How To Incorporate Antique Decor In Your Home

One of the most sustainable ways to decorate your home is with antiques. Wondering how to incorporate antique decor in your home? Not sure where to find the best antiques? Read on!

By Chere Di Boscio

Antiques are popular again due to not only their longevity and durability, but also their sustainability.  But where can you find them? And how can you make them work in your home?

These are just some of the questions we asked antiques expert Mark Hill. But we learned a lot more from him, too! For example, he tells us:

• The majority of people believe antiques will always be in fashion

• Art deco was named the UK’s favourite style of antique decor

• Original artwork or antiques in your home are considered a status symbol in Britain

• Antiques can be a great investment

That’s all great, but how can we make antiques look great in our homes? Read on to find out this, and more antique decor tips!


Expert Advice On Incorporating Antique Decor In Your Home

how to incorporate antique decor into your home

What’s the actual definition of antique furniture?

Many people own a selection of vintage possessions and antiques possibly without being aware of it. An antique is, technically, an object that is at least 100 years old. This could be a large piece of furniture or a minute work of art.  However, antiques fairs usually have more recent works such as design from the 1950s – 1970s.

Which other kinds of antiques are most sought after?

Some of the most popular and sought after pieces include 1930s Art Deco cocktail cabinets and 1970s iconic chaise lounges by designer Oscar Niemeyer. They are as valued by collectors and designers as an 18th century Windsor Chair or traditional chest of drawers. They also have a high resale value.

Antique artworks and statues never look ‘old’ and are therefore in demand. These also resell for good prices.

Why do you think antiques are still so popular?

Antiques retain popularity for several reasons, but mainly their qualities of longevity and sustainability. Research has found that as a nation we are truly antique lovers. Evidently it is their sustainable nature and perennial style which has kept them in high fashion.

In fact, figures show that 62% of people say that antiques look good in their home, no matter how long they’ve been there. And the majority (72%) see antique furniture as always in fashion. More than half (58%) believe they make a fantastic long-term investment and are good for our environment too with their sustainable credentials.

Also, solid wood furniture, which antiques are, can be restored again and again giving it a life-span of hundreds of years.

How can people best incorporate antiques into modern decor?

Luckily, antique possessions are usually quite easy to work into decorative schemes, since they are often one-off items like odd chairs and occasional tables, or decorative objects and works of art.

When you’re choosing your next piece of antique decor, first, be mindful of the space you have. If you do fall in love with a large piece, make sure you measure it carefully and carry out an access check to ensure you can get it into your home. Counter-intuitively, large pieces can sometimes make a small room look larger if used in the right way.

Once you’ve assured yourself that a piece will fit within a room, there are a few things you can do to keep the interiors interesting. If you’re curating your own existing possessions, there is nothing in the rulebook that says you have to have everything in the same place all the time. Move things around, and you’ll find that different pieces work with different colour schemes. Making new combinations will keep everything looking fresh.

What are your top tips for incorporating antique decor into a room?

  • Look for objects in materials and colours that work with your schemes.
  • It can be a good idea to carry a small wallet containing tiny cuttings of your paints and fabrics, as well as a measuring tape which can be indispensable when purchasing larger pieces.
  • Interior designers sometimes use antiques to contrast a colour or pattern scheme, as well as fit into it. They also know that mixing old and new pieces together prevents a house from looking like a hotel. It also gives it texture and soul as well as true individuality.
  • I’d recommend not overdoing antique decor from one particular era. That might make your house look more like a museum than a home!
  • Try incorporating small pieces, like paintings and chandeliers, until you learn more about how to incorporate antique decor into your home,

Where are the best places to hunt for antiques?

It may be the case that you have had a mass of older pieces passed down to you from older generations. Those not only have historical value, but sentimental value, too.

However, chances are some of the antiques you may have inherited feel outdated, don’t fit in your rooms or don’t work with your particular look. Because of this, it is important you know some good spots to hunt around for great antique pieces that fit your decor.

In this regard, it would be well worth taking a trip to estate auctions. A quick Google search should find some upcoming ones near you. Alternatively, there are antique fairs all over the country. One of the best is the Winter Art & Antique Fair Olympia in London. At fairs, you will be presented with a vast collection of the finest specialist dealers. They all offer a wide choice of high-quality, vetted art and antiques spanning centuries.

Some of the best auctions and fairs are in Europe, of course. Mainly due to the long histories of the countries.

Finally, how can you tell if a piece of antique decor is the real thing?

Real antiques hunters will know what to look for in terms of materials and details. But if buying antiques is quite new to you, go to fairs and auctions, not shops. Every piece for sale will have been ‘vetted’ before selling. This means that experts have checked it to ensure quality and authenticity. That being said, some sellers do offer certificates of authenticity.

If you wish to seek out some more information about the brilliant sustainability and longevity of antiques, and wish to grasp some more knowledge on how to best display them in your home, the Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia is running from the 1st to the 6th of November, with a Private Preview on 31st October.

Chere Di Boscio
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