This month our Creative Director, Annabelle Holland, shares some of the benefits, and challenges, of incorporating antiques into contemporary interiors, as well as some tips on how to do so effectively.
There are so many reasons for using antiques, the fact that they can be valuable, perhaps being the least important.
Antiques often have their own unique history and story to tell, by incorporating them into a contemporary space, you can add a sense of character and atmosphere, which is hard to achieve if you just use modern furniture.
Using antiques is also a way of preserving cultural heritage - and family history, if using heirlooms. When you buy antique furniture, you are preserving a piece of history. Many antiques are unique or made from rare or endangered woods, by using them, you are helping to ensure that they are not lost or destroyed.
Antiques are also a sustainable and eco-friendly option. Antiques were crafted to last and often made with high-quality materials. This means that, unlike a lot of modern, mass-produced furniture, they can withstand the test of time and continue to be used for many years without needing to be replaced.
The way a lot of furniture is made these days is contributing to a cycle of waste. Buying antique furniture is a form of recycling, which reduces the demand for new materials and the energy required to produce them. Manufacturing and shipping new furniture requires a significant amount of energy and resources. Which means that by choosing antique furniture, you are also reducing your carbon footprint.
Incorporating antiques into contemporary interiors is central to our style at Anboise and it is how I spend my days at my design studio – So not only do I think it is ok to mix antiques with contemporary pieces, I actively encourage it!
The combination of antiques and contemporary furniture creates a sense of evolution over time and provides unique, multi-layered designs with depth and interest.
The key thing when incorporating antiques into modern interior design is to strike a balance between old and new. A room that is too heavy on antiques can feel rather severe, while a space that only has modern furniture can feel cold and characterless. I find the best way to achieve this balance is by using antiques as accent pieces.
Antique textiles such as tapestries, and in particular rugs, are also a very effective way to incorporate antiques into contemporary interior design. In addition to all the previously mentioned benefits, they can serve as a great starting point for creating a colour palette for the room, tying together different design elements and creating a cohesive look.