Antique furniture in traditional interior design
While several of my recent projects have had a more modern design aesthetic and I have been posting some more contemporary furniture, textiles and designs in my blog, and on facebook and pinterest, I also still love my other style of work which is Traditional design. I have designed many, many projects over the years featuring antiques and antique reproduction furniture, as well as projects that utilize a mix of modern and antique furniture.
One of the wonderful things about interior design today is the wealth of options in furniture styles and the ability to choose from both new and old styles to craft a look that is uniquely ones own. One look is incorporating antique furniture and classical design details in a space with modern and sophisticated architecture. Some of the best modern furniture references 18th century shapes and silhouettes, which have a classic timeless quality. Another idea is to layer historical elements into an interior to give it depth of character and a very special charm all its own. The use of antique furniture and vintage furnishings can give a room a collected feel. Antiques are valuable not only for their classical appearance, but also for the history and the memories ingrained in every piece. I’m often privileged to include items – furniture, accessories, artwork, that tell my client’s unique family story.
One problem that can occur when decorating with antiques, if not utilized properly, is a heavy old-fashioned look. There’s a difference between paying homage to tradition and a dining room looking like it was imported straight from 1803! Create the right balance, give an antique piece of furniture a modern twist, spruce it up with bright colors or find a creative new use for it.
Antiques can be an excellent addition to a room and help create a home that feels both classic yet elegant and modern. Add a large antique to a more modern setting and make it a centerpiece. An antique cabinet, bookcase or table will be an attention-grabber in any setting, but it doesn’t need to compete with other furnishings.
The most challenging part of decorating with antiques is integrating them with the rest of a home. Keep things simple to avoid clashing styles. Use key details from the antique to tie back to the rest of the room. For example, if a piece has a dark wood stain, other furniture in the room with a matching or similar finish will call back to it discretely. Color and upholstery can also be used to tie an older piece into a room full of newer ones.
Antiques can be a subtle background decoration or the focal point of an entire room, but without good interior design they can just as easily become forgettable or even worse, distracting. If you plan ahead and integrate antique furniture into the interior design thoughtfully it can easily fit in with any style home furnishings and decor. This is one of my favorite things to do…let me know if you need some design assistance to integrate your cherished antiques into an updated room or home.