February 18, 2018 4 min read
Do you enjoy browsing through antique stores and flea markets, searching for that one-of-a-kind item that makes your heart skip a beat?
Antiquing can be a great way to spend a weekend, but decorating with antique decor is often a challenge.
Read on for some tips and tricks that will help you blend different decor styles to create a beautiful, harmonious home!
What makes a room aesthetically pleasing?
Your first guess might be expensive furniture, luxurious accessories, or paintings and sculptures by renowned artists. While all of those can certainly be appealing, it's really the emotion that a room evokes.
In living rooms and bedrooms, creating a sense of coziness and relaxation is often the end goal. When you design a kitchen, you might prefer clean lines and simplicity. Dining rooms can be inviting or formal, depending on the decor you choose.
Your furniture and furnishings should reflect the emotional tenor of the room. You wouldn't put an overstuffed armchair or a fuzzy throw rug in the kitchen -- at least not one that you actually prepare food in.
Conversely, it would strike an odd note to have subway tile on the floor of your bedroom.
When you are considering antique decor, step back and ask yourself what emotion or mood the piece inspires. That may well determine where it goes in your home.
A Depression glass milk pitcher, for example, might look just fine in your kitchen, which would be the obvious place to display it. However, use it to display a bouquet of dried flowers, and it could strike exactly the right chord in a homey, farmhouse-chic guest room.
Good news for budding interior designers on a budget! Two of the most important tenets of interior design --scale and proportion -- are easy to achieve whether you're breaking the bank or decorating on a shoestring.
Some of the tips regarding scale may seem like no-brainers. A small room with a low ceiling demands smaller, lower pieces of furniture. If you have a massive sectional sofa, a spindly-legged antique side table won't be a good complement.
However, if you're trying to determine why your antique decor doesn't quite seem right in a particular room, it's worthwhile to take a good hard look at the proportion.
Don't forget that white space is as important as the "stuff" that fills your room. Too much white space makes a room look empty or incomplete, but don't be tempted to tuck tchotchkes into every nook and cranny, either.
It doesn't matter if you lovemidcentury modern, Regency, or rustic Americana, any style is bound to be overwhelming if you use it exclusively. Mix things up a bit to make your room feel more inviting -- and to take some of the pressure off when you integrate new pieces.
A minimalist glass coffee table could pair beautifully with an ornate Louis XIVside chair. Conversely, try streamlined Scandinavian chairs in pale wood with an Italian baroque table.
Antique decor items such as gilt mirrors or elaborate candelabras can become a stunning focal point in a room that is otherwise understated and minimalist.
Don't be afraid to try blending styles. Your first instinct may be that the beautiful Art Deco radio console you picked up at last weekend's antique sale might not work in your 60s era, pop art study. But it's worth a try, and you just might discover that the contrast is highly effective.
A unifying theme can be all you need to incorporate antique decor along with more contemporary furnishings. In this instance, you'll consider just one element and choose from a variety of styles and periods to conform to that element.
Color is an easy theme to adopt. Beautiful shades of blue can make a room feel tranquil and relaxing, even though you might be mixing modern artwork with antique furniture.
Or create a bright, sunny, convivial atmosphere in your kitchen with a white and yellow palette.
Another fun route to take is contrastingneutrals with pops of bright color. Outfit a room in off-white, dove gray, or eggshell. Light-colored wood or metal furniture can help keep your background unobtrusive.
Then add pizzazz with a brilliant red lampshade, glassware in deep green, a primary colored Mondrian print, a purple velour throw. It's easy to rotate out these accessories based on the season or simply on your mood!
Another approach is to choose one style to play the lead role in a room's decor, then accessorize with another. Let's say you're a fan of Mad Men-esque midcentury modern furniture, and you've amassed a lovely collection of side tables, chairs, ottomans, and other living room pieces in that style. Break up the potential monotony by accessorizing with a variety of antique decor pieces.
You could also consider showcasing your heirloom French provincial dining table and chairs by decorating the rest of the dining room with minimalist artwork and anArt Deco sunburst mirror. In these instances, you avoid the pitfall of a room that looks too matchy-matchy, while still demonstrating your style.
The best part about hunting for antique decor and styling your home? It lets you truly express yourself. Above all, don't let the so-called design experts tell you how to decorate.
If you love a particular piece, even though it doesn't "go" with anything else in your home, display it anyway!
After all, your home isn't a furniture showroom or a movie set; it's the place where you live and love, every day. It should reflect your personality, and make you smile.
If you're in the market for that perfect antique item that will pull your whole room together, come browse our selection.English Georgian America has a wide variety of reproduction pieces that are ready to ship. In addition, we also offer bespoke furniture and decor made by some of the world's most renowned craftsmen!