Update Antiques with Fresh Fabrics and Colors


Again, I return to my Downton Abbey-inspired A-List and all those lovely nods to history and antiques and such that we absorb when viewing Downton Abbey. I’ve had my share of antiques lying around the home, passed down, etc., or have run into them time and again when working with clients who are passionate about a certain century-old chair, desk, table, lamp, you name it.

But here’s the thing: I like to bring new life to old stuff and typically if someone wants to keep Great Aunt Millie’s dining room chair, I’ll suggest applying modern fabric or bright colors to it. For me, it’s about old-world charm with a modern twist and a refreshed traditional style.

Think white-and-pink check fabrics, as in the Manuel Canovas fabric shown here. So fresh and cheerful, this one is. I imagine them in a dining room paired with antique, white Scandinavian-style furniture. The walls would be chocolate-hued and the whole look would evoke a scrumptious raspberry-chocolate truffle (I hearken back to that sweet A-List of February!).

Or consider a true mood lifter: Update something old with a shot of orange — perfect for the eclectic mix of modern and traditional. Incidentally, grey tones look great with orange. See one of my favorite Manuel Canovas fabrics on the chair in this post — sophisticated and delicious!

And now for the classic wing chair: Linen is one my favorite fabrics, exuding a crisp, clean look that can be luxurious, comfortable and elegant at once but still have a down-to-earth practicality  (the more it’s used, in fact, the softer and stronger it becomes).


Do you have an antique that’s had a face-lift? How do you incorporate antique and family heirloom pieces into your interiors? Please share.

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