For those of us getting on in age, it’s hard to believe that items from our childhood are considered antiques, but it is a fact of growing older. Any object or value, real or perceived, which is over twenty five years old is technically considered an antique. That doesn’t give it automatic worth, however. What does is your attachment to it as something worth preserving. One good example is the Barca Lounger – first made in 1940, these are old enough to fit the bill but who would be interested in preserving one in their current interior design theme?
Begin at the beginning
Before a living room interior design project can be undertaken, a concept must be created. The last thing you want to do is go off on a tangent and just start purchasing whatever looks good on its own. Haphazardly stacking odds and ends of collectible furniture and knick knacks is not only a waste of time, but an incredible waste of money.
With your designer, take into account the themes displayed in other parts of the home, especially the rooms with access to your living space. Each room is part a central flow, and you will want to ensure they flow into each other for visual appeals and comfort. If your kitchen is designed with a 1950s flair, you will want to move elements of that design into an adjacent living room.
Once a style is chosen, determine what elements of it will be represented in antiques, and which will be modern yet complimentary. An 18th century table with dark wood will match well with a modern mahogany faced cabinet, for example. This blend pairs economical considerations with practical use items. That shaker dry sink looks fabulous, after all, but not when it’s altered to fit a 20” flat screen television. You’ll want to pick out a modern place setter for that function.
Centering the living room
Once a style is determined, sketch out your room for a more bird’s eye approach to your design. Choose significant elements within the space that you would like to be satisfied in an antique representation, such as end tables or chairs. Your pieces will need a little more attention than modern creations, and will most likely not be able to be used as universally. Choose furniture pieces that will be utilized less for collectable antique placements, and heaver use items such as couches and arm chairs for modern representation. This way is something breaks or has grape juice spilled on it, the damage will seem that less significant.
With your conceptualized antiques in mind, decide which of them will become the central focus of the space. It will be this piece of furniture that eyes will first rest upon, making it the natural anchor piece for the room. Wing backed chairs work well for this purpose, but a finely cared for cabinet with interesting accessories can do a marvelous job of this as well. Build your design outward from this piece.
Care of your antiques
Once your living room furniture and other antique items are in place and ready for use, don’t forget the requirements for furniture care. You can use Pledge on your every day furniture, but each collected antique will have specialized care instructions in order to maintain its health and value. Different species of wood react to cleaning agents in unique ways, so ask your dealer or interior designer the best ways to not only clean, but keep conditioned. Be wary of polished that rely on caustic waxes to create a look that might be fancy today, but cloud over and damage the piece as time passes by.