Hemswell Antique Centres

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Top tips for decorating with antiques


Whether you have a flair for interior design or just want to surround yourself with objets d’art, decorative antiques can brighten any setting, from the traditional to the contemporary. But how can you incorporate antique décor and antique decorative accessories into your surroundings without turning the space into a museum or a totally uncoordinated mismatch? From Airbnb properties to hotel foyers, today’s spaces need to be more liveable and less contrived and antique pieces can be used throughout, either to make a statement or to add unobtrusive accents.

Antiques as statement pieces

One spectacular piece can completely transform a space, so consider a larger piece such as an antique desk in an office or an antique dresser in the kitchen. If you are holding out to find the perfect piece, get in touch and we can shout out to our dealers for them to search for you. Alternatively, for larger commercial projects, book a virtual tour and experience a one-to-one virtual walk round our buildings, accompanied by our Managing Director.

Statement pieces do not have to be pieces of antique furniture and a large antique mirror or a piece of antique art will serve as the perfect focal point in an entrance lobby or hallway.

Antiques as accents

Antique pieces can introduce a sense of character when used as accents in a room. An antique wine table used as a side table will add charm positioned next to a modern sofa while a group of chemist jars or vintage clear glass apothecary bottles will look stunning in a contemporary bathroom setting.

Layering antiques with contemporary design

Layering allows old and new pieces to sit companionably side by side without either needing to dominate and is the perfect way to incorporate antiques into any space. Vintage upholstery on armchairs and antique ottomans will sit well on a contemporary floor covering such as a seagrass rug, to give a feeling of timelessness. Similarly, modern furniture placed on antique rugs will achieve the same effect.

Grouping decorative antiques

Concentrating smaller objets d’art in groups in a single place, rather than displaying them singly throughout, will create harmony and help to draw the eye to an area, creating a focal point. It also makes the space feel more intimate and less like a museum. Collections can be grouped on a mantlepiece, on a corner table or on a console table. Our small collectables include snuff boxes, pin cushions and Swarovski crystal, which all make eye-catching groups.  Remember too that collections can be displayed on vertical surfaces! Create a feature wall with collections of antique mirrors or antique prints. Or why not group vintage enamel advertising signs together in the kitchen or utility area, with railway carriage prints in the office or snug?

Accessible antiques

Finally, museum collections are displayed in cases and are often untouchable. To avoid this atmosphere in a domestic or commercial setting, nothing should be off-limits. That’s not to say pieces should be within reach of little fingers, but don’t hide them away – keep them on view, to be loved and appreciated, but just take extra care of them and you will be rewarded with a homelier and less stuffy ambience.

When decorating, display your antiques proudly, whether you have a 21st century office or a Tudor cottage; it is this unlikely marriage of the old and the new that will create a personal, eclectic and individual space with bags of appeal.

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