August 29, 2013
Do what professional designers do when they go shopping for furniture and accessories - create a buying plan and stick to it. Keep your eyes open for one-of-a-kind furnishings as you peruse and you're sure to land something as special as the classic wood floors in Anderson's Rushmore collection.
As with houses, you'll see furniture pieces that have "great bones." The construction is good, the style is just what you want, but the item may take loads of work to get it in the shape you want. But if you know what to look for in collectibles and antiques, you'll know quality when you see it.
Decorative, but functional
How antiques and collectibles dovetail with modern furnishings is a particular challenge for people who love period furnishings, but don't want to give up the comforts of a contemporary home.
One way to tie the two together is to use accent pieces that are popular finds at antique marts. For instance, vintage mirrors, from floor-length styles to smaller ones that can be clustered in a group, serve a decorative and functional purpose.
Textiles for soft furnishings should have modern durability, but a period motif for pillows, curtains and upholstery. Vintage fabrics that cannot withstand the wear of everyday use may have a place as wall art.
Making a sale
When shopping for unique collectibles, HGTV designer Emily Henderson recommended making a list of the essentials that you want to bring home. Particularly at an antique flea market, where there is usually a jumble of interesting - and distracting - items for sale, a list helps consumers stay focused on the purchases they need rather than a disjointed selection that won't work together.
ABeautifulMess.com advised consumers to focus on quality rather than quantity when selecting collectibles in order to not go overboard in purchases. Even the best-intentioned collection may overwhelm a room design if it's taking up too much space.
A tape measure is an important tool for shopping trips to make sure you're buying furniture that will fit through your door. Paint chips and fabric swatches help make the best match.
Figure in the cost of renovating a piece, because it may need a lot more than a paint job. Even someone who's handy may not be able to shore up the support of a sagging chair or table without professional help. Some flaws can be hidden, but others aren't worth the expense it will take to camouflage them.