Many times my customers  tell me they love the look of antiques but are unsure how they can use them to blend into a modern or traditional home environment.  Further, where do they buy them? what should they pay? how do they know what they are buying is real? This will be one of my first posts describing my technique on how to incorporate antiques into the design of your home. I am using one of the shots from my portfolio to illustrate my thoughts. You may visit my website at This interior was featured most recently in, Today’s Historic Interiors ,by Schiffer Publishing.

My goal in this room was to create a fresh traditional look I call Modern classicism. It is the new take on traditional.

This is where traditional is at right now. Gone are the heavy fabrics and dark colors. This room is a study of the shade of yellow/gold ( one single color palette , playing with shades of the color) which is complemented by the wonderful patina on the 100 year old hardwood floors.

The furniture is used as  sculpture in the room. Note the  antique English chair framed in the window. By keeping it open to the window you can truly appreciate the design in the back of the chair. An antique English ladies writing desk is right by the front door which allows the owner a  place to drop a  quick note or drop a package or their keys while coming or going. An adorable antique French chair serves as the resting place while writing that note. Pay attention to the fact that there are three chairs in this photo and none are of the same style, provenance, age  or wood finish. It is the art of the mix that makes a room special and notable. The different styles are cojoined by the coordination of the fabrics. Another aspect to keep in mind is balance and scale. One the interesting ways balance is achieved in this room is by the tall draperies at the windows.The custom made queen anne valances mimic the swoops of crystal beads in the chandelier. The rounded features of the some of the smaller scale chairs make the overall room soft and inviting.

One of the most prominent features and the focal point of the room is an Antique French crystal chandelier. It was found at an antique show and we moved it into this home and kept it non electrified. The candles are beautiful for a special evening but at other times table lamps provide the general illumination. This piece  provides a big impact, entering the house and descending the staircase.

Lastly, to answer the question about where you should buy you antiques. If you are shopping here in the US or abroad, I have been able to find special dealers with great taste that have managed to survive our most recent recession. Look for signs that they belong to Antique Dealer Associations. They must uphold a standard of ethics to belong to those associations. Buy at vetted antiques shows, ask them alot of questions, dealers love to talk about their furniture. The more you look and ask the more you will become comfortable. Study antique furniture in books and go to museums to see period pieces. Right now 18th century English furniture is a good buy as the prices are down in favor of the more modern French 20th  century pieces.

Thanks for reading our blog!!       Will write more on the topic soon       Jo Ann Alston, Allied ASID,NJCID