Let me start by saying that I love eclectic design. There is something so beautiful and balanced about creating a collected space that has a beautiful balance of old world charm and contemporary elements. With that said, old (or antique) doesn’t automatically inherit the title of ‘charming’ or even classic for that matter. Just as there were some terrible design mistakes in the 80’s 90’s, they too existed 80+ years ago.
There is nothing worse that the heartbreak of having to ‘dumb down’ the interior design of a space because a client is unwilling to let go of an antique piece (that they don’t necessarily enjoy) just for heritage sake. From the grandfather clock (that even paint can’t redeem), to the obnoxious painting and the hideous area rug, the toll that that these lacklustre pieces have on your overall design should not be taken lightly.
Interior design is like dominoes, there is always a jumping point and a foundation to a project, from flooring selection to large pieces of furniture, art or lighting, these items set the tone for a space. If you are planning on keeping any sizeable items when working with an interior designer, be sure to let them know if they don’t ask. Side note, a good interior designer always asks. It is so important that your overall design is cohesive. This doesn’t necessarily mean that if you decide to keep a 18th century painting that your entire space has to be traditional. It just means that the space needs to look as though the painting was intentionally selected for the space. Otherwise it will stand out like a sore thumb and look completely out of place.
Again, I want to make very clear that I am the first to advocate heritage lighting and art in a space, the right pieces can often add a great deal of charm and elegance to a space. However, the wrong pieces can completely overwhelm a space and really limit ones design options.
If I could give anyone advice when considering a heritage piece for a redesign, please ask yourself these two questions:
1. Do you love it?
2. Does it work with the design direction you wish to go?
If the answer is no to either question I would say… “Help me help you….let it go”!
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