My love of antiques, vintage pieces and rare curiosities started from an early age, in fact I literally put myself through university buying, refinishing and selling antiques. Today, I am no less enthusiastic when it comes to vintage pieces and I have many scattered throughout my ultra contemporary home.
When we are designing a home or even just a single room for our clients, we love to mix it up, one or two vintage pieces placed into an ultra modern space or conversely, one or two modern pieces mixed into a more traditional space. The mix is what keeps a room edgy, unpredictable and current. The antiques, curiosities and vintage pieces, whether they are furniture, art or accessories, are what we call the ‘soul factor’ of a room. Rooms today need to sing the praises of your personality, show where you have been and where you’d love to go next. Interior design is all about creating the storyboard that is your home. I honestly respect the integrity of the original state of a vintage or antique piece and would never want to devalue an item by ‘recreating’ or up cycling it, however, if the piece is less sensitive and warrants an uplifting makeover, we often repurpose and restyle a piece that has great lines to look modern or current. For example, painting a vintage headboard a bright cobalt blue, or a buffet unit Pantone “Colour of the Year” Radiant Orchid or having a claw footed antique armchair reupholstered in an bright graphic and modern textile. Currently my team and I are making over a charming vintage beach house, and even though we are redoing the kitchen with new cabinets and countertops, we are preserving the original porcelain apron-front farm sink.
We love to hang original modern art amongst a room full of antiques and traditional furniture or even fill a historical home, complete with classic architectural detailing with ultra modern furniture. The juxtaposition creates fabulous tension that creates an incredible fascinating and tantalizing room. Everyone can design or decorate a streamlined room, that’s predictable and consistent, but it takes a designer with a talented eye, a sense of adventure and a solid background in creativity to mix it up and bring soul to a room. When I travel, I’m always touring antique shops, flea markets, swap meets and estate sales and at home I’ve always got my eyes peeled to local boutiques and the classifieds ads for unique pieces to bring home, put in the shop or for a current project. You just never know when you might stumble upon a great find, so stay alert and think creatively.
Look for inspiration in the pages of your favorite shelter magazines, undoubtedly, you will notice how the rooms you are most drawn too will have vintage and modern components. That’s how we live fabulously!