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Decorating tips: How to kit out your house with antique furniture

Picking out a piece of antique furniture is a fabulous way to add character and interest to a space. What’s more, you can guarantee you’re getting something a bit different from the masses! However, for those of us who aren’t seasoned design experts, the idea of incorporating an antique into our home interior can seem a little daunting. How do you mix the old with the new so it looks chic and classy, rather than, well – odd?

To help us dispel a few myths and give us some much-needed interior styling tips, we enlisted the help of the team at Just Anthony, Singapore-based specialists in oriental furniture designs.

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A view of just a few of the treasures at Just Anthony

Tip 1: Antique furniture is one of a kind!
Without doubt, there are tons of wedding cabinets and kitchen cabinets from China around, but no two pieces are the same, especially when it comes down to the little details: the construction, painting, carving and most importantly the patina. If you move back to your home country and can take it with you, an antique piece can always serve as a sweet reminder of your time living in Asia.

Tip 2: Antiques can be practical.
Contrary to popular belief, not all antique furniture is impractical! Yes, some may have little design quirks – the drawers won’t have soft closing runnings, and door hinges may not be as smooth as a more modern, contemporary model, but there are many plus points too. A lot of pre-loved designs are strong and sturdy, provide ample storage, and have beautiful decorative details which you won’t find on a new shop bought piece.

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You may think this green cabinet is quite a bold choice, but look how seamlessly it blends with the furniture in this modern apartment

Tip 3: They can blend seamlessly into a modern living space
Granted, there are some pieces that look heavy and a bit gaudy, but there are also many types that are simple, understated and handsome in design. Mixed and matched, they can go surprisingly well with modern decor, and can add a calm sense of elegance to a space.

Tip 4: They can add a dash of character to your home
If you want to add some pizzazz to a corner of your home, an antique piece of furniture or an accessory is the way to go. Not only can they be decorative, but they make a great conversation starter. What’s more, you really don’t have to worry about it matching with your sofa or curtains, because it’s supposed to stand out.

Tip 5: You can be bold and have fun with design choices!
Don’t worry about a piece having too many carving details. A lot of the time, they can really impress in a modern or minimalist space. You’ll be surprised how harmonious they can be alongside modern furniture.

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This refurbished aqua blue cabinet (complimented by that painting!) adds a chic pop of colour to an otherwise neutral space

Tip 6: You should try designs with a pop of colour
While we always strive to maintain the original colour and patina of an antique, in some cases a piece is too damaged and it needs a bit of restoration. We see this as our chance to get adventurous and repaint it in different colours like white, turquoise or aqua to give them a new lease of life. We’ve done this with plenty of cabinets, sideboards and wooden containers with fantastic results.

Tip 7: Don’t want to commit to a bigger piece? Opt for an accessory instead
You can use a rice scoop as a magazine rack, an iron horse stirrup as a candle stand or a wooden bucket as a laundry basket! If it’s more convenient for you, it’s definitely possible to get creative with smaller accessories rather than committing to a larger piece.
Want more design inspiration? Check out Just Anthony on facebook or visit their showroom at 379 Upper Paya Lebar Road.

Check out the rest of our site for more home decoration ideas.

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