How to Decorate with Antiques Without Looking Like a Museum

Antique furniture has always carried a sense of reverence. Either passed down or discovered in a thrift store, most people have one or two antique pieces in their home. If you want to decorate with antiques, there’s no better time than now.

Over the years, 18th and 19th-century antiques have fallen dramatically in price. Antique shops have become more scarce, but thanks to eBay, thrift shops, and 2nd-hand classifieds, finding antiques is not hard. This is a great opportunity to reinvigorate your interior design.

Aren’t sure where to start on displaying antiques in your home? We’ve got the perfect guide on jumping aboard this trend. Dust off those old antiques, it’s time to make old new again!

Managing Antique Themes

When it comes to introducing antiques and mixing antiques with modern furniture, you need order. Tossing old pieces with new ones can appear chaotic if the styles clash. For example, you wouldn’t want to combine an Art Deco piece with a Victorian style in the same room.

There are some rare exceptions, but as a general rule, avoid mixing eras unless that is the entire theme of the room. Instead, try to use antiques from a single style or era as highlighting or centerpieces with your modern layout. Try to take advantage of color, texture, and pattern differences.

If you decide to fix damaged antique pieces, be careful. Consider taking these pieces to an insured professional. You don’t want to be another DIY horror story.

You’ve Got to Have the Lighting

Before we start placing all sorts of antique furniture around the house, think about your lights. If your room is poorly lit, it could make antiques look dingy or gaudy. You need a balance of ambient lighting and spotlighting to take advantage of antiques.

Some pieces may require help to shine or blend in with your surroundings. This means having some DIY tools handy for improvements and adjustments. Track lights, recessed lights, or simple floor lamps can do the trick.

If you plan on going for the Nordic-Noir theme, lighting is everything.

Express Yourself and Your Past-self

A good approach for decorating with antiques is to imagine what it would be like to live in past eras. Look at lots of vintage photographs and film. Figure out what stands out the most to you and design accordingly.

Of course, trying to search for specific antique pieces to match your vision is difficult. This company allows a bit more freedom when designing a room with an era in mind. Can’t find that Georgian desk to fit your room’s decor? You can build one. It’s a great compromise for those of us who don’t have major antique stores nearby.

Newer Antiques

When it comes to decorating with antiques and collectibles, people often overlook recent eras. We’re talking from the 1980s and back. The rule on antiques denotes items older than 40-50 years to be considered antique. This opens up the range of styles tremendously.

19th-century eclectic antiques could pair with something from the 60s or 70s. You can dive even deeper into modernism by selecting pieces from various eras that are minimalist and refined.

Earthy and Warm, Cold and Dark

Texture and temperature play a huge part in a successful antique decorating project. If you stick to earthy and warm colors, you will find plenty in Victorian or Georgian furniture designs. If you’re going for more bolder and eccentric designs, you’ll want to look into Art Deco or East Asian antiques.

These pieces will all highlight skilled craftsmanship, while also being capable of matching modern furniture design. Some good examples would be classic Art Deco pieces with modern Tiffanys or Chihuly works. If you’re willing to do some serious planning, you can blend a mosaic of modern and antique art.

Going Monochromatic

Another good strategy for fitting in antiques with modern decor is sticking to similar tones. This is not only playing it safe, it can also make antiques appear modern. Of course, once the observer takes a closer look, they will see that the antique is no ordinary piece.

This works great for bathrooms and kitchens if you can find antiques for these spaces.

Going Global

People decorate with antiques much more commonly in Eastern parts of the world. Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and East Asian countries all do it without much thought about it. This is because antiques are not only ancestrally important, they bring life into the home.

This is how you must approach displaying antiques in your home if you’re reaching into Global themes. You can’t toss an old Hindu god statue on an Ikea shelf and call it decorating. Being mindful of cultural traditions can help give you guidance in antique decorating.

Boho-chic is a good example of when old and new can work together harmoniously. You can incorporate Asian, Arab, and Indian cultures without trying too hard.

Continuing to Decorate with Antiques

As you acquire more antiques that you find, you’ll begin to notice pieces that share characteristics. The beauty of this project to decorate with antiques and modern designs is you get to see origins of style. So much of what we deem to be modern these days are classics; reimagined styles from the past.

Antiques tell a story, and you can use this as an opportunity to highlight that through strong interior decorating. This is what makes antiques loved by all ages, creeds, and colors. You can use antique furniture to transport the mind into the past.

With all that said, the effect that an antique has on a room, let alone a person, depends on execution. If you can put these tips to good use, you will be able to increase the value of your home.

For more DIY projects like this, stay tuned into our blog. Our style gurus are always coming up with new ways to transform your life.

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