The general consensus is that antique furniture is 100 years old or more. It’s usually made by highly skilled and sometimes famous craftsmen and cabinet makers. Usually made of solid wood, some with expensive veneers and marquetry applied, surviving pieces tend to be high quality often with signs of age or patina that only add to their appeal. Such lovely furniture is unlikely to be second hand, more like four or many more previous owners have loved it enough to have taken good care of what is a piece of a beautiful furniture. Good quality Antique furniture is good value, it has stood the test of time and tends to retain its value.
Vintage refers to items that are between 30 and 100 years old. Higher quality items are still made of solid wood but chipboard was increasingly used by some brands. Good quality vintage Danish design furniture for example is currently increasing in demand and scarcity.
Investing in good quality antique and vintage furniture for your home has a lower carbon footprint than buying new. Having lasted so many years to date it’s also more likely to be so well made that it will continue to be useful long after cheap modern furniture has fallen apart.
Retro refers to items that have been made in a style similar to those used in the past. Most retro stock isn’t very old but it can have some age whilst mimicking even older designs. You may have seen Retro signs and toys that have been made recently but they mimic goods made in the 50s for example. If you’re unsure whether something is Retro please ask a dealer.
The information given here is offered as a guide.