Things HGTV's Jasmine Roth Says You Should Never Buy Vintage

HGTV's Jasmine Roth is a lover of vintage items, which she often uses in both her own home and in her designs, including a stash of as-yet unused treasures she keeps in her warehouse for future projects. Vintage and antiques can, according to Roth, be a great well to instill a sense of the past and storytelling in any space. Her love of the aged and lived-in translates into usable and comfortable spaces that avoid feeling too perfect, untouchable, and new.

There are, however, a few things amongst vintage finds that Roth says she would avoid purchasing, including many fabric and upholstered items whose age and wear may be a strike against them. This includes mattresses, sheets, and comforters, as well as upholstered and high-use items like sofas and couches. Often these items present cleaning challenges that may have you second-guessing the purchase of a beautiful antique pillowcase or French antique feather bed.

Roth's vntage no-nos

Jasmine Roth's avoidance of upholstered and fabric pieces, particularly bedding, may indicate a wariness of both dirt and pests like moths and bedbugs, which are far more likely in these items than wood or metal treasures that can be more thoroughly cleaned. In addition, these softer items are often in worse shape than other vintage and antiques, subject to wearing like fraying, ripping, and unraveling that comes with age. Laundering does not always remove dirt, allergens, and stains entirely. This is particularly important to keep in mind if you will be using them in a highly touchable area like where you will be sleeping.

Mattresses and sofas, while they may look pristine, can often be worn down inside with broken and crushed springs, particularly if they have endured decades of use. While a quick treatment with a vacuum or professional cleaner can make these items look fresh and new at first glance, often the framework shows their age, which can affect comfort and long-term future use.

Buying vintage upholstered and fabric items

If you spot a vintage item of this variety, however,  and can't quite resist purchasing it, you may want to examine it more carefully than you might other items you want to bring into your home, including for evidence of bedbugs and moths, which can be done by carefully examining seams or looking for small holes where moth larvae have been munching. This is true of any fabric or upholstered item, including tea towels, tablecloths, or throw pillows. Also examine for any stains, fraying, or tears, as well as brittleness to the old fabric that may cause problems later.

Mattresses are usually a bad bet for purchasing second-hand for hygienic reasons, but if you spot a gorgeous sofa or couch and have to have it, make sure it undergoes a thorough inspection and cleaning prior to bringing it inside. If the upholstery is worn, but the sofa is in good shape otherwise, it's often a good investment to cover the original frame with new stuffing and exterior fabric for a fresh new start. For fabric items like vintage linens or bedding, make sure to thoroughly wash them with the hottest water setting before use, ideally as soon as you bring them home, which will likely ensure they are clean and pest-free.