This One Vintage Piece Is Making an Unexpected Comeback

published Apr 21, 2024
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2 curio cabinets on a graphic colored background
Credit: Left: Esteban Cortez; Right: Olga V Kulakova/Shutterstock

Just like fashion, trends in furniture and home decor come and go — and trends in thrifted furniture are no exception. There are a few vintage pieces that are reemerging with a vengeance this year, including the much-talked-about curio cabinet

A few years ago, curio cabinets seemed set to go out of fashion forever. According to interior designers and vintage experts, however, they’re now the hot-ticket vintage item that have become a secondhand bestseller. Here’s everything you need to know about curio cabinets and how to get your very own. 

Curio Cabinets Are the Must-Have Vintage Find

“To most people, curio cabinets were something only found in your grandmother’s home, filled with never-used wedding china and random knickknacks,” says interior stylist and vintage reseller Andi Jenkins. “But these dated furniture pieces have become popular again, thanks to more modern silhouettes and playful arched tops.” 

If you’re imagining all curio cabinets as enormous pieces of furniture that won’t fit in your apartment or home, you’re not alone — I thought the same. But not all curio cabinets are huge; some are actually perfect for increasing storage in your space. 

“Maximizing living space has become critical to function on a daily basis,” says Taylor Jochim-Smoot, a vintage sourcing expert, design specialist, and founder of Portland Revibe. “Wall-mounted curio cabinets, along with other vertical storage, can help take advantage of unused and highly valuable wall space.”

If you can’t afford to invest in a new curio cabinet or restored vintage piece, don’t worry — furniture-flipping creators on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram are always showcasing fun and fresh ways to reinvent an old, weathered piece with a little bit of TLC. “Advanced DIYers are even arching the tops for a more custom look,” says Jenkins.

Credit: Viv Yapp

Other Returning Vintage Trends

Curio cabinets aren’t the only vintage pieces making a comeback. According to Jochim-Smoot, space-saving furniture from the 1950s to 1970s is also gaining popularity once again. “These convertible pieces, such as the fold-down tables that also stored folding chairs in the middle, could become an entry table or bar cart and were cleverly designed, space-saving ways to provide multiple functions in a space,” she says. 

Jenkins has also noticed an uptick in the demand for pieces with delicate details, like skirted sofas with a feminine flair, spindle legs with round, wood-turned details, and even wall hangings. “Ornate tapestries are a great alternative to large-scale art, filling up a wall and adding texture and old-world charm,” she says. “Even minimalist design enthusiasts are embracing tapestries, using them as that one major statement piece in a more streamlined space.”

Given the resurgence of curio cabinets and these other classic pieces, there’s only one obvious conclusion: If you want to predict the trends of the future, simply look to the past.