How to do antique decor the right way?

Vintage and antique, these two words have an unspoken charm and grace. The association and feeling of nostalgia is one that has power over the human mind. Throwback and look backs to memories and ideas of the past give one a feeling of warmth that is unmatched making it a viable component to interior design, decor and architecture as well. 

Of late, throwbacks in terms of interior and architectural concepts have become a lot more frequent. Moving away from the rules and looks of modern simplicity, people are looking to previous eras and trends for inspiration to refresh their spaces. A lot of interior decor styles from decades ago are making their comebacks, and so are decor and design trends. Antique decor in particular has been receiving a lot of love. 

With the thrifting culture on the rise alongside the call for sustainability, people are seeing beyond the aesthetic charm of antique interior design and decor. Not only do such additions have the potential to tug at your heartstrings with nostalgia, but also help uplift your home with a unique charm. 

As trendy and timeless as it is, antique decor and design is a delicate concept. Overdoing it, not channeling it enough or simply being unable to balance it with the surroundings can make antique decor a liability for your home rather than an asset. It is thus important to do antique decor the right way with due diligence and attention to be able to unleash its true power and beauty. 

Here are some tips to keep in mind when adding antique decor to your homes: 

STRIKE A BALANCE 

 

No matter what kind of design you go for, balance is the most important factor. Balance in terms of interior design specifically is all about ensuring that everything is in the right amount and looks so as to create an overall peaceful and harmonious surrounding. Overlooking, or overdoing certain parts of a design can throw a wrench into the entire look and practicality of a room.

When using antique decor and design in particular, balance is extremely important. There are two different ways to include antique decor in your home, each with its own idea of balance. Firstly, if one wishes to keep their home overall in the modern spectrum of design, then antiques take a different place by uplifting the design. In such a scenario, you need to be careful of the balance between the antiquities and the modern features. Here, picking decor that goes with your overall color scheme as well as range of materials can prove to be particularly helpful.

This way you won't stray too much from your design yet get the old world charm in your home. You can polarize antique decor and design features in subtle ways across the home to mark its presence without making it overpowering. On the other hand, if you wish to go all the way vintage and embrace it as a design concept, achieving balance is a whole different conversation.

Here, the balance has to be struck rather carefully. Mixing up different hues, works and essentially eras can be hard to handle. It is thus helpful here to pinpoint a time frame or a design era for reference to ensure that everything goes together well. Even if you choose to mix and match, paying attention to how everything comes together in a uniform manner can be helpful to create a balanced and beautiful home. 

REIMAGINE THE DECOR 

 

Reimagining your decor is all about creativity. The more you tingle your creative senses, the more unique and different concepts can be created for your home. When utilizing antique decor in a modern home, say bye bye to the conventional role of each piece.

Instead, trying to create a new form out of it without tampering with it too much is rather simple and useful. In such a situation, invest particularly in pieces that you believe can solve a greater purpose than what it is “supposed” to fulfill. For instance, an old carved wooden or metal vase can be reimagined as your bedside lamp or even as a light encasing, becoming the focal point in your room.

You simply add a bulb, or a string of lights to it and let it do the rest for you. Similarly, you could use an old trunk as a coffee table in your living area or as an ottoman right in front of your bed as a way to bring in a bit of the old charm. Another way to go is actually aspiring it with your architecture.

For instance, you could use old antique frames to deck up your walls by bolting them in or even blending them with your wall color if you wish. The main idea is to try to envision multiple uses or places for each item that you pick.

Doing so, not only makes way for the antique beauty to step into your home but also helps give it a fresh new life and use that is completely different form what one would expect giving your home the quirk factor even from things of the wonderful past. 

REFRESH AND REFURBISH 

 

The biggest dilemma one faces in antique decor is the big question: refresh, refurbish, or toss? Refurbishing or flipping old furniture has become a trend of late as a pursuit for sustainability in home design rises.

However, one has to be mindful of whether they should refurbish a certain piece or simply refresh it. The two terms, although similar, have very different propositions. If one chooses to refurbish a piece of antique decor or furniture, it simply translates to reinventing the piece altogether. The basic form and materials remain the same, but its shape, design, color, finishing and adornments are modified.

For instance if one decides to refurbish an apothecary table, this could mean changing its handels, painting it to a different color etc. The end result is usually drastically different from the original piece. If you have a piece that you believe would go better in your home after a bit of experimenting and change, refurbishing is the way to go.

On the other hand, if you stumble across a piece that is beautiful in its natural form but is slightly worn, refreshing is the way to go. For most antique pieces, the refresh should be the first priority as it helps one preserve and utilize the charm and beauty of the old times just as it is.

Tampering with a piece too much can destroy its natural appeal making the pursuit worthless. The beauty of an original is unmatched, which is why when acquiring a piece one can simply do a few touch ups to make it ready to keep up with the interiors. This could mean a fresh coat of polish, varnish, paint, a bit of sanding or simply a few adornments being changed to make it practically useful. 

JUXTAPOSE THE NEW AND OLD 

 

As important as it is to strike an overall balance, juxtaposing the old and new can be a daunting prospect. The idea behind juxtaposing the old and new is to essentially layer the old and new together in a manner that they blend seamlessly into each other without either sticking out like a sore thumb.

There are certain tips to help layer the new and modern effectively. First and foremost is to ditch the fear of not mixing the old with the new. When you decide to add antique decor to your house, instead of restricting it to certain portions or corners of your house, let the charm flow throughout.

This would also mean pairing your new and old objects creatively to make them feel as one yet retain their individual charm. For instance, if you secure a few vintage chairs, you can pair them with a newer dining set in a similar material, or contrast it with a different one.

For instance, a modern glass table with a metal chair set could create a stunning juxtaposition. Similarly, an old wooden dresser paired with a modern upholstered bed could create a stunning balance between the old and new charm. An old rug or runner underneath your modern furniture can have a similar effect.

Another helpful tip while juxtaposing is to try to nail down a color palette. Picking a color palette helps narrow down your color and hues. This allows you to explore and experiment while also ensuring an overall harmonious and homogenous design that transcends into a beautiful tale of the past and present. 


To sum up, Antique decor and design has a charm about it that leaves one spellbound. Wrapped in nostalgia, warmth, class and beauty, antique decor offers a great opportunity to bring in a different dimension to one’s interior design. Keeping the above tips in mind, you too can do antique decor the right way!



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