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Elevating Your Interiors with Stylish Finds Part 2

Let’s continue our discussion of what stylish finds to keep an eye out for when hitting the antique trail.  If you read part one, you’ll know that I like to supplement my client’s styling budget with both new and vintage accessories.  Integrating antiques offers originality and uniqueness so when I’m styling a home, I have two main criteria the pieces should have personality and charm.

Here are some additional things you should look for when you hit the antique trail.

“Brown” Furniture

In the design world, the term ‘brown furniture’ is when we’re referring to antique and vintage pieces. Though my days of buying and selling antiques are behind me, I still relish the opportunity to intersperse a vintage find here and there. The allure lies not only in their affordability but also in the inherent charm and character they have. I approach antique furniture shopping with a discerning eye, and I gravitate towards small accent furniture like desks that can double as bedside tables in guest rooms or martini tables nestled beside sofas.

Interior Design Tip: When purchasing antiques, it’s crucial to assess the quality of craftsmanship. Look for solid construction, durable materials, and attention to detail. Ensure that joints are tight and well-finished, and prioritize pieces made from solid wood rather than veneers.  Examine the drawer and door functionality ensuring they operate smoothly and inspect the condition of the hardware. Finally, be vigilant for any signs of pests like termites, woodworms, or evidence of mice.  YUCK!

Sports Equipment & SignageStyling with antiques quote

Given our specialization in designing Vermont vacation homes, vintage sports equipment such as snowshoes or skis, and fishing paraphernalia like finishing rods,  nets, and creels are sure to find a place in our clients’ homes. They not only serve as nostalgic nods to Vermont’s history but they also inject authenticity into the space.


Though vintage mirrors may not feature prominently in my designs, their resurgence in popularity warrants a mention. Unlike their new counterparts, second-hand mirrors have a rich patina and unique character.  They often are distressed (called desilvering) and if functionality is important and you like the frame, simply replace the mirror.


While many clients are opting for lighter and brighter alternatives to traditional Oriental rugs, I’m currently working on a project where we want the allure and timelessness of a vintage rug.  Vintage and antique rugs, typically have exceptional craftsmanship and are very high quality.  They were considered investments for many years and some had their own insurance policies!  Although large antique rugs may no longer command a high price tag, their quality, and timeless appeal make them valuable additions to any home.

Interior Design Tip: Always keep measurements of items on your wish list handy. This ensures that when you stumble upon something you love in an antique store, you can quickly verify whether it fits your space.

Sourcing antiques is not just a styling trick but also an act of environmental stewardship.  Take your time and be patient. Once you find a trust-worthy antique store pop in often or let the owner know what you’re looking for.

Have a well-designed day,




Antiques not your cup of tea?

If you don’t have the patience, time or interest in visiting antique stores, then consider adding my RETAIL ROLODEX to your library.  As an interior designer, I know that the key to creating stunning, well-designed spaces lies in the sources you have available.  I’ve meticulously selected every retailer featured in the RETAIL ROLODEX. These are the same sources I trust for my own home, and now they’re at your fingertips. Whether you’re furnishing, decorating, or renovating, you’ll find everything you need, all vetted through the lens of impeccable design.

Join our community of design enthusiasts and receive expert advice and fresh ideas every two weeks! “It’s my favorite email to read” Sarah S.
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