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Antiques in the home

How to Select the Right Antiques

12th June 2019

No doubt you already know how antiques can add a real touch of elegance and class to any space. So we’ve together put this handy guide to help you to make the right choices for your home or workspace.

How to Select the Right Antiques for the Home

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Selecting antiques for the home is different to purchasing for an office or business. It sounds trite, but  we cannot emphasise enough the importance of buying what you like when it comes to buying antiques for your own home.

Those new to the world of antiques, sometimes make the mistake of buying for investment, or getting caught up in what they perceive to be a good deal without asking themselves, do I really like this? And how will it fit within my home? Focusing instead on whether it is on trend, or a good investment.

This is often a huge mistake. Instead it is far better to buy something because you love it. If you love it, you are likely to keep it for longer, and therefore maximise its value as an investment anyway.

And as trends come and go, you therefore stand a higher chance of being able to sell it when there is a fashion for that item. If you can bare to part with it that is! You are also more likely to treasure it and care for it well.

Also, the purchase of genuine and high quality antiques should represent a sound investment, regardless of trends anyway. So why not buy what you like anyway?

So the next thing to consider is how the piece will fit in your space. Equally it is easy to get caught up in loving a piece without giving enough consideration to this.

To avoid making mistakes, when you have a particular space or wall in mind, bring measurements, and a friend or family member along for a second opinion.

When the piece you plan to buy is larger, for example a larger wardrobe, be sure to measure not only the space it is intended for, but the doorways and narrower corridors in the home, on the way to it’s destination.

Bringing along a photograph of the space can help too. Not only will it allow you to imagine how the piece will look in situ, but you will be able to consider how the piece will blend colour wise, as subtle differences in the tones of woods, gilds and finishes, can really play a fundamental part in designing a space.

Or perhaps a photograph might allow you to consider how you might re-design a space, or colour theme, around your purchase. Building a room around an antique centre piece can be great approach to designing your interiors with antiques.

Selecting antiques for your home by era can work well to. Having one or two pieces from the era that your home was built in, or in which the interior mouldings were added, can create a lovely sense of connection. In the more modern building, using contemporary pieces, but mixing and matching with antiques, can create an earthy and  grounding connection to times gone by.

On the subject of connection, when decorating with antiques, make sure to build connections throughout the space. This could be via complementary colour schemes and fittings, or the use of items from a similar era, or of the same colour, in different parts of the home.

For example the use of an arts and crafts side board downstairs could blend well with an arts and crafts wardrobe upstairs, or a wardrobe in a complimentary folk art style and of similar wood or hue.

These little considerations are subtle, but can help the space to feel warm, cohesive, well balanced and inviting.

Finally when choosing antiques for a smaller space, sometimes choosing one or two signature pieces really pays off, as can selecting physically smaller items such as a mirrors, clocks or console tables.

How to Select the Right Antiques for Your Office

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With a growing taste for individualism in how we work, the new fashion for mixing old and new and quirky eclecticism, is by no means limited to the home.

The the rise in shared work space, and a move away from homogenous office design, has led to an increase in the use of antique and vintage furniture in office decor and design, beyond just the bosses office.

The way we work is changing; and how we create the spaces that we work within reflects that. But it’s a question of balancing design aesthetics with practicality and functionality.

Antiques can really set off a mix and match, quirky, trendy office space, and are far more likely to stand the test of time than the latest faddy item.

However when equipping you office with fine antiques, make sure that the right items are used in the right places. For example a more delicate antique desk, which is a fantastic investment that will stand the test of time, might be better suited to an individuals office or work space, rather than a fast paced hot desk environment or canteen.

A number of modern offices contain a lot of glass and light. Antiques can blend perfectly in such a space, lending balance to the modernity. But be sure to check the light sensitivity of an antique item, and be sure to avoid positioning it in a place where uneven fading/marking might occur, such as within the shadow of slatted blinds.

When it comes to more open plan office spaces, choose antique items that are less likely to receive a lot of wear and tear. Such as mirrors, clocks and cabinets, bureaus and larger storage items, which store items that don’t need to be accessed as often. Archives for example.

Then for the furniture that will receive greater wear and tear, such as canteen desks and filing cabinets, why not mix and match with vintage, contemporary and up-cycled . (See the filing cabinet and table projects in our excellent Up Cycling Article for inspiration).

We hope this gives you some fresh ideas, approaches and food for thought. Be sure to come back for our July article which will look at how to select antiques for your garden, and how to seamlessly blend your indoor and outdoor space with antiques.

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