• Karin A. Costa, GPPA

Amazing Interior Spaces Created on a Budget

As we organized our current auction, we could not help but notice how the homeowner combined eclectic styles to create a harmonious interior by mixing Asian, Contemporary and Traditional style. Dark, rich wood furniture was mixed with painted furniture and decorative arts constructed of paper, metal, rope and bamboo. Instead of using valuable antiques, the interior space was successfully appointed on a budget using 20th Century antique reproductions with contemporary, quality designs.

The Qing style Chinese sideboard is unmistakable as a late 20th Century reproduction by its uneven, overly distressed finish and stamped hardware, but the painted exterior added a "pop" of color to the dining room. A vintage piece dating from the early 20th Century would cost more than $2000 at an antiques shop, but a later reproduction becomes affordable at a much lower cost allowing the new owner many more options for its use than if it were an expensive or historic antique.

An amazing interior space can be created using the piece "as is" as a buffet in a large dining room, an entertainment stand or a room divider in a great room. According to Good Housekeeping magazine, two of the top decorator trends for 2020 are colored cabinets in the kitchen and accent pieces with vintage patina, making this Chinese sideboard, which is large enough to use a a center island even with a prep sink added, a trendy option.

Rattan and wicker also fit current styles as part of the "Organic Modern" design. Texture balances modern and traditional style. This chair is by Palecek Furniture which was on the cutting edge of organic design 40 years ago by using organic fiber in its furniture. The furniture is handcrafted down to the tied leather strapping on the legs! Take a closer look to see that a Palecek chair is a work of art.

Rooms full of vintage furniture have been replaced by single statement pieces. This mid-20th Century game table is in excellent condition with a warm patina would typically be relegated to a masculine room, such as the "man cave". Today it could be used equally as an entry table or stylish dining table juxtaposed with upholstered chairs in an apartment, town home or luxury estate.

Design trends go around and come around. Don't be afraid of buying pieces from the past--even the recent past. Focus on quality pieces that are sturdy and were originally constructed with attention to detail, then you will want to make them part of "living" in your home and not be afraid of using them.

Although these pieces will not have the provenance to bring long-lasting value, they offer value to you by bringing joy in collecting and decorating your nest. When you don't have the money to buy expensive antiques or new, quality furnishings, a quality vintage piece is an ideal alternative and cost savings.

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