There are many reasons to love antiques. They bring their decades, or even centuries, of history into your home. Antiques are also hand-made with high-quality craftsmanship and built to last.
That said, I’ve talked to many homeowners who are concerned that their antiques will date their homes. To these people, I would make the following recommendations:
Use fresh, modern colors for your wall colors and fabrics. Rooms are increasingly becoming simple, light, and airy, so choosing light wall colors and area rugs is a good idea. Right now, touches of gold are also popular in contemporary homes.
Use fewer antiques. I generally recommend five antiques per room. For a trendy look, try displaying your antique accessories on Lucite bases.
Instead of using all brown wood furniture, add in painted pieces, lacquered pieces, and pieces with a tiny bit of antiquing over their paint.
Dark, heavy draperies are out. Nowadays, my firm uses light draperies with trim, even in traditional homes.
Now is the time to update your antique lamps with new shades. Right now, it’s popular to use patterned shades with a touch of trim. I also recommend mixing in some modern lamps with your antique lamps.
Putting up a few modern art pieces in a room with antiques is a great way to give your room a contemporary edge.
Remember that you don’t always have to have a rug in the room. Lately, I don’t like to use rugs in dining rooms. Also, dark rugs and colorful oriental rugs are outdated. Roll up your older rugs for now and replace them with sisal rugs, which are popular for their textural quality, or muted oriental rugs.
My firm will often take our clients’ antique chairs and reupholster them in a modern fabric. However, if you don’t want to reupholster a chair, consider using a charming slipcover instead.
Even if contemporary and transitional interior designs are all the rage, antiques add just as much charm to a room today as ever. An experienced designer will know how to incorporate your best antiques into a room while appealing to modern-day design trends.
Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be able to bring out the best of your prized collections.
Margaret Chambers, a registered interior designer (RID) and member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), leads Chambers Interiors and Associates. Her colleague Caitlin Crowley helped edit this column. Find more design advice at chambersinteriors.com/blog.