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Retro, Vintage and Antique – What’s the Difference?

Retro, Vintage, Antique - they’re three words we hear a lot, particularly describing furniture, fashion or objects. But what really is the difference?

According to various trade laws, an ‘antique’ must be a certain age for it to be considered antique. Some say 100 years old, while others say 80.

A ‘vintage’ item is not as old, but should be at least 50 years old. Again, the time frame is not set in stone, with some objects made in the 1980s considered vintage depending on their style. 

Although ‘vintage’ and ‘antique’ are often confused, ‘retro’ is a style of its own. A retro item is something modern or new, but made to look old-fashioned, such as this 50s style cocktail chair.


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Antique furniture is becoming more and more popular, particularly wooden cabinets, chests and bookcases. High shine wooden finishes are perfect for giving an antique touch to your home and add a gleam to any room when polished. Most antique shops will have a number of such pieces to choose from. 

Vintage furniture is harder to find. Often, true vintage items are listed as antiques mistakenly. The best way to find vintage items is to search for furniture by the decade you want, such as seventies furniture. 

Retro furniture is a lot easier to get hold of.  You can create your own retro furniture using an epoxy resin wood finisher or high-shine varnish to make a new wooden object look antique. Or, if DIY isn’t for you, there are a number of excellent retailers specialising in standalone retro pieces. Check out the retro look at made.com for example. 

Whichever style you prefer, you can find a wardrobe to match here at the Sliding Door Wardrobe Company. Simply tell our team of experts about your style choices and they’ll design the wardrobe for you.

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