In chatting with a new client, one of the first areas I address is in regards to preferences, be it design style, color, patterns, lifestyle . . . general likes and dislikes. I do this, even before I make an in-home visit, because they may or may not want to use some of their current possessions and I would rather let the “could-be”, versus the “what-is”, determine the direction of their project. Now - that’s not to say I overlook any prized possessions. I’m definitely about repurposing, as it honors items of use and keeps the carbon footprint a bit smaller, while it brings forth the client’s personality.
On the occasion that we are starting from scratch, I do ask about using antiques. In some cases, there may be a crinkling of the nose, and I can tell the imagination has run amuck to the idea of bringing forth a certain stiffness, in the genre of A Room with a View, or there’s a concern of a cluttered collection of “stuff” arriving across the threshold. I can almost feel my “cool points” floating out the nearest window.
The fact of the matter is, I do love working with antiques or vintage pieces, and the reality is, not much in the world of design is truly unique or 100% new. My vanity doesn’t preclude me from sharing too much about my age. I grew up during the period of Mid-Century Modern, Danish Modern, and George Nakashima.
My mother, who did later turn her attention to a more traditional decor, was a modern, young woman of the fifties and early sixties, and joined her peers in outfitting our home with this latest trend. It was the period when girls swooned over the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, and Sammy Davis, Jr.- just a few of the members of the “Rat Pack”, a group of Hollywood “it” guys. I remember my mother twirling, in the living room, as their music came from a piece of functional furniture, we called the “Hi-Fi”, carefully chosen to go with the rest of room.
I think I had better go onto some great pictures. I see my cool points quickly floating out of that afore mentioned window!
A French Victorian sofa, a spoon foot, cloverleaf table, a vintage footstool, and a Modern chair play well with one another in this citrus-hued room. (Courtesy: Country Living)
The classic cabinetry, chair and accessories, while not qualifying as modern, do get a boost towards “being of the day”, with a current color palette of tangerine and aqua. (Courtesy: Martha Stewart)IKEA? Not quite. Arne Jacobsen Seagull Chair - 1970
A little Mediterranean breeze can almost be felt, blowing through this bedroom. Walk through any antique mall, and you may see a dark,walnut night chest, in a similar style as above. Some sanding and a few coats of paint, and you have your own one-of-a-kind treasure! (Courtesy: Traditional Homes)
What bungalow banquet wouldn’t benefit from a round table shape? Easy access in and out. Easy, breezy upkeep, too, with a metal garden table. (Courtesy: Country Living)
While furnishing a home is definitely a personal decision and choice, I do like to open ones thought to the possibility of considering the use of antiques and vintage items. Aside from having something different from everyone else, they do allow us to recycle and renew. Antiques often hold their value and may even appreciate, over a period of time. They add an element of history and a story to share. And, the thrill of the hunt is ever so fun!
“Cool Cat” Cheers to You! Wanda