I get asked fairly often where I find the accessories in my projects. My response is stores. “Antiquing” is my favourite type of searching — and occasionally my favorite contact sport, as well.
Antique stores offer you one-of-a-kind objects, reasonable pricing and immediate gratification. Beware, though, of competitive shoppers eyeing the thing you merely inquired about. It is best to wear flats to your next stop for an antique store; you might have to do some fancy footwork.
It is helpful to know what you are looking at as you wander through, specifically, whether or not a bit is truly classic or contemporary. And there are a handful of things that I constantly buy if I find them. These objects are about the “buy now, ask later” listing: When I see one of these objects I simply buy it and then determine where it will go after.
For some people, this can go against sensible purchasing behavior. But, I can’t tell you how often I’ve passed up something interesting only to find it gone 10 minutes later. Oh, if I only had a nickel for every time that happened. So here is my “buy it now” listing for those who prefer to antique.
Tucker & Marks
Suzanis. A Suzani is a type of textile, usually from Uzbekistan or other Central Asian countries. I prefer the classic Suzanis and use them in many programs, like this gorgeous piece that has been mounted behind a bed. They may also be draped over couches, used for upholstery, and made into cushions.
The circular designs are embroidered and display bright colours. The circular shapes represent sunlight and moon and also you will typically see blossoms, vines and sometimes animals in the designs. They often were used as wedding presents as part of a dowry.
AM Dolce Vita
Foo dogs. When I encounter a fantastic set of foo dogs I constantly leash those puppies up and deliver them home. Usually bright colours, sometimes old and sometimes fresh, foo dogs are eye catching accessories for many styles of space.
Cecilie Starin Design Inc..
Headless sculptures. This is my quirkiness coming, but I really enjoy a headless sculpture. Authentic and timeless, this type of sculpture adds a layer of culture and sophistication to a space.
The age of a piece will be reflected in price. Typically, the older a bit the more expensive it is. Also look for sculpture that has been artistically mounted. A tabletop size bit should cost anywhere from $100 to $300; very old bits could be quite a bit more.
Cecilie Starin Design Inc..
Elephants. I met with a gorgeous, royal elephant in Thailand many years back. I was able to feed him and take amazing images that I cherish. I am constantly reminded of these critters’ peaceful, protective mannerisms once I see replicas from antique stores. I had been told that, traditionally, locating an elephant with its trunk up is good chance. OK — I can use some of that.
Charmean Neithart Interiors
Blanc de Chine. You can find both old and contemporary versions of these white ceramic pieces originating from Dehua, China. Old versions can date back to the 1600s; these are very expensive. Typically I encounter tabletop-sized figurines which depict Chinese characters and animals. The dimensions shown here generally costs around $400.
Laura Martin Bovard
Porcupine quill accessories. Quill accessories may be classic or reproductions. Old pieces like little boxes and frames will be very expensive. The classic pieces were typically created by Native Americans who gathered the porcupine needles which were shed naturally by the critters. They developed complex styles of weaving using these needles. Modern reproductions, like this mirror, are striking with their black and cream palette.
ILA designs – The Fine Art of Classic Fresco
African American stools. I often encounter these stools, sometimes called King’s stools or Ashanti stools.Their natural shapes and dividing details look fantastic next to sofas and chairs in modern and traditional spaces. They could cost anywhere from $200 to $500.
Midcentury pottery. I always snatch up groupings of multicolored yarn bits once I find good ones. I prefer ’50s and ’60s era bits, which come in a variety of sizes. Singles may be utilized as vases or sculpture, and groupings are excellent on sideboards and mantels.
Kailey J. Flynn Photography
Vintage commercial indications. Vintage signs big and small may be put in rooms to get an eclectic touch which adds whimsy and nostalgia to a space. Huge ones may can be propped up in a corner, and bigger ones could be mounted just about anywhere. Try mixing in smaller indications with a photo collage onto a wall or above a bed.
Richard Bubnowski Design LLC
Classic radios. Classic radios are easy to find and I always enjoy inspecting their knobs and dials. I look for ’50s-era radios and intriguing colours and add them to sideboards, mantels and coffee tables. Should they work, that is a bonus.
Custom Home Group
Classic suitcases. Old suitcases are best when used in groupings, but just as entertaining in singles. I use them as end tables, coffee tables or as sculpture. I open up these and assess their condition, but indications of wear are good — it adds patina to a space.
Classic globes. Another easy find in antique stores, classic globes are excellent as standalone bits or tabletop accessories. I love the very old ones that have neutral colours, but the multicolored school style is fun too, especially in homes with kids learning about geography and history.
Next: More guides to classic style