Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Out With the New, In with the Old!

I want to start this post by talking about something that has nothing to do with interior design or the design industry but might have everything to do with my post...Vampires!
If you have been living in a hole for the past year or two, you wouldn't know this, but vampires are "all the twitter!".  Everywhere I go, people are trying to sell me the newest vampire novel, TV show, soundtrack, Edward Cullen bobble head doll *sigh* or tickets to the newest flick coming out.  You would think I was better than to get pulled into this hype... but I'm not!  I bit! (pun intended!) 

Don't Worry...I don't have the dolls!

So what does this have to do with interior design?  Well..not much!  I just wanted to talk about Edward Cullen (kidding!).  Vampires are...well...OLD!  They have supposedly been around for hundreds of thousands of years! They have supposedly seen some of the most monumental moments in history and been to some of the most fabulous places on earth!  One of my favorite things about all of these vampire books and shows I am so hooked on is the history part of how they became and when they "lived".  I guess I love history and my passion is design so of course antiques are something I have always appreciated and loved. 

As I thumb through my latest issues of my design magazines, there is one factor in all the photos I love that always catches my eye.  Some of my favorite rooms are by some of the top designers and one of the reasons I love their designs is because they too have an appreciation for antique furniture and incorporate them in every project.  I love the modest presentation of old elements mixed in with new.  It adds so much character to a project and also, if done right, reflects the character and maybe even history of the owners. 

I think one of my favorite things as a designer and sales rep is to get the client and designer as excited about a piece or a rug as I am.  Rugs are probably the easiest for me given my family history and my true believe in our product.  But, antiques are a close second!  I love to talk about the history of a piece. It is so much more fun to sell a beautiful 19th century William IV mahogany dining table that has a history behind it instead of something you could find anywhere you go.

There are so many places to go if you are looking for antiques.  One of the first places you can look is your local phone book.  See what antique stores are available to the general public and go take a look.  Look in the paper and see if there are any estate sales going on.  You are bound to find something beautiful and well treasured that needs a new home. Also, flea markets are a hit and miss kind of thing but always worth going!  You never know what you can find there.
For those of you who are less of a novice when it comes to antique shopping, I would probably send you to a few places that I love.  The first place takes a bit of effort but is well worth it.  Some larger cities have auctions that you can go to every Saturday, every month or quarterly.  You can usually go online or subscribe to their catalog to see what will be auctioned off each time.  One of my favorites is the New Orleans Auction.  They have a great website at www.neworleansauction.com. An easier place and one of my favorite places to go is a fabulous website called 1stdibs www.1stdibs.com .  On this website, hundreds of thousands of some of the most fabulous shops in the world  list their vintage and antique furniture, lamps, accessories and couture clothing on this site.  My explaination doesn't do the website justice though.  You have to check it out for yourself!

This Sideboard that I found on 1stdibs is a Late Georgian Period Mahogany and Greek Key Inlaid Sideboard from England.  This piece is from the beginning of the 19th century.  I couldn't find a reproduction piece that looked so fabulous and had so much meaning!

Antiques are one of a kind.  Each flaw, spec, scratch and ding has a story behind it.  It's probably the most mysterious thing you will have in your home (unless of course Edward Cullin is hiding out!) and if you are lucky enough...you just might know the history behind that beautiful piece you have sitting in your room.  So next time you want to get rid of that old piece of furniture or go out and buy something new...think twice.  Keep history alive and buy an antique or keep the one you have.  Write down how every ding and scratch got on that piece and tape it to the bottom....make your own history for people to read for years to come!!!

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