Design experts pick 10 savvy interior purchases that won’t lose value
As the cost of living crisis rages and people look for new ways to cut spending, the idea of splurging on a piece of art or furniture might seem like overkill.
Often involving a high initial outlay, investment purchases involve avoiding mass-produced and fragile goods and instead seeking housewares from collectible manufacturers, fabulous quality vintage pieces and works from up-and-coming designers.
An original will invariably cost more than a production copy, but its value should hold steady, if not increase.
If you get bored of the part, you can sell it and buy a replacement – a win for long-lasting purchases.
Here, 10 of London’s top designers share their advice on how to invest in your home.
1. Margit Wittig candlesticks
Recommended by: Natalie Tredgett
Why: “I’m looking for artistic products, manufactured and non-manufactured items,” Natalie said. “I love knowing who designed the coins and learning a bit more about their craft. It’s supportive, meaningful and fun to collect.
Where and how much: From £110 by Margit Wittig. His work is also resold on 1stdibs.
2. Knoll ‘Tulip’ Marble Side Table by Eero Saarinen
Recommended by: Russell Whitehead, studio 2LG
Why: “A 1940s design classic that fits into many home styles,” said Russell. “They’ve already proven themselves the test of time, standing up against trendier pieces.”
Where and how much? From £831 new or browse vintage sites like Vinterior for pre-loved versions.
3. A Gaetano Sciolari chandelier
Recommended by: Emilie Fournet
Why: Angelo Gaetano Sciolari was a mid-century Italian lighting designer, and Fournet believes his “timeless and classic” brand of lighting will never go out of style.
“It can blend into different contexts; lighting pieces like Sciolari lamps can create a room and bring personality to a space, she said.
Where and how much? “I bought a pair for a client before, which was £2000 from Vinterior,” says Emilie, “You can find similar products on Pamono and 1stdibs from £1000 depending on the model.”
4. Senufo stool, hand carved in Ivory Coast
Recommended by: Emily Potter Studio Day Trip
Why: “Distressed wood adds warmth and character to a room,” says Emily. “A small stool can be used in many different ways, turning into a side table or a plinth, so it can move around the house as life changes.”
Where and how much: Stocked by Botanical Boys, £525, or buy something used from around £300.
5. A Contemporary Windsor Chair by Hope Springs
Recommended by: Bethan Southall, Interior Designer, Waldo Works
Why: “The Windsor chair is a classic form that has stood the test of time,” says Southall. “These contemporary interpretations are relevant to our homes while retaining the craftsmanship and essential forms of the originals.”
Where and how much: Chairs available from Hope Springs Chairs, priced around £950.
6. Antique French Cabinet
Recommended by: Sarah Ward, co-founder of Ward & Co
Why: “A French armoire is one of my favorite pieces of furniture and holds its value well,” says Sarah. “The fact that it is old gives it longevity and allows the imagination.
“The most important thing is that it’s not going to get lost.”
Where and how much: Sarah bought her own French cabinet from Lots Road Auctions. She recommends budgeting around £800 for the wardrobe itself with repairs to the top – she had her silk wardrobe lined.
7. Tom Dixon ‘Wingback’ Armchair
Recommended by: Jordan Cluroe, Studio 2LG
Why: “A contemporary take on a very classic design,” says Jordan. “Smaller than its traditional counterpart, its footprint is perfect for modern living. Beautiful and comfortable.
Where and how much? Prices start at £2,100 for a mini wingback.
8. Maison Bagues Table Lamp
Recommended by: Suzy Without Hood
Why: This French company has been producing luxury lighting since 1840 and still exists today. Suzy recently bought a table lamp from antique shop Tarquin Bilgen on Pimlico Road.
“It’s a wonderful lamp and I know it will last forever,” she says. “As with everything we buy, it’s classic but with a modern twist. Glass and mirror, the base has the shape of a vase from which flowers come out.
where and how much: Suzy’s lamp costs around £2,000 and to find something similar you’ll have to scour antique shops and websites; Etsy is currently offering a vintage Maison Bagues lighting sale starting at around £300.
9. Prints ‘Traces’ by Margreth Hirschmiller-Reindhard
Recommended by: Ed O’Donnell, creative director of Angel O’Donnell
Why: “Artwork can often be a great investment,” says Ed.
“Aquatint copperplate etching takes dozens of hours, often days, to perfect. Rarely practiced, labor-intensive techniques like this are inherently valuable. And in an increasingly digitized art world, the value of such prints can only go up.
Where and how much? £295 from C&B Curates.
10. Damchiya Chest
Recommended by: Sarah Ellison, Frank and Faber
Why: When decorating the rooms at trendy Somerset boutique hotel Number One Bruton, Emma opted for a mix of vintage and antique pieces. “They have a character that just isn’t possible when everything is brand new,” she says. Emma chose an old Damchiya chest – or dowry – for a room.
“They have a timeless quality and hold their value, meaning they could be resold down the line, should tastes or requirements change,” she said.
where and how much: Emma’s breast was from 1stdibs and cost ‘under £4,000’. She also recommends antique fairs in Kempton or Ardingly to find similar sources, or to hunt down eBay and Etsy.