of Edwardian bookcases instead. Instead of cheap materials, you’ll be investing in the finest quality: planks from the girth of mighty trees, with thick veneers and a blend of rich, soulful colours. To get an eye for what’s valuable, books and blogs are great starting points, offering a broad overview of antique furniture prices and identification methods. Our own antique blog has advice on everything from antique chairs to cabinets - keep up to date and you’ll never have trouble missing a treasure when one turns up.

  • Buyers want better investments

Whether you’re a splurger or a budget-buyer, there is always an affordable piece to pick from, whatever price range you’re working within. Whether that’s £100 or a few thousand, just try finding a modern equivalent (beautifully crafted by hand, solid wood, stunning veneers) with the same price tags. It’s impossible. That’s why pieces such as oak, walnut, cherry and mahogany pieces make the greatest furniture investments.

  • Buyers’ tastes are changing

The pleasure derived from a 19th-century desk, with its rich tapestry of makers, owners, stories and homes, is inimitable. Antique pieces breathe life into spaces, not only for their historic depth, but for their strong dark colours that blend well with vivid, colourful patterns. As a result, ‘mid-century modern’ has shifted from a junk-shop staple to a coveted interior dream.

  • Buyers are more eco-conscious

Picking a piece from a small and varied selection of antique oak desks for sale is a lot kinder on the environment than choosing a predictable cookie-cutter desk, mass-produced for fast-furniture retailers. Just like fashion, shopping vintage is a brilliant way to recycle furniture too. It makes sense. Antique Edwardian desks with lifespans of a couple of centuries are more eco-friendly than a quick-fix ensemble that lasts less than 20 years. In fact, your carbon footprint will be 16 times less for buying antique, according to independent research commissioned by ethical movement Antiques Are Green

For Edwardian bookcases, desks, chairs, cabinets, dressers, cupboards, wardrobes and dining tables in abundance, have a good rummage through our period furniture collection. It’s even better viewed in person - the feel of lived-in wood and its precious patinas, with stories harking back centuries. Come experience them yourself and take home a stylish investment - we’re a few miles from the quaint cathedral city of Lincoln, the perfect place for a time-traveller to spend their weekend.

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