Monday, September 17, 2012

Mixing the old with the new: URBANARA’s guide to making vintage pieces look at home

I was contacted with a request for a guest blog from Urbanara, and the topic fits the themes of Auction Decorating perfectly!

 From Pinterest

As readers of this blog will know, an enduring trend in interior design is the incorporation of vintage furniture within contemporary spaces. However, selecting the right pieces for the right room is an art difficult to perfect. Vintage style can be beautiful, but knowing how to incorporate these pieces with store-bought items is essential to avoid that your place ends up looking like a thrift store.

Here are our top tips on what pieces to hunt down on vintage shopping trips ,and how to add these to your contemporary living space without a massive hit to your wallet.
Seek out the classics.

Look for classic pieces and shapes that have long been loved and imitated
While you’re unlikely to find originals for a low price,  the Eames Lounge Chair or Le Corbusier Sofa are great examples. Their ongoing appeal ensures you are buying a tried and tested design  with lasting style, adding vintage elegance to your home in a way that compliments vintage modern décor with timeless simplicity.

Reinterpret the old
Don’t feel confined by a piece’s original purpose. It’s easy to turn an antique sewing machine table into a desk or plant stand. With a bit of work, an art deco vase can be transformed into a unique lamp, or an old door repurposed into a coffee table.  Use a set of old lockers or a kitchen display cabinet to store your blankets or bed linen, a drinks trolley to display shoes on. Your imagination is your only limitation!

Customise old pieces according to your taste
By picking up furniture that has a solid body but tatty fabric or scratched paint job you will not only get a better price, but the opportunity to add your own distinctive style to a classic shape. Updating vintage chairs by adding a lick of paint or new upholstery can be easy and cost-effective, allowing you to match any piece you find with the existing colours and patterns in a room. Customising your finds to suit your style eases the transition between vintage and modern pieces in your home. 

 From House and Garden (UK)
 Make a statement.
Search for pieces that stand out. Vintage mirrors, lounges and dining tables add great character to a room. By adding just a few bold shapes or shades in contrasting styles to a minimally decorated room you quickly create colour and depth.

Add small touches
Don’t confine your vintage hunt to furniture. Accessories such as vases, lamps, record player or radios artworks and old photos all bring a touch of history to modern surroundings. Dotting vintage ephemera around the home adds an interesting juxtaposition, even if the record player or radio not longer works!

Get to know your decades.
Recognising when a piece was made and knowing what eras work well together is indispensable when sourcing and decorating.For example, the vibrant colours of the 1930s are harmonious with today’s white, minimalistic design. The current fervour  for mid-century pieces is testimony to the style’s longevity and success. Well before its time, the  functional design of the 1950s compliments the clean lines of modern décor and while adding that timeless, classic feel to any current space. Once you can identify the style you like it will be easy to bring new favourites into your home.

 From Apartment Therapy

Look beyond flea markets and second-hand stores
'When buying vintage, auctions can be a great resource, and you may get a great price! When buying at auction, do your research. Ask for condition reports, see the piece in person if possible (but not absolutely necessary) , and do your internet research on past auction sales for similar pieces so that you don't over bid.'

URBANARA is an online retailer of beautiful, high-quality homewares without the sky-high price tag. See their full range of bed linen, blankets and home accessories online.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Dramatic bedrooms!

Make your bedroom a sanctuary with some drama! I love a four poster or great headboards to make a bedroom a place you want to spend more time in than just sleeping.

 Elle Decor - Designer: Sig Bergamin

The designer Sig Bergamin used a wonderful carved Balinese bed to make a statement in this bedroom. Curl up, read, and relax in a cocoon! 

House Beautiful - Designer Jonathan Berger

The designer Jonathan Berger was inspired by an 18th century Venetian bed to create this dramatic headboard. I love the scrolls. 

This 15 foot tall Venetian painted and parcel gilt bed is included in the next Stair Galleries auction in Hudson, NY on September 14th. It's Lot 61 and has an auction estimate of $2,000 - $4,000. This would be a fabulous statement piece, and so much fun to sleep in! Obviously need a room with a tall ceiling - think loft.

This simple but elegant 19th century Beidermeier bed is such a wonderful shape. I would almost perfer it sideways against a wall to allow the birch wood to be seen in all it's glory. I would also reuplster this one in a darker color to offset the light birch color. This sold at a Christie's auction for $750 off an auction estimate of $600 - $800.
Talking drama! This is a late 19th century Italian marquetry bed, and would make quite a statement. This sold at a Christie's auction for $5,000 off an auction estimate of $2,000 - $3,000. Obviously caught the attention of the bidders!

This walnut American Renaissance Revival half tester would take all the attention in a room! It says it all. This sold at a New Orleans auction for $1,168 off an auction estimate of $700 - $1,000. 

A dramatic bedroom is all about the bed. Choose a four poster, a half tester, or just a dramatic headboard. Pile it high with comfy pillows, and  crawl in to read, work, and even to sleep!

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