Tips for Sourcing Antiques

1. Only Buy what you Love

Birdie Fortescue Blog | Tips for Sourcing Antiques


You might have a long shopping list of specific pieces to source, but always keep an open mind when buying antiques. A piece needs to ’speak’ to you - it needs to stand out and you must be instantly attracted to it. You can then decide if it will work in your space. If you go looking for a certain piece with specific dimensions etc, you can easily end up with something that works but that you don’t love.


Left: 19th Century Swedish Bench Right Top: Mid-Century Mahogany Table Right Bottom: Pair of 1960's Plaster Side Tables


2. An Eclectic Look


A mix of furniture from different periods will create interest and originality.  Experiment by hanging a contemporary piece of art above an antique commode or equally a 19th Century oil painting above a mid Century piece! Combining both painted and polished pieces will give a balanced look - you don’t want an entire room of either painted furniture or polished pieces. You can liven up a potentially boring brown chair or sofa by upholstering with a contemporary, fun fabric.

Left: Early 19th Century Italian Rosewood & Mahogany Commode Middle: Pair of 1960's Italian Armchairs Right: Pair of Mid-Century Italian Side Tables


3.  Shop Carefully

Top: Painted Swedish Buffet c1820 Bottom: Pair of Late 18th Century Tulipwood Cabinets


Don’t be afraid to look at the back or underside of a piece of furniture to check that it is genuine. Look inside the drawers and and make sure that legs haven’t been replaced. Check whether the paintwork looks original or if it has been recently done. All of these things are fine, as long as you know what you are buying. 


4. Styling with Antiques

Birdie Fortescue Blog | Tips for Sourcing Antiques


Try placing a pair of urns on top of a piece of furniture for a simple, stylish look whether made from marble, stone or ceramic to create impact and style. A good looking mirror might be a cheaper alternative to a piece of art - they are a useful way to break up walls with multiple paintings.


Left: Assorted 20th Century French Round Mirrors Right: Collection of Middle Atlas Urns

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