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Pro Tips for Incorporating Antiques Into Any Space

By: Lauren Oster, Jennifer O'Neil, and Kitty O'Neil
July 28, 2022

Think of these vintage vignettes as timeless inspiration for your home. From handed-down heirlooms to fantastic flea market finds, we’ll show you how to introduce historic pieces to your rooms (and live happily ever after).

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Photo: Sean LItchfield. From: Casagrande Studio.

Create Rooms With a Sense of History

Integrating furniture, fabric and accessories from a variety of eras and sources in a single room is a bit like successful undercover time-traveling: You’ve got to figure out how to blend. In some spaces that means initiating conversations between patterns and colors; in others it’s all about balancing silhouettes. Above all, confidence is key. Ready to let these successful adventures in design history inspire you to make bold forays of your own? Allons-y!

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Photo: Jen Burner

Vary Textures and Finishes

Louisiana-based designer Lance Thomas of Thomas Guy Interiors integrated a handsome scrolled bench in this serene bedroom by mixing and matching that bench with a white, upholstered four-poster bed, dark hardwood flooring and a gloriously nubby sisal area rug. Matchy-matchy bedroom sets have had their day in the sun (or the moonlight, as it were); to make a bedroom feel dynamic, reach for a variety of tones and treatments.

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Photo: Jen Burner

Try a Textural Transformation

Lance Thomas recently returned from a trip to France to source antiques for his design projects and noticed a distinct trend in how those pieces are being refurbished; he found that “upholstered furniture was getting a textural upgrade with bold velvets and nubby bouclé re-upholstery, giving the old a new lease on life.” He performs a similar upgrade in this living room, where a pair of Chesterfield sofas steal the show in bubblegum pink (and recast the classic Aubusson rug beneath them).

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Photo: Emily Followill. From: James Farmer.

Carry a Color Story Through the Room

If you’ve fallen in love with, say, a piece of serveware that might not find regular use in your space, take a page from designer James Farmer’s book. He used gorgeous majolica oyster plates to create a floor-to-ceiling display that echoes in a garden stool, a pair of table lamps and the basketweave fabric he chose for the drapes; those once special-occasion pieces are now integral parts of the space’s design.

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