Old's very much in

TRENDS

Old's very much in

There is something about antique furniture that just does not allow you to give it away. It can be your great-grandmother’s mechanical cuckoo clock. Or your grandfather’s wooden easy chair or even the unbelievably sized earthen vessels that constituted the kitchens of yesteryears. The quality of wood or metal used then remains unmatched. Little wonder then that these pieces of furniture or accessories find their way into modern home décor. 

Says Sudhakar B, a visualiser with an architectural firm, “The reason antiques remain hot favourites is because they are one-of-a-kind. Each and every element of olden day décor was hand-crafted by artisans. Therefore you would never have two of the same kind. This is in stark contrast to décor elements that are mass manufactured today.”

Of course antiques pass through generations and that’s how some of the best pieces are acquired. If not, antiques are a very expensive affair. Today, they are a business as well and you will find several unique pieces that you would love to pick up for your home.
Juhi Santani, Interior Designer, Retale Design Solutions says that in the Indian context there are some elements that can easily be blended into the modern décor concept. Handmade Athangudi tiles, carved doors, wood columns, antique windows, copper/brass vessels, carved headboards/foot boards from antique beds, salvaged wrought iron garden furniture, antique swings converted into daybeds are just some examples. 

Dealing with space

There are some aspects that one has to consider when it comes to incorporating antiques into present day settings. To start with, size. Juhi elaborates, “Most of antique elements were designed for large, generous spaces, unlike most of modern day architecture. One must carefully account for this difference in size and scale while placing old furniture. The idea is not to ‘crowd’ the interior space that it is placed in.” 

When it comes to placement of antique pieces of furniture or similar accessories, it is better to divide each of your rooms into smaller nooks.

The idea behind this is to create space in an existing room to accommodate an element that may not fit the picture as a whole. What needs to be done here is to find a corresponding décor element and try and complete the look, says Sudhakar B. For example, if you have a cuckoo clock, try finding a mantelpiece in a similar shade or type of wood.

Put these elements together and you have a complete picture. The same goes with an antique easy chair. Placing a small wooden table or another piece of a similar make or time frame completes as well as complements the look.  Another approach, says Juhi, is to make the antique piece the central element of the particular corner or space it is being put into. In terms of colour schemes allow everything around to be a shade more subtle than the antique centrepiece. Allow for cleaner, more modern lines and lean towards a more mellow colour. 

A great blend

Can modern and antique furnishing blend together and look harmonious? Well the opinion on this is split. Juhi feels that you can give your creative side a free hand.
A ‘fusion’ of old and new creates interesting accents, adds warmth, balances ‘proportions’ of furniture. Refurbishing old furniture pieces with modern, bright upholstery can create fun and happily-quirky elements of furniture. However, this must be done with much care and planning, else might result in a design disaster.

Sudhakar on the other hand feels that antique furniture pieces are meant to be clubbed with another element. These can be either contemporary or from the same era. Either ways, they have to be placed such that they complement the piece they are being put with and give the corner a sense of completeness. 

Collecting antique furniture has evolved into a hobby these days. However, being able to incorporate them into the modern context of interior décor is an art in itself and one that needs an expert touch.

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