The other night, I spotted a rare secondhand Featherston Numero IV lounge chair for sale on Instagram. It was a good price, too. Maybe not my dream fabric, but I was sure we’d eventually get along and make a happy life together. I deliberated some more — and just as I finished envisioning the decades I’d spend sitting on it draped in dappled light while reading novels in increments of 10 minutes followed by a five minute nap, there was a comment underneath the lounge. It said: SOLD.
In the fast-paced world Instagram’s secondhand furniture sellers that’s how fast things move.
Welcome to the world of vintage-insta shopping, where sellers curate hugely desirable grids filled with vintage designer pieces and rare objects that they’ve spent hours sourcing — so we don’t have to.
“I think people like the curation because most people don’t have the time to source themselves, so if they like the brand and trust the curations it’s a much easier way to shop,” says Pip Newell, who founded Curated Spaces in 2017.
Pip started selling secondhand pieces in Facebook groups and then on Facebook marketplace before moving to Instagram, a platform that gave her more creative control of how she sold her pieces.
Today, Curated Spaces’ Instagram page has close to 100,000 followers – and it’s just one of many pages catering to Millennials’ seemingly insatiable appetite for rattan furniture, mid-century finds, pleated lampshades and one-of-a-kind homewares objects.
“Before the rise of vintage furniture shopping and small businesses selling it, you had limited choices: you either shopped for furniture at big commercial stores or you had the fine, very expensive furniture stores,” Pip says.
“I think we sit in-between, which is why our stores have become popular.”
Similarly, Steph Lane and Holly Thompson, who run Goodspace (33.9k followers), believe their customers are attracted to buying high quality second hand via Instagram because it offers them convenience and accessibility, as well as sustainable buying practices.
‘Rather than it being this tight-knit community of people that can afford and have access to designer pieces, now more people can have these beautiful things in their homes, you just get on Instagram and scroll,’ says Steph.
‘Buying high-quality second hand is also sustainable because you can buy it and move it on without it ending up in landfill,’ adds Holly.
Pip, based on the Sunshine Coast, works alongside 20 selling-partners across Australia to find rare, unique pieces, while Steph and Holly, in Melbourne, source the majority of pieces as a duo.
All three sellers describe the sourcing process as both exhilarating and relentless, scouring online and offline marketplaces, using a network of suppliers and even receiving tip-offs from grandparents downsizing the family home.
‘It’s necessary to always be on the lookout or you’ll miss out,” says Steph. “When we first started there was a bit of trial and error, but now we’re pretty fast decision makers and know what’s going to work for our brand.”
Right now, Steph and Holly are leaning towards “furniture, especially sofas and chairs, that bring some sort of character to the room with unique shapes and colours”.
They’ve observed a slow move away from the crisp, white, minimal look that’s been in demand for the last few years. If they find something with good bones but tired fabric, they don’t dismiss the item, either.
“We get lots of stuff reupholstered and think how can we take this and use it in a contemporary space, while honouring where it came from,” explains Holly.
The circular lifespan of secondhand furniture also appeals to buyers.
‘There’s this confidence with vintage furniture that it’s already had its time before and it’s having its time again — it’s stylish and not just about trends,’ notes Pip, who’s seen a demand this year for more tactile, handmade timber pieces compared to last year’s fascination with marble everything.
Insta-vintage interiors pages to follow:
One of Australia’s biggest Instagram homewares accounts, with pieces carefully selected by Pip Newell.
An Insta-store selling homewares and furniture selected by Steph Lane and Holly Thompson
Love mid-century Italian pieces? Piazza Piazza is the Instagram page for you.
Fashion stylist Dee Jenner offers small vintage treasures , from teacups to glassware.
Sydney vintage dealer selling everything from chairs to glassware, and also offers consignment.
Stylish vintage finds presented in chic, minimalist photographs on their Instagram page.
Vintage and secondhand homeware and clothing influenced by the “earthy ’70s” and “’90s-inspired nostalgia”.
An up-and-coming Melbourne vintage dealer. Great for rattan lovers and anyone with an eye for mid-century chairs.