Buying an item of antique furniture in Singapore is an investment, so you’ll want to make sure it gets the decorating treatment it deserves when placed in your home. But what’s the secret to making sure it’ll work with the scheme you’ve already got, whether classic or contemporary? We’ve gone straight to antique colonial furniture specialists The Past Perfect Collection to get the scoop on pulling off that enviable mix of old and new in your home.
Top-quality British colonial antiques made during the 19th century in India are the stars of Past Perfect’s showroom, with the collection handpicked by Dutch couple and owners Pieter and Marie-Hélène van Houten on their travels to India. Each unique piece is restored to its former glory with exquisite polishing and fresh upholstery, before hitting their Dunearn Road store.
Of course, you could always channel a stately colonial mansion (where the furniture originated from) and fill every room with antiques! But, more likely, you’ll be looking to add just a touch of colonial charm to your existing scheme. Looking for a few style rules when it comes to making it work? We’ve got ’em right here, courtesy of The Past Perfect Collection!
1. Mix and match – and mix some more!
This pair of British colonial club chairs wouldn’t look out of place in the lobby of a W Hotel, and yet they’re about as antique as you can get. The clever chaps over at The Past Perfect Collection have covered them in leather to bring them bang up to date, and in a cool twist, placed a marble Buddha on a rosewood table between them, with a framed map in the backdrop. What you can take from this is that it’s perfectly acceptable, encouraged even, to mix styles – antiques, Asian, contemporary, you name it – to create a look that’s elegant yet eclectic.
2. Experiment with upholstery
Take this beautifully-polished British colonial Victorian armchair, complete with dinky stool to rest your pedicured feet. Either you could play it safe upholstery-wise, or up the style ante like The Past Perfect Collection have done with this shot of bold pattern to offset the polished rosewood frame. We know which we’d rather! Punchy and practical, it’s the perfect spot for a mid-morning cup of tea.
3. Contrast is key
Old and new, classic and contemporary – you’ll have seen it done countless times in interiors glossies for the simple reason that when it works, it works well. Here, modern art – Ineke Hollman’s Delica-Sea acrylic paint and paper on canvas – provides a playful backdrop for The Past Perfect Collection’s Portuguese colonial prie-dieu (or prayer) chairs. We love the contrast of the solid concrete floor against the polished rosewood, too.
4. Antiques as accent pieces
Antiques need space to shine, and we’d happily give this stunning British colonial Victorian centre table from The Past Perfect Collection every spare inch of our entrance hall to do just that! The aim is to not make the piece vie for attention, and this is especially the case when you’re placing a single antique in an otherwise contemporary room. You want it to stand out in the subtlest of ways – don’t you agree?
5. Keep the rest of the room neutral
Play up the proportions of antique furniture, such as this British colonial teakwood partner’s desk from The Past Perfect Collection, by keeping the rest of the scheme neutral and complementary. Natural furnishings, white walls and classic accessories are the simplest tricks in the book, and yet oh-so effective when paired with a striking hardwood antique collector’s piece.
6. And, remember, an antique isn’t just for show!
First select a solid, high-quality antique, such as the restored colonial pieces from The Past Perfect Collection, then use it, integrate it and don’t be tempted to reserve it only for admiring glances. After all, it’s lasted two World Wars, so we’re quite sure it can withstand anything from cocktail hour at a Novena condo to a family gathering at a Mount Pleasant black-and-white!
Looking for more tips and tricks on integrating antique and contemporary interior design? The Past Perfect Collection is on Pinterest and Facebook so be sure to bookmark them. Or, simply head to their showroom: 896 Dunearn Road #02-01D Sime Darby Centre Singapore 589472. Tel: 6737 3078; www.pastperfect.sg.
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