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Myths and truths about antiques in the interior

There are many myths about antiques in the interior. Let’s try to figure out what antique really is and is needed in a modern apartment or house.

Myth 1. Antiques in the interior are mostly furniture.

Of course no! Any elements of the interior and furnishings can be antique – from chandeliers to cutlery.

Myth 2. Antiques turn a room into a museum.

This myth comes from a strange belief that antiques are combined exclusively with each other, and if you are to furnish a house with the attraction of antiques, then absolutely everything should be antique.

In fact, such interiors are the exception rather than the rule. In modern design, a mix of antiques and newer things is encouraged in every possible way. Yes, it is not so easy and requires a sense of style, but what an effect!

Often, antiques are assigned the role of accent elements, with the help of which they set the room’s mood or highlight individual zones. Sometimes one object is enough to make the room “play”.

Myth 3. Antiques are only suitable for retro styles.

Indeed, styles such as Victorian, Rococo, Baroque, and a few others don’t exist without antiques. But this does not mean that antiques cannot fit into a more modern interior. See how chic an antique tapestry works into a minimalist living room with loft elements.

Myth 4. Antiques are inconvenient, and it is a dust collector, etc.

This myth arose because antiques are identified with furniture and carved heavy wardrobes and dressers of the 2nd half of the 19th century. But antiques belong to a dozen styles, including Empire, Constructivism, or Art Deco. How does a laconic console or an Art Deco mirror differ from modern products in collecting dust or convenience? Nothing but beauty and quality.

Myth 5. Antiques need a house or at least a large apartment.

But this is only half a myth. If you want to decorate the room entirely in a retro style using antiques – then yes, it should correspond in its parameters to the chosen era. A couple of years ago, a virtual tour of an ordinary apartment in a panel house, which the owners furnished in the Baroque style, flashed in the media. Everything looked like a parody, and they could only move along it sideways. But if antiques are used as a separate decorative or accent element, they are entirely appropriate in a standard urban dwelling.

6. Antiques are out of fashion

Antiques are not a matter of fashion but of understanding why they are needed.

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How To Care For Antique Wood Furniture

Antique furniture is always an indicator of the elitism of its owner. Only a true connoisseur of beauty, a person with a delicate taste and a special attitude to life, can choose favor of a thing that is tens, hundreds of years old, preferring it to something new. However, in addition to the joy of possession, the need for careful maintenance of these items is acquired with antique furniture. Therefore, if you are the proud owner of antique furniture or intend to become one, you will not be hurt by our antique care guide:

Rule # 1 Observe the temperature regime.

Most often, speaking of antique furniture, we mean wooden furniture. And wood, like any natural material, can be inconsistent. Optimal temperature conditions for careful storage of solid wood furniture; from + 15C to + 20C, with an air humidity of 50-65%. It is impossible to allow sharp temperature changes, which often occur at the beginning and the heating season. To maintain the correct humidity, the ventilation system should work well in the room. The inflow of fresh air and the balance of optimal temperature and moisture protects the tree from drying out and mold.

Rule # 2 Clarification to the first

The second rule follows from the first rule – and antique furniture must not be installed next to heating appliances. The permissible minimum distance between antiques and, say, a radiator 50 centimeters. Otherwise, the heater will dry out the air, the humidity will drop to 20%, and the furniture will begin to dry out and crack.

Rule # 3 Smooth floor

Antique sideboards should never be placed on uneven surfaces. In extreme cases, place additional spacers under the feet to level the level. This rule especially applies to antique wardrobes and cupboards with movable elements, doors, and drawers. If such furniture stands for a long time on an uneven surface, the doors will begin to warp and sag due to a load of their own weight, and the fasteners will loosen.

Rule # 4 Descendants of Dracula

Antique wooden furniture does not like sunlight at all – from their influence, it burns out and becomes covered with the smallest cracks. Therefore, it is better to protect it from ultraviolet radiation by covering the windows with curtains.

Rule # 5 Excess cargo

Often, antique furniture looks solid and reliable, but don’t forget about its age! Weighty objects placed on its surface will cause irreparable damage to furniture over time. Antique furniture is more of a decorative item, so do not overload it functionally.

Rule # 6 No innovation

When caring for antique furniture, do not use products used for cleaning and polishing modern furniture. Synthetic compounds that are suitable for modern artificial varnishes can easily destroy the protective varnish on antique furniture. Therefore, it would be better to resort to special products designed to care for things “ with a history ” or use folk methods.

Rule # 7 Taking care of your skin

The last rule applies to upholstered furniture. Or rather antique furniture covered with leather. Genuine leather upholstery needs periodic lubrication. The optimum humidity for its preservation is even higher than that of a tree, but this level is uncomfortable for life. Therefore, to protect the skin from cracks and to crumble, it should be wiped with a mixture of olive oil and vinegar (1/2) or even a simple hand cream at least once every couple of months.

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Antique Furniture Styles

It doesn’t matter if you feel like someone who appreciates style, collects things, or collects antiques – you need to be able to define the styles of antique furniture. Antiques reflect the countries’ culture to which it belongs, and the history of the people who owned it can also be traced to the old thing. Let’s talk more about each of the styles.

Roman style

The Romanesque style was used in Europe for about four centuries. There was no variety in this style. The chest, made in the Romanesque style, was considered universal. They not only stored and transported things but also used chests as a bed or stool. Furniture made in the Romanesque style differed from others in that it was decorated with flat carvings. On chairs, tables, and chests, dragons and various colored ornaments were depicted.

Gothic style

The Gothic style is one of the styles of the Middle Ages. It originated in France and was the successor to the Romanesque style. In this direction, such interior elements as chests, benches, and chairs were made. The main wood from which these things were made was oak. The use of walnut, spruce, and pine was less common. The fireplace began to play an important role in the interior. A wardrobe and a sideboard appeared. A semi-canopy was attached to the bed.

Renaissance

In the XIV century, a style was born, called the Renaissance. It originated in Italy and held out in Europe as the mainstream until the 16th century. Things in the Renaissance style had the following characteristics: clarity of forms, relief of carving, a large amount of gilding. This style’s true strength was the refectory tables, the tabletops of which consisted of several panels. The furniture was coated with patina. Cassone’s chests were also created in the Renaissance style. They were used as wedding chests.

Baroque style

The origin of the style falls on the end of the 16th century. Distinctive features were bright colors, gilded items. The expressiveness of forms also distinguished the Baroque from other styles. Compared to the Renaissance, the Baroque’s main distinguishing feature was the complexity of the forms, which changed and modified over time. The curvature of the lines gives the luxury furniture a certain lightness. Tables and chairs made in the Baroque style had curved legs. To provide the surface with curvature, artisans glued small pieces of plywood together. Then the surface was polished. After that, varnishes were applied to it. It was from these times that people began to create lacquerware.

Regency style

When the baroque went out of fashion, it was replaced by the Regency style. The furniture of this style was more graceful and lighter in comparison with the baroque furniture. The products were decorated with interweaving ribbons, grotesque, curls. The use of Chinese porcelain, varnishes, elements of a fan, a pagoda brought some zest to the products of this direction.

The legs of tables and chairs acquired more and more sophisticated shapes: first, legs were created, the bottom of which depicted the shape of a hoof. Then eagle claws appeared, which squeezed the ball.

The decor’s complexity distinguished chaise lounges and chairs made in that era, the backs were upholstered with a soft covering.

Rococo

Rococo style – known for the lightness and grace of its products. The asymmetry of patterns (flowers, seashells, curls) is the main characteristic of this style. Their wavy shape and asymmetric handles distinguish rococo chests of drawers.

Chippendale style

Chippendale is an English furniture maker. He came up with tables that have a folding part. It was very convenient, and in those days such tables were very popular. But the Chippendale style tea tabletops were made from solid wood. The carved edges created a comfortable setting for table setting. The legs of such tables also looked unusual.

Classicism

The emergence of the style falls on the XVIII century. He appeared in France. Chairs of this style were luxurious. The backrest upholstery in soft silk, gilding on the legs, as well as delicate carvings, distinguished this antique furniture.

Directory Style

It was this style that prevailed at the end of the 18th century. Simplicity and lightness of forms are the main features of this direction. The legs of the chairs were made even, very rarely bent. Used in the manufacture of furniture expensive materials such as silk and leather.

Empire style

The emergence of this style took place at the beginning of the 19th century. Gold is woven into the fabric of the upholstery, the bedside tables were made as pedestals. Bronze jewelry is also characteristic of this style.

Biedermeier style

The direction can be described as a mixture of Empire and Classicism styles. The furniture is practical and comfortable.

Queen Victoria style

There are wood carvings, metal appliqu├ęs, mosaics and luxurious upholstery. During this period, special soft and comfortable chairs for ladies were created.

Louis Philippe style

This style is similar to rococo. The same soft contours, wavy surfaces and curved legs.

Second Empire

Appeared in the middle of the 19th century. Cast bronze and gilded vintage furniture are what distinguishes this style.

Chesterfield style

The emergence in the 80s of the XIX century. Feet on wheels, an abundance of upholstery materials and the use of springs to create bouncy seats make this style more modern.

Modern

Beauty and convenience played an important role in style. Unusual ornament is the main characteristic of Art Nouveau.

Art Deco

Art Deco is a continuation of modernity. The demand for furniture of this style is very high. He is preferred in many countries around the world.