For most people, a home furnished with antiques says "old money." Some may even buy an older home for sale specifically for the architectural style and history. However, if you think furnishing your home with antiques will be cheap or easy, think again. It's easy to go wrong with antiques, and it's easy to be ripped off by antique dealers who can spot someone who has no idea what they're doing a mile away. To help you decide if antiques are the right look for your home and point you in the right direction during your decorating, we've created this guide.
The first thing you need to know is that "antique" doesn't simply refer to anything that is old. Some old furniture is just junk, so you have to learn how to differentiate between the two if you want to do up your new condo with antiques. Antiques are valued for their style, sturdiness, and popularity in their original time. Check out books and photos from the era you are inspired by to see what types of tables, chairs, wall art, curtains, and rugs they preferred so you know what to look for.
The actual definition of "antique" according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is: belonging to an earlier period, style, or fashion : old and often valuable'
There are many people who want to find at least a few antique pieces for their home, so pretty much everywhere you live is likely to have at least one antique store. This store will be owned by people who know the value of the pieces they own, so don't expect to get any deals. If you have inherited any antiques, you can consult with antique shop owners to see how much they are worth and get advice on who to hire to repair any damage they may have sustained over the years.
Antique stores tend to be pricey, so don't hesitate to get a second opinion or to negotiate the price with the owner. If you can't get it down enough that you can afford it and still pay your bills, keep looking. You can also stumble across antiques owned by people who don't know their piece's worth at thrift shops, flea markets, second hand furniture shops, and auctions of storage units and seized goods, if you are lucky and are willing to put in the extra time to look around.
One thing you should keep in mind when you're antiquing is not just how the piece will work with your the property but also how the piece will coordinate with other items you own. Generally speaking antiques from different eras do not look good together. So art deco should coordinate with art deco and federal with federal. However, some eras of European decorating are similar enough to mesh with each other if necessary.