Antique furniture is firmly back in the spotlight and it’s about time, because it is height of eco-conscious, sustainable chic and ethical luxury and a brilliant form of recycling. No one could be more delighted to tell you that than me! I can remember the thrill of buying my first Victorian button back antique sofa at the Criterion Auction House in the Essex Road, Islington. Nothing in IKEA could ever compete for my attention. My flamboyant, sensuous sofa exuded personality, beauty and a past, and I loved to wonder who had owned this handsome piece of history before me. Just imagine if furniture could talk!
Now a new wave of eco-conscious consumer is discovering the same thrill, excitement and pleasure of owning a handcrafted, one of a kind piece of furniture made by talented artisans and oozing beauty, individuality and glamour.
Brown Furniture Offers Beauty, Craftsmanship and Heritage
As we move from being a throwaway society, to a new ethical age, there is a renewed interest in antique brown furniture as homeowners look for stunning design, craftsmanship and provenance to make their interiors stand out from the crowd.
Reader, let me tell you nothing beats the thrill and pleasure of the chase! Of heading off to an antique fair, auction house or gallery to see what antique treasures await!
Mary Claire Boyd, Director at The Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia, which takes place in London on Monday 29th October until Sunday 4th November says: “Brown furniture was more synonymous with large, period properties but increasingly we’ve seen shoppers of all ages gravitate towards 17th, 18th and 19th century English furniture.
“Savvy, in-the-know buyers are bored with the same product being reproduced time and time again and are looking for individuality. Georgian tallboys, Regency centre tables and 19th century gilt mirrors are just some examples of classic antique pieces that not only make a space incredibly stylish but also provide a one of a kind talking point. Clever decorators mix them with contemporary pieces with sometimes just one statement piece. This combination of new and old creates a real wow factor and adds texture, exquisite craftsmanship and heritage into a room.
Buy What You Love
“Critically, when buying antique furniture, buy only what you truly love and you may be lucky and be able to hand on to future generations something that increases in value.”
Experts believe that brown furniture is firmly back in the spotlight. Interior designer, founder of eliská design associates ltd and member of the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID), Eliská Sapera says: “Brown furniture is back! Beautifully made brown furniture mixed with contemporary pieces, make a room ‘pop’. The patina of wood against colour is spectacular and inviting. My advice would be to always buy the best quality you can afford.”
Brown furniture has begun to appeal to homeowners of all ages – those who have just made it onto the property ladder, as well as the baby boomers looking for that investment to pass down to their families.
Robbie Timms of S&S Timms Antiques, fourth generation antique dealers says: “We’ve seen a big rise in interest in brown furniture because it is so special and appeals to the younger generation as well as those empty nesters. For example, I recently sold an 18th century elm dresser at The Art & Antiques Fair Olympia for £4,000 to a young couple in their mid-thirties renovating a house in the Cotswolds. This was their first foray into antiques.
Antique Furniture is Eco-Chic
“Antique furniture is now appealing to the eco-conscious amongst us as it is a method of recycling furniture. People are increasingly appreciating the fact that it is handmade by skilled craftsmen, the equivalent of which just doesn’t even really exist anymore. Because of this, each and every piece is unique as well as representing a small part of history.
“Buyers are appreciating the great value that comes with antique furniture, especially when you consider that the resale value remains high and over a long period of time will almost certainly go up – the same of which cannot be said for much, if any, modern day furniture.
Every Piece of Furniture Has its Own Story
“I’m a big believer in the idea that every piece has its own history and could tell so many tales. For example, imagine a dining table that people have sat around and entertained friends and family through the generations for hundreds of years – imagine the scenes of joy, despair and celebration that these items have witnessed over so many years.”
The Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia returns from 29th October until 4th November where 70 of the UK’s top dealers will be selling everything from diamonds to dining tables, clocks to ceramics. Visitors can buy truly one-off pieces from famous names such as Lalique, Matisse, Meissen, Cartier and Asprey. There will be furniture dating from the 16th to 20th century as well as Art Deco furniture and objects, Asian antiques, textiles and carpets, glass, mirrors, silver and art from old masters to contemporary. Every piece for sale is checked by a team of trade experts before the fair opens to ensure authenticity so new buyers can shop with confidence.
Amongst the exhibitors are 70 experts in their individual fields, all with many years’ experience and able to bring the pieces alive and tell the wonderful stories about them.
For more information visit www.olympia-antiques.com.
Tickets are priced at £15 in advance and £20 on the door and £35 on Preview day*.