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Design Concierge

Your guide for buying designer furniture

family home with four American oak chairs around a designer dining table with corian table top and polished mirror detail

Furniture as an investment

A guide to designer furniture.

An authentic piece of furniture has a special, considered and beautiful quality that can instantly transform a home.  It has the ability to lift the spirit of any space but also the ability to 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 designer furniture as an investment previously left to the elite few.  

With the increasing advent of savvy resellers collecting up heirlooms for refurbishment and resale, an indicator of what’s becoming more apparent, designer furniture for homes has potential for investment returns. While it may command a pretty penny initially, collectable 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 Franco's design story here

Do you know who the actual designer is?

As a guide to luxury furniture styles 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 journey 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?

Do they 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 high-end furniture guide, these designers don’t tend to follow trends, instead, focusing on a strong visual aesthetic and this means they will age gracefully and look fabulous in their environments for decades to come.

Recessed name plate crafted into the solid wood leg of FrancoCrea's Mena armchair in soft supple leather

What verification comes with their pieces?

When purchasing authentic collectable 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 luxury designer furniture guide, 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.

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

Guide to designer furniture styling as an investment

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 yet received the recognition they deserve.  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 collectable design is like buying the best real estate, jewellery or art. With time, quality and rarity will invariably see an increase in corresponding value.

Investment Tips

  1. 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 a piece to be admired but used and enjoyed every day.

  2. 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 coffee table and side table grouping.  As a designer furniture styles guide, it is very favourable when a set can be verified from the same production run.

  3. Avoid getting caught up with trends and think of the investment as an heirloom. Consider styles of designer furniture that will stand the test of time for the next generation to enjoy equally in their homes.

  4. Establish if the piece is mass-produced or crafted individually to give you an indication of its rarity.

  5. Consider the quality and what innovative materials are being used along with the designer’s history and journey.  Ensure it’s an original and can be verified with a certificate of authenticity and that it’s not an imitation.

FrancoCrea showrooms

Melbourne showroom

259 Swan Street, Richmond, Victoria 3121

Adelaide showroom

442 Pulteney Street, Adelaide, South Australia 5000

Discover Franco's design story here