Decorating with Antiques will add character, personality and unique elements causing an eclectic theme if mixed with modern or contemporary pieces. With a few antiques or vintage pieces, you create that Wow-factor as well as a warm, inviting and well-designed home or outdoor space.
1. Mix it up and Don't be Afraid to Experiment
Antiques and vintage* have the power to keep a room from feeling too strict, helping a room to figurative draw outside the line with bold colors, unique designs and a bit of whimsy in your personal retreat. Antiques are meant to enliven a space with context and history, not to create a museum with velvet ropes.
*Antiques are generally categorized to be objects aged 100 years or more, while anything older than 20 years is considered vintage.
2. Consider Reupholstering & Repurposing
Take an old piece and make it new again with a coat of paint, stain or chalk paint, new hardware, new fabric upholstery. You can use a funky print fabric or a beautiful antique fabric to add new texture and personality. Repurposing new with old or old with new both really work well. You can also repurpose by take a storage trunk and using it as a coffee table, an old trophy as a vase or utensil caddy, stack old luggage cases for a unique end table, a vintage medical cabinet into functional bathroom storage for towels, a china cabinet into a unique book case, dough bowls as dining table display for dried flowers or other decorative pieces, etc.
3. Use Vintage / Antiques as Accent Pieces
Antique furniture does not always need to be the centerpiece of the room but can instead add more subtle character in the form of accent tables, accessories, and rugs. Even smaller items can make an impact in your room, whether a vase, side table or a lamp. These little details will make your home feel as if it has organically come together over time. Use caution to avoid cluttering with too many vintage pieces, otherwise you could make it look outdated or messy. Choose a few special pieces that have special meaning to you as accents throughout your home.
4. Don't Judge Reproductions
Reproductions can get a bad rap but often designers and homeowners focus on how the piece makes you feel and how well it blends into the room rather than when exactly it was made. Good furniture design has achieved many iterations through the decades, and each remake contributes a new layer of history to a particular design. A reproduction can still embrace history without compromising quality, and still giving you the desired look.
5. Take your Home's Architecture into Account
When decorating with antique pieces, it’s important to respect the architectural design of your house. Some houses are well-suited for vintage and antique pieces while other may be better suited for vintage and modern. While the type of home you have can provide inspiration to your interior design style, don’t let it dictate completely your personality, character and preferences. Appraise the space and determine if there’s a way your preferences and your canvas can co-exist and come together for a unique style that does not clash with your home.
6. Use Neutral Color so to Show off your Antiques
Using neutral colors can offset the aged look of your vintage or antique items. Use linens, wall and drapery colors in whites, gray or beige tones to create contrast and balance the look of your home. You could also paint other furniture in your room a neutral color so that everything doesn’t stand out as much because it’s all vintage.
7. Decorate with Primitives and Folk Art
The recent trend to bring simple objects into our homes and decorate with folk art has never been stronger. Primitives are honest and unpretentious objects, made by untrained artisans, mostly for utilitarian purposes. They have not only the patina of age but also a sculptural presence, and tell the story of simplicity, handmade quality and simplicity in functionality. Group primitive pieces together in an informal art display. Group by type, size or color or material. Repurpose a primitive piece as a storage or display piece, whether a bowl, basket or furniture. You might add a quirky primitive touch when you replace a traditional pantry door with a vintage screen door.
8. Layering Older Pieces with New Design
To create a blended organic theme to the room, layering antiques with contemporary pieces will create a symmetrical style, where your guests won’t be able to tell what’s new and what’s old. Mix vintage chintz armchairs with a new ottoman covered in vintage fabric, take a new seagrass or jute rug with antique elements in the room, a contemporary resin dining table with an antique console or buffet. Have fun with it … arrange, experiment, rearrange and revise until it feels right.
9. Start a Collection
Collecting no longer makes you a hoarder, but if you do have a collection … showcase it! Whether its a collection of pottery, textiles, art, books, china, primitives, metal tins, milk glass, copper utensils and cookware, show it off in a vintage or contemporary book case, custom made shelves, table top or curio cabinet, collections make wonderful displays and conversation pieces for your guests.
10. Shop Athens Schoolhouse Antiques Monthly Show
Our show features a large variety of Unique Collection of Curiosities for your Home & Garden. Find a large variety of vintage dishes, flatware, glasses, artwork, furniture and decor to spruce up your entertaining space. Our inventory changes each month, as our40+ vendors come between shows to restock their spaces with their latest finds and acquisitions. Our monthly show features a unique collection of curiosities for your Home & Garden. The unique pieces at Athens Schoolhouse Antiques Show become interesting decorating opportunities when you put your imagination to work. Repurpose antiques, collectibles and architectural salvage for one-of-a-kind decor.