A Little Bit of History: How to Decorate with Antiques Around the Home

Decorating with antiques allows history lovers to keep history alive every day. However, the placement of antiques against more modern decor takes some skill.

Most savvy designers/ decorators have some go-to techniques for this task. These techniques highlight what’s most beautiful about each object in a timeless way. Here are three of the most common ways that they use to make their antiques really stand out.

Mix-and-Match

Those who are eclectically-minded hate the thought of settling on just one time period in their decorating. However, unless the home decorator knows what he/ she is doing, the resulting room can look haphazard.

To avoid this, Elle Decor recommends that home stylists create visual unity by grouping objects by color. For example, that blue 18th-century steamer trunk will fit in nicely with the blue and white mid-century modern couch. Blue Depression-era vases on the side tables at each end of the couch pull the look together even more.

Shadow Boxes

Smaller and more fragile objects, like coin collections, old sepia photographs, and antique keys, look really striking when they’re arranged in shadow boxes. This setup works for a couple of reasons.

First, it places these hard-to-see objects at eye-level, which brings attention to them. Second, it protects them behind glass: This is especially important for photos and other objects that fade over time or can be damaged by exposure to normal air and light. Third, a grouping of shadow boxes on a wall creates a focal point in a room, instantly telling the eye what to concentrate on first.

One last note: the shadow boxes will really stand out if the home decorator paints the wall behind them a dramatic color, like cobalt blue or Chinese red. The deep color provides a rich visual backdrop for these items.

Add Some Contrast

Most antique lovers have spent a great deal of time collecting just the right pieces for their homes. As such, they want to show those pieces off. One way to do this is through contrast, according to Harper’s Bazaar. Savvy home stylists love to place items like Rococo mirrors above sleek modern side tables, for example.

This sort of contrast makes both of the items in the pairing stand out, without getting lost. Care should be taken to ensure that dramatic contrasts like this happen in only a few spots in the room. Otherwise, the room’s focal point gets lost.

Takeaways for Decorating with Antiques

Many techniques exist for decorating with antiques. The designer who needs to create eye-catching displays from small objects uses shadow boxes to house such a collection. The eclectic home stylists love how unifying color can be when it comes to grouping objects from different eras.

Finally, most designers find that placing two objects from different eras provides a visual pop that creates a room focal point. Decorators who learn how to mix and match these techniques are the ones who have the most beautiful and inviting decorative styles.

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