I love decorating a space. I like making things feel comfortable, welcoming, and beautiful. Antiques help me do that. Warm colors, lovely details, and beautiful lines can strengthen any room’s aesthetic and make it a place you want to be. That is always my goal.
I have slowly been working my way through my house, changing out a piece here, adding a rug there. I keep my eyes open every time I am out shopping. It is so rewarding to find the perfect antique porcelain table lamp or a mahogany chest of drawers that makes the guest room look complete.
Antiquing for me is not about buying things. I could shop anywhere to do that. It is about connecting to the past and bringing it into my own life. Sure I could go anywhere and buy a reasonably priced coffee table. It may look nice, but it is probably made cheaply and will only last me a few years. That is an option. You may like your assembly-required, mass-produced particleboard coffee table. It’s probably very pretty and suits your needs perfectly.
I would rather have something with some history. I found an old WWI era steamer trunk that had been refinished, and that is what I use. I can sit in my living room and imagine the incredible journeys that trunk has been on and the people it may have belonged to.
By far, though, my favorite pieces are part of my bedroom set. I could not believe it when I saw it in the antique shop – a gorgeous Victorian bed frame and dresser. It looked like a beam of sunlight was shining right down on that corner of the store, calling my name. Everything was in fantastic shape. It was also on consignment, and the owner was very interested in making a sale.
I made what I thought was a very fair offer. I tried not to do a little dance at the shop when it was accepted and we made arrangements to have it shipped to my house – the top of the dresser is marble, and that added to the solid wood construction meant it was quite heavy, and would need to be carefully moved to my place.
Even after it was installed in my home, I couldn’t believe my luck. The dresser had the original mirror and tiny hinged glove boxes. The headboard is a summer/winter headboard, designed with a clever panel that can be removed, allowing for cooler breezes to reach the sleeper in warmer months. The first night I lay down to sleep, I thought to myself, “This finally feels like my bedroom.” As I fell asleep that night, and many nights since, I wonder who originally owned these pieces and what their life was like. I wonder how the furniture stayed in such great condition and all the items of clothing the dresser must have held over the years. I wonder what dreams people have had while tucked in under the swirling designs of that headboard’s woodwork.
And that feeling, that connection – even if it is imaginary or tenuous – is the reason I like antiquing.