Popcorn ceilings, open floor plans, gold fixtures, shag rugs, shiplap, chevron—each decade has some form of home decorating cliches. No matter how stylish they look today, each bold choice is bound to become old in the future.
Trends may come and go, but remember that classic design elements always look appealing. Once a piece of furniture reaches antique status, chances are it will look just as good in 100 years as it does right now. Therefore, a well-decorated room should include a mixture of furniture from both the past and present.
Usually, antiques are handmade from top-tier materials, which is slowly becoming a lost art form. Incorporating them in your interior design will add a priceless touch of charm and craftsmanship. Also, changing the look of an antique as per your preference is as easy as repainting or replacing the hardware.
Although antiques may carry a unique emotional relevance, randomly throwing them up on your wall can make your home look outdated—or even worse, trashy. However, there are several ways you can decorate with antiques to keep your home looking timeless.
In this article, we’ll cover how to perfectly decorate family heirlooms in a way that won’t make your house look haphazard. We’ll also show you how to construct a retro look and choose the most timeless antiques. By the end of it, you’ll have the confidence to tastefully place the old items to accent your room rather than detract from it.
Find Your Favorite Antique Rugs
Wall-to-wall carpet or wood floors? Both options have had their time in the spotlight. Well, no matter which one you prefer, a well-placed area rug is always a good choice. They help to define a space and add color to brighten everything up. But, first things first: You need to identify the rug size that fits your space. You’ll have to be a little flexible since antique rugs don’t always follow the standard sizing.
Next, pinpoint specific types of rugs and determine what you like. As most antique and vintage rugs are made from wool, they are super resilient. However, as with anything that has been around for a while, there’ll be varying degrees of age and distress. So, as long as these factors are consistent, don’t let this scare you off.
But where to find quality antique rugs? Don’t worry. Simply go to an Antique Rug Auction online, and you’ll find rare Antique and Vintage rugs, as well as new decorative carpets—all of which are sold to discerning customers and collectors from all around the world.
Provide a Retro Look to Your Home with Antiques
The most direct approach for decorating a house with antiques is a complete retro style. There are several creative ways you can place old retro pieces.
For instance, imagine a worn suitcase sitting in the corner of your room that adds a traditional travel theme, a classic art that adorns the walls, old centerpieces that highlight your coffee table, and retro floor lamps that add to the vibe. You can also opt for retro patterns (e.g., large, ornate flowers), and throw pillows with vintage designs.
Decorate With the Most Timeless Appeal
A great alternative is to pick a few rare antiques that have the most timeless appearance and include them into a more transitional or modern design. A popular option would be hanging old pictures on the wall or placing them on a beautiful shelf.
Putting old photos in a modern frame can keep family history alive for years or celebrate a past era without overwhelming the entire room design. Antiques that boast a timeless cultural feel to them (e.g., Victorian teacups or oriental ceramics) are best served in a modern-looking curio. As a result, they’re on display in a more updated way.
The Placement of Your Old Items Is Key
You need to place your old items carefully. It is, in fact, one of the most crucial aspects of decorating a home with antiques. There are several potential directions when it comes to placing antiques. A popular option is to make an antique focal point. This way, a room will showcase how a classic image can look like a piece of chic art when it’s large enough.
You can further place antiques in a rather inconspicuous area, such as on a floating shelf. Here, they accent the aesthetic of the room rather than dominate and eventually clash with it. Placing an antique piece on a bookshelf could also work well. For example, when you place it next to a row of books, it won’t stick out as much, and yet remind you of an era you’re fond of.
Make Use of a Vintage or Rustic Craft Project
Another great way to decorate your house with antiques is to go for a deliberately rustic or vintage piece. For example, you could combine cowboy photos with a vintage windowsill creatively. You may also find some vintage shelving to house antiques, then combine them with distressed furniture. In fact, old heirloom furniture can receive a distressed paint job.
It’s also possible to arrange your old items into a shadowbox. You can place this on a table or on the wall. A shadow box may contain all of your home antiques into one intentional rustic display that can fit in with any room design.
The timeless design does not pull from trends—neither is it Avant-grade, fussy, or opulent. It is quietly understated and sophisticated. This style is one that’s designed to be functional, yet not seem boring. It’s subtle, adaptable, and a style that belongs to both its space and environment.
You can place a piece of antique furniture against the wall, under a large piece of contemporary or modern art, and it will still look stunning. It’s about creating a sense of order and balance.
Remember, function is a crucial essence of timeless design.
Many designers suggest investing in antique pieces to give your space a sense of history, which can forever be expanded onto. Although reflective of the past, antique furniture becomes timeless when mixed with other styles and furnishings.
Therefore, consider investing in a few pieces of antique furniture. Any furniture over 100 years old is basically antiques and thereby making them available to all.
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