The Home | Modern approach to antiques

We have all heard the adage, "what's old is new again" and have seen the cycles fly through fashion with seemingly increasing velocity and wackiness (cropped flares? really? I might as well be back in 6th grade at Limited Too trying to buy my first pair of bell bottoms after my growth spurt- although I must admit- some can pull it off.) In interiors, however, the cycles are slower and we are sometimes left asking ourselves if a trend will ever come back. Antiques in the home is one such category that we haven't seen in a while but I think is on it's way back in a big way. 

In many ways I think trends in interiors mimic what is happening in fashion and there are a few philosophies that have taken hold in the fashion world that indicate to me we are going to see a return of antiques:

  1. Invest in quality, not quantity: Yes, fast fashion will always have it's place but for the most part, there has been a major resurgence of basics that are high quality and a good neutral palette for accessories. With influencers out there like Marie Kondo and Cuyana founders Karla Gallando and Shilpa Shah urging us to keep things simple and buy less, what we buy inherently should have more value. 
  2. Minimizing Impact: In the last few years I have seen sustainable fashion brands go mainstream (check out this earth day post in The Uniform). People want to know where their products come from and the stories behind them. Shopping antiques is a great way to have high quality, story rich pieces in your home that you can usually find at a great bargain with no additional impact on the environment. 
  3. Mix and match: Fashion does an amazing job at showing us how to mix trends, patterns, eras, and colors. It is no longer a faux pax to wear black with blue or florals with stripes, nor is it an issue to have Victorian style pieces next to mid century modern pieces in your home.  
  4. We get it from our Mama's: Yes we all have our own unique style but many of us have been heavily influenced by our first female presence in our lives, our moms. Whether it is through physically inheriting clothing/jewelry/furniture or mimicking the example they set for us, many of the decisions we make are based off of what we grew up with and what the style was at that time. 

Here are some of my favorite approaches to bring antiques back into your home but maintaining a modern and fresh feel:

Mix modern chairs with antique tables: When you think of a dining room that has an heirloom dining set in it often it would be described as heavy or dark, adding modern chairs can immediately brighten up the look and make things feel less monochromatic.

Keep it light: By keeping your color palette light you are highlighting the antiques rather than matching them to everything else in the room. Doing away with busy wallpaper and more traditional dark colors allows your eye to relax and focus on the quality of the pieces in the room. 

Farmhouse rustic: Nothing makes you feel like you are in New England more than a Colonial House with well loved wood furniture with traditional lines. 

Do you have antiques in your home? Does it seem too traditional? I would love to hear!