You don’t have to give an arm and a leg for an antique to add princely character to your spaces
BY MALATI K. VIJAY
Spaces imbued with a timeless aesthetic and a defined character have one thing in common: an old-world charm. The best way to achieve such an ambience is by incorporating
antique pieces in your interiors, whether they are genuinely old or repurposed or even mere reproductions.
Antiques are a reminder of a glorious artistic heritage; relics from a splendid past that can enrich contemporary homes. Often, they represent a rare or lost art form or workmanship, making them virtually priceless.
In India, traditional handicrafts are still in use with every region having its own unique style and technique, offering a wide range of options for modern connoisseurs. Wherever you live in the world, a souvenir from your homeland adds nostalgia and rootedness to your spaces. Of course, antiques could be collected from anywhere in the world during your travels, or sourced from stores that curate them from across the globe, bringing home an eclectic flair. With each piece telling a story, and acting as a vignette of history, they evoke a one-of-a-kind environment.
“Your home should tell a story of who you are and be a collection of what you love. The right blend of old and new, and the balance of colours complementing antiques from different periods can elevate any contemporary space,” says Shabnam Gupta of The Orangelane. Known as the star’ designer for her interiors projects for actors Parineeti Chopra, Kangana Ranaut, the late Irrfan Khan, and others, Gupta mixes art and antiques with eccentric colour choices to create charming spaces. Her store, Peacock Life, is a treasure of antiques and artistic pieces that enhance contemporary homes with traditional allure. With a renewed interest in personalising home interiors and a love for all things artistic, demand for antiques has seen an uptick. That explains the spurt of online stores that curate antiques and reproductions from around the world. A good piece with a proper structure can be refurbished and made to look new in different ways. Putting antiques in a contemporary environment, however, requires a deft hand that can provide balance, movement and warmth or the space could end up looking like a cold and static museum. Antiques should enliven the space and add dynamic energy or a serene vibe either by cleverly blending or juxtaposing old and new.
SOME EXPERT VIEWS ON INTRODUCING ANTIQUES INTO CONTEMPORARY HOMES
A BALANCED BLEND
“There should be timelessness, and a balanced mix between the old and the new, with a revived habit of collecting art and homegrown antiques. Just a few personalised statement pieces will add individuality and complement the modern aesthetics,” says Gupta.
Sometimes, it may look like you’re juxtaposing antiques with contemporary items and allowing the contrast to spark interest, or it may appear as though they are all sitting in harmony with each other. By mounting antiques on a clean base of wood or metal, or by accenting them with straight-lined frames, they can be turned into contemporary accessories ready to adorn modern interiors.
MAKE A STATEMENT
Sometimes, the easiest way to include an antique piece or a collection of them in a space is by letting them be the centrepiece of the space. A strategically placed sculpture, a gorgeous chandelier in the living room or a gallery wall of antique jharokas or photo frames could become stand-alone attractions. An heirloom planter’s chair can grab attention amidst the contemporary seating arrangement in your living room.
“You could add a surprise element or make a bold statement with antiques. Not only do they add individuality to your space, they also become conversation starters,” say Rishabh Kapoor and Monica Chadha of Delhi-based Design Deconstruct. They have used antique artworks to decorate the ceiling of the entertainment space lobby of a farmhouse.
“Currently we see a fusion of styles. For example, a beautiful modern setting accented by a statement antique piece or art is something that is appreciated by many. India is so rich in art, heritage and craftsmanship, we have so many beautiful pieces worked in different materials and textures that one wants to invest in them to have that conversation piece,” says Khushi Todi of Bengaluru-based Cane Boutique.
The writer is a Bengaluru-based freelance journalist and content consultant. Formerly with the Times of India, Economic Times and Livingetc India, she writes primarily on design, art and lifestyle. She also enjoys giving a healthy twist to various cuisines.
@malati03 @theorangelane @khushitodi #Bengaluru @cane_boutique @design_deconstruct