Dana Malcolm, owner of Class Art and Antiques in Plymouth, says to avoid ornate styles, such as gothic, if you want something that blends in well with other styles.
When buying antiques, you should expect to make mistakes, furniture dealers say. That’s why it’s important to get a piece you love, rather than one you think will accrue in value.
“Everybody runs the risk of being taken for a ride,” said Les Molyneaux, owner of North River Antiques Center in Pembroke. “I’ve bought things and made bad choices. But if you’re happy with it in your home, I don’t see much of a downside.”ANTIQUE CARE TIPS
Use glass cleaner rather than furniture polish or oil on antique furniture. Oils and polishes can leave behind a residue that attracts dirt buildup over time.
Wear rubber gloves when polishing or handling silver. This prevents the oils that build up on your hands from damaging silverware and other prized pieces.
To prevent mildew from warping old photographs and artwork, glue a sheet of plastic to the back of the picture or painting. This creates a vapor barrier.
Keep antique furnishings out of direct sunlight, which can damage the finish and cause upholstery to fade. Make sure the room has curtains.
Don’t place antiques in front of vents, radiators, or fireplaces. The heat causes shrinking, which in turn loosens glue joints, veneers, and inlays.
When moving antiques check for loose or damaged joints. Carry chairs by the seat rails as opposed to the back splat or arms. Lift tables by the apron or legs, not the table top.
Source: www.theantiquesalmanac.com, www.furniturecaretips.com
The term “antique” usually refers to a piece of furniture, painting or decoration that is at least 50 years old and is prized for its rarity and craftsmanship. But there’s a lot of disagreement over what exactly constitutes an antique. And sometimes antique shop owners make errors, mistaking reproductions for originals. In those cases, the customer takes a hit.
Prices for antiques vary. A chair in need of reupholstering can cost $100, but a European armoire can run upwards of $10,000. Despite the sometimes steep prices, the craftsmanship ensures quality. With an antique chair or table you’re getting a piece that should last much longer than furniture purchased at IKEA.
Antique pieces blend well with sleeker modern furniture because they tend to have clean lines. Just avoid ornate styles, such as gothic, if you want something that blends in well with other styles, advises Dana Malcolm, owner of Class Art and Antiques in Plymouth.
Antique store owners say visiting antique shows is the best way for novices to familiarize themselves with the various furniture styles and prices. Be careful before you bid, however.
“Auctions are competitive,” Malcolm said. “The piece you want can easily go up in price very quickly and, if someone is excited, they spend too much.”
Though the time it takes to troll stores and sales for antiques can be daunting, decorating with older furnishings ensures your home will be distinctive.
“Antiques express individuality,” said Gillian Dillon, owner of Dillon & Co. in Plymouth. “You’re buying a unique piece, not something you’re going to see every time you open a mail order catalogue.”
Brent Lang may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.