I grew up with parents who loved antiques and who thankfully passed down that love to me, not intentionally but rather osmotically. I still have beloved pieces...tables, chairs, luggage and purses, from when I was a teenager scouring antique shops by myself in downtown Savannah. My high school friends thought I was nuts but I knew what I loved even back then. I bought a beautiful Louis XVI Style Mahogany Sideboard before I even owned a house which my parents thankfully adopted for me for a while.
While I think there was a brief time when certain generations thought newer meant "better" when it came to everything...cars, homes, technology, furniture, I do think there's been a resurgence, especially among young millenials, a nostalgia really, for simpler times and anything that harkens to "days of old" when times were more simple, and a realization that, in many cases, there is a quality and history to antique items that is irreplaceable, a patina that quite simply cannot be replicated.
As y'all know from this post last month, antiques have always been in vogue for me. While I've always mixed my antique finds among newer, more modern pieces, both in my own home and in client projects, more and more people across generations are reaching back to the pieces of yesteryear at very high rates and I am here for it!
Have a read and see what I'm seeing out there in the world of design and why antiques are back in vogue big time! #invogueorenvogue,youdecide
Why Antiques are Back in Vogue
I think younger generations are now collecting antique furniture and accessories because as they're maturing, they have a nostalgia for things their Gen X parents and their grandparents wove into their memories, in telling their own stories of growing up and what their lives were like "way back when." So much of millennials' personal and work lives are spent on screens and virtual electronic experiences that I think they long for tangible, permanent items that will last.
I also think Covid really brought about a resurgence in antique furniture and accessories. I know we had more clients who were open to using them than preCovid because antiques were more readily available and didn't have long lead times like so many things did during that time.
How to incorporate antiques into your home without it looking like a museum
At Nancy Lane Interiors, we believe in the beauty of blending styles and found treasures from different periods. Together these things always make for a more interesting space. When our clients are open to it, we dive into hunting for things from the past that help tell their story, bringing back with us items that are not only old and beautiful, but of great quality and material, and that we consider to be truly timeless. We believe in finding the perfect balance between using antique pieces to bring character and warmth to a room while selecting new furnishings with the right shape and scale and upholstery that we customize with things like performance fabrics that hold up to modern lifestyles. In finding that balance of old and new, our homes and those we design don't look like museums, but rather vibrant spaces where old meets new. For us at NLI, it's all about creating timeless charm with a modern twist!
Americana or what some are calling "Millennial Bicentennial" is trending right now, so more simple pieces with plain and simple design (think Shaker), but to me, some things just never go out of style so I wouldn't necessarily say they're trending...but wood items like case goods (tables, cabinets, consoles, commodes), especially traditional English furniture are always on my list. All things mahogany and burl wood are still buzzing, as is bamboo.
Things to avoid when buying antiques
Personally I'm more likely to buy wood over cloth items when it comes to antiques. If I'm considering something like an antique sofa or chair, I'm always adding to the final cost calculation of what new fabric, plus repair and reupholstery, will be. Things to avoid: items that are made to look old but are actually reproductions and not true antiques. #OhthestoriesIcouldtell When considering wood pieces, open all the doors or drawers to inspect for working order and check for bug infestation (if you see tiny pin boreholes, buyer beware).
I was beyond thrilled to be interviewed by Maggie Gillette for an article in Better Homes and Gardens recently where I shared these thoughts and more. You can check it out here.
Lastly but most importantly...
Buy what you love and things you are drawn to. I think every antique adds character and a bit of intrigue, a little je ne sais quoi to every room. These things, when done right, tell the story of the home and its inhabitants, you.
Need help telling your story in your own home? Let us help you love where you live! Reach out today and let's set up a discovery call to chat about your home project!