The south (as well as many other areas) is famous for using heirloom pieces to decorate the home. Complete magazines have been devoted to this kind of decorating too, ahem, Country Living and Tradional Home. Here recently with the trend of "Going Green" you've probably noticed PotteryBarn and Restoration Hardware using older, reused furniture (or the look of older, reused furniture) in their pictures to give that homey, lived in, comfy feel that only old furniture can provide. Here are a few pictures of what I mean:
I love this traditional set. It shows how easily you can bring a older style chair into the 21st century with a little facelift. See the fabric they used on the chairs? A wonderful choice that's clean, well tailored and easily makes the room flow and accept the more modern touches from the stemware, dishes and look at that chandelier! Love. The jute rug really brings the space together by defining it, but because it's very rustic, it brings down the formality of the table to fit in just about any space for comfort.
Look at that sideboard table. It's just lovely. Clean lines, made of a nice, sturdy wood and has a very rustic feel. It reminds me of something you would find in a cabin. But look at what they've done. By simply adding a couple of modern table lamps, and a mirrior, they've achieved a very high-end look. I love how they kept with the nature theme by adding some beautiful branches in the modern bowl for some texture. I'm sure you can re-create this same space in your home easily (and with a small budget). My thought is, if you have a picture to go by, and you love the look, why bust your brains trying to figure out how to make it work in your house? They've done the hard work for you, take advantage of it!!!
Recently, since John and I got married and bought our house, we've been given a lot of furniture from my Grandmother. Yes, we want the furniture because of the heirloom quality of it. But is it our style? Some yes, some no. It's working with those pieces and having the eye to weave them into our current style to make the pieces seem intentional instead of an attempt.
John and I lean more towards traditional pieces with clean lines, with touches of modern elements. We don't want our house to scream 21st century, but we don't want it to look like Grandma's house either. We're still trying to find the balance of the two.
If you have two VERY different pieces (say two pieces that are of the same height you want to use for nightstands) but you aren't sure how to get the pieces to mesh into your taste and style, don't worry. I'm here to help teach you how.
First of all, are they of the same stain or color? If not, a simple coat of paint or re-staining it will help bring the colors together.
When placing the stands next to one another and they aren't exactly a match, don't worry. They aren't going to be right next to each other in the room. They'll be separated by an entire bed, linens, fabrics, textures and light. It won't matter they aren't of the same color.
You want them to match in this respect:
- Are they of the same time period?
- Do they have similar lines?
- Will they give me the look I want?
See, the nightstands don't match. They look great because it's what the owner wanted. They made the room coheisive from the look they wanted. And the bed is definately an heirloom piece (at least that's what they want us to think). So don't be afraid to mix and match. Even the best designers don't buy sets of furniture for bedrooms or living rooms.
I hope I've given you some great advice to live by when you're searching for that next great piece. Whether it's at Potterybarn, the flea market or your favorite consignment shop. I hope you go with these things in mind.
What pieces we've been able to integrate into our house that are family pieces and pieces we've chosen together to make our house more "us". Stay Tuned...