Posted on October 15 2017
Who doesn't love antiques? Whether you are hitting the road like The American Pickers or purchasing online, there is a beautiful feeling about owning a piece of history.
But how to add them to your home? Which ones to buy? How much to spend?
It's not as difficult as you think, and quite a lot of fun. Collecting antiques and buying a piece or two are very different endeavours. If you are a collector, you probably don't need to read this as you are most likely well on your way to another auction. However, for the average home owner who wants to spruce up a space, a piece or two will certainly be a point of conversation.
Here are some tips.
$$ OR $$$$$$$$
This is up to you and your budget. If you are just starting your search, keep it reasonable as buyer beware - not all antiques are created equally. There are many reproductions out there that are very convincing. Make sure you are not buying a reproduction and paying a high price for it thinking it's antique. Not that reproductions are bad! They are great actually, but be sure you know it's not antique.
This is a reproduction storage cabinet we carry in the store. It has a distressed, old finish on the painted wood, but is NOT antique. The price tag is also reasonable as a true antique would be several hundreds of dollars.
Technically speaking, antiques are supposed to be 100 years old or more. There are many terms for items that are 'younger'. Retro and vintage are most often used today, but they may only cover items 20 years old.
Scouting grandma's home may be your first line of attack. Don't be afraid to ask for that wonderful table or hutch you have looked at your whole life! We recently snagged my late granny's Singer sewing machine. Having admired it since I was a child, it needed a little cleaning and as you can see below - turned out fabulous. We removed the cover lid and displayed the beautiful machine - the cover lid would not have fit in this space as it folds out to the left and would have blocked the left doorway. We simply asked my aunt for it and she was happy to get rid of it! Since it was sitting in her basement covered up and not being admired, it came to a good home.
MIX ANTIQUES WITH MODERN
Yes it sounds like an oxymoron, but nothing could be more modern than mixing an antique into your decor. Even if it's an antique reproduction, the juxtaposition is unmistakably beautiful. Like this antique style desk with uber modern chair and lamp. How fab!
DON'T GO CRAZY!
Unless you are an avid collector and have a lot of space, don't go berserk with your antique shopping. (Although it's easy to fall into this trap, believe me, I've been there). A tasteful few pieces should suffice, as you don't suddenly want to look like a dusty attic or storefront.
We have a tendency to think of dark attics and basements when it comes to antiques. Adding them to your decor does not have to come with the heaviness and dustiness we think of. Keep walls and main areas light, (white walls, clean lighting) and throw in an antique. It will remain fresh and light.
By the way, we have that side table candelabra in store here:
FALL IN LOVE
Buy the piece you fall in love with! It may take awhile to find it, but will be worth the wait. If you are purchasing a true antique, there is always room to bargain with the proprietor of the store - don't be shy about asking for a better price. I've never known an antique dealer who does not negotiate.