By: Arman Shah Rawi
In a world where glory is typically reserved for the young and the new, beauty that comes with age tends to get overlooked. Yet, there’s something undeniably quaint and charming about relics of the past that have endured the passing of time, just like the furniture at Just Anthony. A purveyor of Chinese antique furniture, the company cherishes the old and believes wholeheartedly in the preservation of vintage gems from different eras.
Founded in the 1970s, Just Anthony is helmed by father-daughter duo, Anthony and Danielle Lee, who make regular trips to China to find unusual old furniture. Their dedication to sourcing unique antiques – not to mention retaining their original patina or natural decolouration – has made their store a must-visit destination for lovers of Chinese antiques and reproductions.
Yet, there are homeowners in Singapore who shy away from investing in antique furniture. Perhaps, it can be attributed to their fear of clashing concepts – how can you have a beautiful home when the existing furniture, most of which are contemporary – just don’t mix well with the antique pieces? To answer that question, Caroline of Arete Culture (long time collaborators with Just Anthony) offers five styling tips on how to blend the old with the new.
Balance and proportion
Always remember to vary the shape, size, texture and colour of the items, but make sure that the composition works. For example, combining a beautiful wooden antique console table with a pair of modern glass lamps, and then throwing in a modern sofa with a stunning contemporary bowl or potted orchid, will immediately create an elegant feel to a room.
3-5 Golden Rule
When accessorising, always remember the “3-5 Golden Rule”. It gives enough variety without the clutter and looks great on the eye. Consider placing some small old porcelain bowls or jadeite carvings on a coffee table in a modern setting.
Group collections together
Grouping collections together will make a bold statement. A grand wedding cabinet converted into an entertainment unit to hold the TV in the family room, coupled with a few carefully put-together old leather pillow or jewellery boxes, will immediately add some drama to the space.
Create a space with personal meaning
Create a livable and meaningful home with intrinsic values. Surround yourself with beautiful antiques that you love and be rest-assured that these versatile pieces with their age-old history, de-stressed marks and colours will really give the interior that special spark.
It all boils down to mixing hard with soft, round with square, boxy with leggy – just experiment! You’ll be surprised how interestingly metal mixes with old wood, copper with textures or fabric with porcelain.