19th Century English Chest of Drawers (c. 1870)
19th Century Double Retablo of Remedy and Purity (c. 1800)
Monday, May 10, 2010
So by now you've probably heard of Keith Johnson, the front man on the Sundance Channel's "Man Shops Globe." Or you've seen some of his selections at your local Anthropologie store. He unearths the kind of global finds that make your knees buckle and heart swoon. Johnson leads us from market stalls throughout Europe to a colorful bazaar in Tunisia, where there is something old and amazing waiting for discovery.
I know about this all too well as I've been scouring the globe for antiques and objets d'arte for the past 15 years. There is so much inspiration from a found object with a storied history that makes it all the more appealing.
Let's face it: old things are cool and have become the hip implements you see in design catalogs today. There is a reason that such relics and artifacts are showing up in the latest store catalogs - because they are far more interesting than the hand-rubbed reproductions they are trying to get you to buy. My case in point, just notice how the props are never for sale.
Now don't get me wrong. Not all things new or reproduced are disinteresting or repugnant. It's just that sometimes they lack luster and patina that only comes with age. Sure, there is a market for everything and everyone, but I encourage my clients to build a collection that evolves over time and doesn't end up in next year's neighborhood yard sale. Mix up and layer one-of-a-kind antiques and vintage goods that lend the necessary kind of visual appeal to mellow the new tinge of home goods. Here's how to get started:
-Take an inventory of everything you love and want to keep in your home. If it doesn't pass the test, it's time for the spring yard sale, Ebay or Goodwill.
-Thumb through your favorite magazines, blogs and travel photos. Keep tear sheets of things that inspire you.
-Build a story board and make a list of all the things you need to accomplish your look.
-Finally, and this is the best part – get out there and start hunting.
Work with your unique collections just as a curator would when pulling together an exhibit. Stage it, edit and re-edit and let something go when you find something better. Think of it this way, your home tells a story and the best stories have a solid narrative and unique subjects. What does your home say?