Buying antiques for your home can be a fantastic way to add intrigue to your interiors, but it isn’t always easy to get started in this esoteric world. Here’s how to introduce antiques into your home for the best results.
Focus on Functionality
While buying antiques for purely decorative and aesthetic purposes is completely fine, it isn’t always the best approach when first experimenting with older pieces in your home. Although it might seem counterintuitive, introducing a single large antique piece can often be more successful than purchasing smaller, less purposeful pieces for decoration.
A beautiful old table or antique chest of drawers can make a bold visual statement in an otherwise modern space due to the appearance and functionality, whereas small decorative antiques can seem unintentional or unconfident. If you know that you will use the piece, it will be more worthwhile in your home.
Choose Your Level of Commitment
The key to any kind of successful interior design is to strike a visual balance within your space. With antiques, this balance could mean only incorporating a single statement vintage piece surrounded by understated contemporary items to highlight its unique qualities. It could also mean carefully selecting a range of antiques that complement each other well.
Prioritize deciding your approach at the beginning so that the final interior doesn’t appear haphazard or accidental. Throwing an antique piece into an already mismatched room won’t necessarily save it; so the point is to be intentional with your choices.
Preserve Your Antiques Properly
Keeping any vintage and antique items in their best condition is essential, not only to keep your interiors looking excellent but also to preserve their value. In some cases, your antique belongings can be more than just attractive additions to your home—they can also be wise investments.
Take a look at some of the most expensive Antiques Roadshow items to see how valuable certain objects can be when properly cared for and valued by an expert. Take the time to research how to care for your antiques, as different materials such as fabric, wood, metal, or glass must be maintained according to their specific needs.
Don’t risk ruining your precious vintage objects by cleaning them with the wrong products or keeping them in the wrong environment. Factors such as light exposure, humidity, and chemical contact must be considered.
Avoid Excessive Upcycling
It can be tempting to paint or reupholster antique furniture to bring it back to life. Be cautious with upcycling as this can often strip the original charm from the piece. Unless you already possess the requisite skills, it’s usually wisest to contact an expert in antique restoration—or stick to basic improvements.
Respond to the Architecture of the Space
Even if you live in a newly built home, you shouldn’t feel excluded from using antiques in your decor and furnishing. Living in a Victorian building may make it easier to include authentic Victorian pieces but that doesn’t mean those same antiques would look wrong in a well-styled contemporary home. Consider color, function, shape, and size when selecting antique pieces to complement a space—no matter the period in which your home was built.
Hopefully this guide has helped you gain confidence in choosing your own antique pieces to add depth to your home.