antiques Archive


Soul Factor

Cheryll Gilllespie Media Group, Soul Factor

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!



Passion for the Past

I’ve always had a passion for antiques and treasures from the past. My first home was filled with antiques that I found at various auctions and estate sales. Each sale found me buying new items often replacing something I had already at home which would appear at the next auction I attended funding my passion for design and decorating as I upgrade pieces. Today, even though I feel most at home in a contemporary space I still fuel my passion for the past by incorporating a few antiques amongst my modern décor.

Whether I am designing a modern hotel, restaurant or modest home I adore the mix of something old amongst all the new. If you are following home fashion trends then undoubtedly you have seen the most pedigreed designers bringing in a antique piece or two (depending on the clients budget) to create a one of a kind effect. A healthy respect for the past is key for great design. Whether you are drawn to a old steam gear mounted as sculpture, old architectural cornices set amongst your books in the library or holding up a collection of modern art books on an end table or desk top, a French country wood table or a rewired Indian chandelier or a set of luggage stacked for use as a coffee table antiques and these fabulous one of a kind pieces bring intrigue and personality to a space. It is the juxtaposition of the old and the new that brings intrigue and excitement into a room.

But you don’t have the budget for antiques! Actually I think that you’ll find that antiques have dropped significantly in price and may prove to be a wise investment. There are also many fabulous reproductions available and its also amazing to see what you can discover if you get out and go on a hunt. Have you caught an episode of Canadian pickers, Picker Sisters or Storage wars? Fabulous one- of- a -kinds, vintage and antique pieces are out there just waiting for you to find them. When we travel we are always checking out the local flea and antique markets. A few months back when Samantha and I traveled to Turkey we found some brilliant architectural column bases, a Muslim Cigarette poster on wood and an old carasoul horse from an old local carnival. This week we are antique hunting in China and have found fabulous Tang Dynasty Horses, antique pocket watches and even a pair of warriors we will turn into candle stick holders. Closer to home, we just stumbled across a antique leather and wood desk that now finds it home in a modern office adding a sense of history and stature to the space. Hot on our designer radar are antique frames and mirrors, furniture with ornate lines, one of a kind chairs and lamp bases, religious artifacts, books, ceramic sculptures and trunks.

Old is the new cool when we are talking about on trend home fashion. Now that’s fabulous living!

I have a new favorite drink to juice at home-pineapple, apple and mint. One of my regular haunts here in Shanghai is now home to my new favorite fresh squeezed juice. This combination is fabulously refreshing and I love the health benefits of the apple and pineapple and I always have too much mint growing at the base of my indoor lemon tree and this is the perfect solution to deliciously use it up. Throw the juices or fresh fruit into your juicer with a healthy handful of fresh mint, blend and enjoy.