Design Concierge

Value in owning Originals

Investing in original furniture

An authentic original piece of furniture has a special, considered and beautiful quality that can instantly transform a home.  It can lift the spirit of any space but can also work harder for you long term. While the notion that things made well are made once gains momentum and our attention shifts to understanding the circular lifecycle of products, we open up a whole new understanding of authentic and original furniture as an investment previously left to the elite few.  

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Four solid oak wood chairs gathered around FrancoCrea's designer dining table crafted with corian table top and mirror polished stainless steel base

Investment Tips

Authentic furniture as an investment

  1. Establish if the piece is mass-produced or crafted individually to give you an indication of its rarity and exclusivity. Is it made overseas in large factory quantities? You may prefer something more limited in availability that will help the piece hold its value over time.

  2. Consider the quality and what materials are being used. Are the materials robust and can they be refurbished in decades to come to last for the next generation?

  3. Find out who the actual designer is, their history and journey. Are they known in the design community, and do they have a distinct design style and language that is consistent? Have they been recognised and credited with awards for their designs?

  4. Ensure it’s an original and can be verified with a certificate of authenticity, is nameplated, and that it’s not an imitation. Imitations hold no investment value. A collectible piece of furniture needs to be genuine and verified for authenticity by the original designer.

  5. Buy a set, if possible, as these generally have longer-term investment returns. For example a set of dining chairs with the dining table or a composition of tables such as a coffee table and side table grouping.  As a future investment for designer furniture, it is very favourable when a set can be verified from the same production run.

Ultimately, love the piece you buy.  If you immediately gravitate towards the piece and/or keep coming back to it, it’s a good sign you will enjoy the piece for many years to come.  Having an emotional connection makes the investment that much more pleasurable and after all, it’s not just an heirloom to be admired but used and enjoyed every day.

designer dining chair sits beautifully on a side angel showing off it's stunning walnut wood frame and soft supple tan leather seat and backrest
A dream dining room filled with designer dining chairs in walnut wood and buttery tan leather

Heirloom collectible design

With the increasing advent of savvy resellers collecting up heirlooms for refurbishment and resale, an indicator of what’s becoming more apparent, authentic furniture for homes has the potential for investment returns. While it may command a pretty penny initially, collectible design will predictably hold its value over time.

As a guide to designer furniture styles that merit investment, there is one element that can be a good precursor to judging longer-term investment performance, and that’s knowing your designer. 

Discover authentic Australian furniture here

Do you know who the actual designer is?

As a guide to original and authentic furniture designs that will go the distance, knowing who the individual designer is can make all the difference. Investment pieces will be a stronger performer in years to come when attributed to a specific designer with a recognisable journey.  Buying a piece of designer furniture from a specific designer is akin to buying an authentic painting or sculpture.  You invest in their designs and that investment can stand the test of time. 

Furniture designer Franco Crea standing next to his Ekta shelf smiling in his Melbourne showroom
Furniture designer Franco Crea crouching next to his solid wood table measuring the table in his Adelaide workshop Furniture designer Franco Crea in his Adelaide workshop installing the tan leather chair back to his Mila Chair

Do you know their journey?

Does the designer have a specific design language and aesthetic that is recognisable – what are the foundations of their work and where have they fostered their work geographically. A designer that is true to their aesthetic with a consistent approach to how they design will invariably have a recognisable design style.  As a guide to investing, these designers don’t tend to follow trends, instead, focusing on a strong visual aesthetic and this means their pieces will age gracefully and look fabulous in their environments for decades to come.

What verification comes with their pieces?

When purchasing authentic collectible designs, there are elements to look out for that will help your piece hold value over time. Often the designer will provide a certificate of authenticity that verifies it is a genuine designer piece and not an imitation.  As a designer furniture investment, the certificate of authenticity will correlate to a register that can be cross-checked in decades to come to confirm the originality of the designer furniture piece.  The item itself should be nameplated and can take various forms of a heat stamp, metal plaque or carved inscription.

Collectible design investments

In the same vein as investing in an artist, designers with pieces that have the greatest investment potential are often contemporary designers that may not have caught the attention of the masses yet. Generally, a piece may add value within 5 to 10 years. You may find as you start following the journey of a contemporary designer that the price of their pieces increases from when you first came across them to the time you might decide to invest. They are an investment for the mid to long term to grow over decades and something to cherish and pass down through generations. 

Buying collectible design is like buying the best real estate, jewellery or art. With time, quality and rarity will invariably see an increase in corresponding value.

Discover authentic Australian furniture here

FrancoCrea showrooms

Melbourne studio showroom

259 Swan Street, Richmond, Victoria 3121

Adelaide studio showroom

442 Pulteney Street, Adelaide, South Australia 5000