Antique accessories are how you can add layers of character, reveal your personality, and tell the story of you and your family at home. Antiques fill our need for a connection to the past, to bring a sense of history to our rooms, and to believe in a story. Antiques compliment newer pieces, and work in harmony in traditional as well as very modern homes to give your home a lived-in curated look.
The juxtaposition of contemporary pieces with antiques keeps your home fresh and alive. Your rooms should be comfortable spaces with character and beauty. Each time you come home, your rooms should elevate your mood, bring you pleasure, and be beautiful to you and up lifting. Your home is your sanctuary, a place for you, your family, and your friends to retreat to in comfort and joy from our busy often harried world.
There really aren’t any rules for finding the perfect antiques for your home. If you find something you love, you’ll always find a place for it at home.
Here Are My Tips on How To Choose Antique Decorative Accessories
TAKE YOUR TIME
First of all, it takes time to add all the perfect and beautiful antique pieces to your rooms that give you joy. Accessorizing your rooms at home takes time so it doesn’t look like someone else’s home, or a showroom.
Often, our FrenchGardenHouse clients are looking for something antique that speaks to their heart. Sometimes, an antique catches their eye because they have sweet memories attached to it. A certain piece reminds them of their best friend’s parents house, or a vacation cottage in France where they spent many happy summer vacations.
BUY WHAT YOU LOVE.
This is pretty much my advice for buying anything, but especially when decorating your rooms at home. Choose things that make your heart beat faster, and make you smile. Not because it’s the latest trend.
While most of our home is French Country style, this doesn’t keep me from loving and displaying antique Victorian silver. In centuries past, decorating was a mix of the things you had ‘passed down’ from past family generations, some new things bought, and a very eclectic mix of styles for decorative accessories. My vanity and collection of silver bring me heart memories of watching my grandmother in Europe at her own vanity. Having a vanity with silver antique vanity bottles and jars of my own brings such sweet memories of my childhood, and especially of her, to me.
HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR
Don’t be afraid to show off something fun! Things that are quirky, and slightly ‘strange’ always add a little bit of fun and excitement to every home! Throughout my life I’ve been drawn to little, funny pieces. The first time I came home from a shopping trip with a small, wood toy horse meant for little people to ride on at 16 my Mom thought I was really odd. “ What on earth will you do with that?” was her question. Our family proudly displayed that little horse for decades, my girls rode on it as little ones, after that it had pride of place in all our living rooms. It was a fun addition, shabby, worn, but with great character!
I am drawn to big, bold antiques, but also the very small, minute bits and pieces, especially those made for little people. If you’ve read me for a while, you will recognize this photo of some of my tiniest treasures inside my antique bookcase. Not all antiques have to be serious. If you do collect some tiny pieces, grouping them together gives them a bigger impact.
Often adding a few antique accessories ignites and excites a collecting passion. For many of our clients it becomes a lifetime obsession to find antique pieces to make a room one that makes everyone smile each time they enter. Flaunt it if you’ve got it! Collections of pottery or textiles make wonderful displays in any room, they make a statement about what you love.
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
Antique accessories have so much to bring to the table. They are well made, they have ‘ patina’ – that indescribable look of time with a few scratches, a glorious ‘glow’ that only time can add to things. The warmth antiques give your home is immeasurable, they make it personal and look lived-in and welcoming.
Love blue and white? Use a few of your antique dishes to create a charming moment with a potted plant, some garden flowers and you have a beautiful arrangement for your entrance hall that will make you smile each time you see it!
It’s the slightly quirky things that are not perfect that give your home character. My designer and decorator friends, when designing rooms for clients, love to find and use antiques and vintage accessories because they give rooms character. They specifically ask me to look for things that have wear, patina and look like they were actually used….because these are the marks of time they value in antiques.
A great way to begin using antiques at home is with culinary antiques. An antique bread board adds instant history to a kitchen, add a few antique French pottery pieces and the whole kitchen smiles!
No matter what antiques you love or collect, I am 100% certain they’ll add history and their stories, and make your home more interesting, more inviting, and more “like home” for you, your family and all that are blessed to visit you!