Chances are, you grew up with at least a few pieces of antique furniture. Maybe it was that oak bar your father polished to perfection, or the entryway bench that withstood backpacks and shoes. Whatever the piece, you remember it well — you probably still have it.
Value of antiques, however, has not kept up with the furniture's sturdy make or longevity. The culprit? IKEA, says BBC Antiques Roadshow expert . Today's generation isn't buying the furniture of the past, the kind that's built to last, opting instead for the ubiquitous IKEA catalog. Looks like IKEA might be more than just a .
Miller co-wrote the antiquer's bible, , in 1979 and is saddened by the shift to disposable furniture, which is oftentimes made from medium-density fireboard (a.k.a., fake wood). "You look at any of the solid wood and it will be around forever," she told the .
Antiques, the furniture that is forever, have been squandered by the Scandinavian powerhouse, claims Miller. Prices for vintage pieces are at their lowest since the 1930s and most buying and selling happens on sites like eBay. Timeless pieces that once sold for thousands of dollars are now bringing in only a few hundred.
The global fascination with IKEA — a company that operates 392 stores across 48 countries — could be a result of more fast-paced lifestyles or even a lack of interest in interiors. "In some ways it's laziness, in some ways it's because we're quite busy, but I think it's also people feeling that they don't know what to buy," explained Miller.
It happens. Not sure what you love, but need a couch? The responsible instinct is to go to the mega store on a budget and bring home a piece that won't be too hard to part with when something better rolls along. Plus, IKEA isn't so shabby, . "Ikea has very good style," admitted Miller, who owns one of the retailer's bookcase. "IKEA has definitely affected the tastes of younger buyers, without doubt."
Regardless of your taste, Miller has a point when it comes to antiques and the environment. Buying cheap pieces you don't love (that will most-likely conk out within a few years) means you're probably going to be giving them the curb at some point. "We should be more responsible now and antiques are green," she told the . "We have to get away from the disposable age."