3 Magic Bullets That Create Antique Style

Interior Design by Celerie Kemble

Interior Design by Celerie Kemble

So what is the best furniture deal out there?  It could be what you already own.

Arguably, the best value in furniture right now is good old-fashioned antiques, particularly “brown” furniture.  Still, even if antiques are a great financial choice, or you already own some, no one wants their living room to look like grandma’s parlor.  So how do you create “antique style?”

My recent travels during the January Winter Antiques Week in NYC  (plus some mighty fine decorating by leading designers), suggests several tricks.

Here are 3 magic bullets that create antique style:

1. Add Color

Interior designer Miles Redd uses bold color to create antique style all the time.

Interior Design by Miles Redd

Interior Design by Miles Redd

At the recent Winter Antiques Show in NYC, I saw what a jolt color gives to an array of antiques over and over again.


Imagine what this 1914 portrait by American artist, Robert Henri, would do for a room full of antique brown furniture.




2. Add Pattern

We all loved this room by interior designer Mark Sikes at the 2015 Kips Bay Show House and it was filled to the rafters with brown furniture, wicker and other antique accessories.  And pattern–which made all of the traditional antiques sing.  Talk about antique style.


When interior designer Sara Story was asked to curate a mix of antiques on offer at Sotheby’s, she also made it all seem new again by employing bold pattern on the wall.


Others give antiques new life by pairing them with a vibrantly patterned fabric.

Both techniques are successful.

3. Bring Nature Home


Nature makes everything fresh, including antiques.  Natural elements, both real and faux, are a sure way to add antique style.  These tulips I spotted at the Winter Antiques Show are not even real (they are made of glass) but look what they do for this booth!


Even if you have a black thumb, you can revitalize a room filled with traditional forms by mixing in items that evoke the outdoors like Celerie Kemble did here.


Think ceramic stools, trellis or a beautiful floral mural wallpaper.


Are you ready to freshen up your old antiques for spring?

Photo credits: Van Gogh floral wallpaper  Mark Sikes Bold upholstery photo Celerie Kemble and Miles Redd images from their portfolios.  Winter Antiques Show and Sotheby’s photos by Lynn Byrne.