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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.

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