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8 Tips for Decorating with Antiques & Collectibles

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8 Tips for Decorating with Antiques & Collectibles

Better Homes & Gardens 1950s Decorating Book

-Pamela Wiggins
Adding antiques and collectibles to your decor offers a stylish, interesting, and often practical way to liven up a room. It can be affordable too when you shop wisely.

Group Like Objects Together:

Whether you’ve amassed a striking collection of Roseville pottery or an eclectic mix of antique teddy bears, grouping like objects together on a shelf, table or mantle can often make more of an impact than scattering them about a room. Vary the size and shape of objects in your collectible groupings to make them more interesting. This works well with holiday collectibles, too.

Use Common Items Uncommonly:

Have you ever considered using vintage aprons for kitchen window toppers? How about old pull-down schoolhouse maps as window shades in a study or boy’s bedroom? The field is wide open when it comes to finding a way to use common items in uncommon ways. Learning to look at thrift store bargains and flea market finds in a new light can save you lots of money as well.

Frame Your Ephemera:

Most collectors pick up a few antique postcards, hand fans or pieces of vintage sheet music that speak to them here and there over time. Ephemera, or paper collectibles, like these can easily be framed for wall or easel display. Just remember to ask your framer for acid free materials to preserve precious paper goods and display them away from sunlight to avoid fading.

Recreate an Era:

Recreating an era through decorating can be visually stimulating as well as an interesting challenge for your inner shopper. Consider how an art deco bathroom, Victorian guest room or mid-century modern living area might cleverly accent your home. Look at old home and garden magazines or decorating books for authentic ideas before setting out on a quest to fill that space with stylish collectibles reflecting your favorite decade.

Mix Old with New:

Adding interesting antiques and collectibles to modern décor provides an opportunity to embellish a room with a conversation piece that stands out. Architectural antiques and oversized advertising pieces are great options for this purpose, but anything old and unusual will do. Favorite family heirlooms can work well in this instance too.

Embrace Monotones in Glass:

Imagine a shelf filled with artfully arranged milk glass. Against a pastel wall it’s a fantastic look. Or perhaps you prefer the mirror finish of Mercury glass, which fits in well with crisp white furnishings. From vivid Blenko glass to Depression era hues, the spectrum of glass colors available offers a beautiful way to accent any decorating scheme.

Rotate Your Collectibles:

While they’re tons of fun, this idea goes beyond the usual holiday collectibles we all know and love. Perhaps you have a collection of Shawnee Pottery and a collection of Hall China, but you don’t have room to display both at the same time. Rotating them out a couple of times a year offers an opportunity to enjoy your collections while sprucing up your living space.
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