Saturday 23 January 2021

Styling with Antiques, Top Tips!


Styling with Antiques, Top Tips!

Posted November 1st, 2020 by Eve Oliver and filed under Interior Designers

Styling with Antiques

The way people view antiques is changing, no longer is a dusty jewellery box the first thing that springs to mind when the word antique is mentioned. With shoppers becoming increasingly eco-conscious, antique furniture is stealing the spotlight over poorly made pieces..

The quality and uniqueness of antique furniture is enough to throw away your mass-produced furniture catalogue and enter a new way of shopping, like browsing antique sites such as and our favourite - attending antique markets to pick up high-quality pieces that come with history and character. 

So, let's get straight to it, how can you best use antiques in your home?










How to best design your home or office space with antiques: 

  1. You either have one piece that you absolutely love, a timeless piece that either you’ve inherited or purchased from an antique market or marketplace, and you build your whole design around that one antique piece. 

  2. You have a design in mind and you want to add those antique finds to make the design that much unique and personal to you. 

Either way, any design should be unique to you and adapt to your character and style. These days, no one has a standard look! That’s where antique markets come in, you can find items that no one on your street will have, your visitors will know the piece is unique to your character and most importantly, it provides a space you can be proud of! 

The way you design your home has drastically changed, with access to inspiration through platforms such as Instagram, it’s become easier to design your home based upon your personality! “It’s like how fashion was in the 80s & 90s, you had a handbag and lipstick to match, and that’s it. Nowadays, interior has gone the same way as fashion, it’s all about mixing and matching! It’s the only way you’re going to make it yours.” 

iacf antique markets are there to provide you with countless of choices on how to design your home and find that one-of-a-kind piece that becomes the centerpiece of your room.


Finding that anchoring piece that ties each piece together doesn’t have to be stressful, if you find an antique item that you’ve fallen in love with, make that the centre piece and build the story around that piece.

“It’s so flexible, it’s great, because you can now have anything in your home that you love!”, Emma exclaims.

Walking around the market, we spoke about using pieces for different purposes than to what they were made for. Certain pieces don’t have to now serve the same purpose, it’s all about seeing a piece and not creating limits to how it could be used. The beauty of antique furniture is that it lasts for years, in one house you could use antique shelving as a bathroom feature and then if it doesn’t go with the new design in your new home you can change its function to be a shoe holder in your hallway! 

Emma discusses how the antique cupboard *pictured above* can be used over and over again… “This piece could go anywhere! You could put it in your hallway as a shoe holder, you could have it in the bedroom as a bedside table. The doors are so thick, it’s such good quality.” 

"Antique furniture will last years, in one home it could act as the shoe holder", Emma imagined, "as it fits the design of the hallway, but in your new home if your hallway colour scheme has changed, then you can fit it in your bedroom as a bedside table!"


Mixing Antiques with Traditional

 When styling antiques, people can sometimes forget that   just because one item is antique, it doesn’t mean the   whole design has to be antique! Have fun with your   design, like previously stated, the centre piece can be an   antique item you just can’t forget about and the rest of   the room can be based around more traditional items. 

 “I use a mix of traditional furniture and antique items”,   Emma explains as we come across some beautiful   antique tiles, “a lot of my designs have a lot of colourful   tiles in them, there is a big tradition of using tiles in   Spain, they are good quality and you can easily use them as part of your chosen colour scheme to add interest to the room.”

“Rather than using colourful wallpaper or colourful furniture, you could use tiles!” Tiles don’t have to be restricted to the kitchen, Emma emphasizes how you can use them (tiles) in any room. “It’s just about having an eye for detail, knowing what’s good for your personal taste and using these to find your forever piece.” 

Visit for a beautiful selection of antique tiles, ranging from Victorian tiles, Art Deco tiles, Vintage tiles, Art Nouveau & much much more! The antique tiles available are hand painted and come with history, such as the Mintons Aesthetic Movement Tile C.1882, for sale on by Williams Antiques & Restoration.

Click here to view more beautiful antique, vintage, art deco and more tiles today on!

When analysing antique furniture, there is often an element of surprise that comes with the piece! The design and detail of items are much more thought through than any basic furniture design. Emma discovered a particular surprise with a small antique round table, “This is a side table but who would have thought there would be a draw there!” Not only does antique furniture have elements of surprise in its design, but also in its practical use... “It’s used as a little shelf, you can put your drinks closer to you when relaxing!”


We have discussed the quality and use of antique furniture but what about those delicate antique finds that also contributes to adding personal character to your room? Antique furniture isn’t the only thing you can find at iacf antiques markets, delicate glassware is another popular attribution to iacf antiques markets. Glassware provides countless benefits in interior designing, there are numerous unique glassware antiques at iacf, each providing a shimmer of personality and delicacy, the possibilities are endless. You can choose from glass vases, glass domes, glass boxes, glass dishes, glass jewellery boxes and so much more. 



Glass doesn’t have to be transparent, this beautiful glass light shimmers blue lighting which fits with the overall design perfectly. “The colour of the glass is absolutely stunning, it’s beautiful. That is one of a kind.” 

Emma expresses how the beauty of antique glass is that you can really see the effort and work that has gone into each piece. Looking at the detail of the gold and blue light, you can see it isn’t perfect, but that is what makes it so unique and a beautiful addition to any room. 

To people who are aware of the benefits of antique furniture, using antiques in their home isn’t questionable, however there are still some people who don’t realise the potential of using antiques in their home.

We questioned Emma as to why this might be, “People sometimes think of antiques as bulky furniture, it isn’t. This piece here”, Emma points to the 3-story antique table with mirror (pictured above), “it’s great for the bedroom or bathroom as shelving, it’s 3 shelves, a mirror and such a beautiful piece of furniture. The design is quite narrow and has a rounded shape that maximises the space, you can see a lot of thought and consideration has gone into a piece of furniture like that”. 


Another example are these antique stools here (pictured above). Emma explains how the quality is extraordinary. Emma speaks with the antique dealer who is selling this item, he goes on to express how much thought and detail goes into these pieces, “the legs are carved individually and then attached. It is made out of fruit wood, they always sell well as they can be used for so many things, like a side stool!”


Fun Decor

There will always be something at iacf antiques markets that will make you smile! We spotted a puffer fish hanging on a string, Emma laughs “you can’t get more unique than this! Forget your anchors and coastal decor, this is your original coastal look!”.

Remember to try and enjoy your designing experience as much as possible, the best designs are those that come from love and enjoyment!


Exploring Creativity when Antiques Shopping

When you find a piece of furniture at iacf antiques markets, what you see isn’t always what you get. You can put your own creative flair on things, the furniture can simply act as the base. 

Emma discovered some white chairs at the market, “What I would do with these chairs is I would re-cover the seats in a funky fabric and then paint the frame in a very daring colour, like an acid yellow or an acid green that just screams ‘street art!

“You’re going from something that’s really conservative to something that’s really out there.”


Bringing Interior Design Clients to iacf Antiques Markets

“I (Emma) would love to bring clients here (iacf Antiques Markets) and take them around, get them to view all the variety of items available and we can then make a joined decision on what they love  and what we can bring back to their spaces. They would love that”. 

Thank you Emma Martin for the fantastic recommendation on our Antiques Markets, we can't wait to welcome you to our future markets.

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