It’s difficult to characterize antiques. From Asian antiques like delicate porcelain vases and bowls, to antique decorative arts like “arts and crafts” furniture from the turn of the century, there are many different items that have the ability to fill your home with style and decor. However, searching for these primitive or vintage items may leave you feeling like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack. Fortunately, there are many delightful and engaging pieces on the pages of eBay.
How Do I Find Antique Rugs and Furniture?
Antique rugs and furniture are two of the most engaging types of antiques. Both have the capability to fill the room and be a focal point, adding elegance to the space. However, because of their size, they can be a bit difficult to buy. Here are some things to consider when pairing or purchasing antique rugs and antique furniture. When it comes to placing them in a room:
- Don’t worry about ensuring everything in the room is “antique.” If you purchase an antique Persian rug, it’s a common thought (and misconception) that the room should be also filled with matching art or primitive pieces from the same time period. This isn’t so. In fact, you could fill your room with modern art. Stick to matching colors (such as putting monochromatics together or contrasting lights and darks), and your room will not lose its splendor.
- Cleaning is important. Cleaning is vitally important when it comes to an antique rug (and antique furniture). However, if you’ve ever watched an episode of Antiques Roadshow, you know doing it yourself can destroy its value. Have all cleaning and restoration done by a professional.
When it comes to purchase:
- Condition is vitally important with a rug, and not as important with furniture. Often, vintage furniture can have a few knicks and scratches and still retain its value; when it comes to a rug, frayed or loose ends can cost thousands to repair, and the damage will only increase when you walk on it.
- Look for handmade materials. It can be tough to determine authenticity, so ask for close-up photos of the rug or furniture to look for potential signs of vintage craftsmanship.
- Know your aesthetic. Before you buy, do a little research on the topic (e.g., for a rug, its aesthetic and time period), before you commit.
How Do I Find Asian Antiques?
Trying to find Asian antiques can be challenging, but possible. Filling your home full of Chinese vessels, painting, and sculpture is a worthwhile venture. Some popular Asian art motifs include:
- Lotus flower
- The Phoenix
As with antique rugs and furniture, if you find a piece you like, research it at least a little bit. A piece that includes a popular motif doesn’t necessarily guarantee authenticity. Condition is important with many of these pieces, including sculptures and other antique decorative arts. Maintaining your art is also vital. An important piece should perhaps not be displayed prominently in your living area, especially when it comes to art. Authentic Chinese art may require professional maintenance to procure its longevity.
How to Find Other Antiques and Pieces
Beyond furniture, rugs, and Asian art, there are many different types of antiques to behold. Consider antique silver and antique lighting, for instance, to help embellish your dining area or kitchen. Some cheerful, yet primitive pieces that add rustic chic to your space include:
- Old books. Place these on a shelf for an eclectic look (note: older books may not read well, and paper may crack if the pages are turned often)
- Antique toys and models. Look for neat ideas, such as vintage steam engines, wind-up toys, and trains.
- Older baskets. These vintage pieces may be usable for storage, or just as an accent.
- Vintage bookends. These are another fine choice for your bookshelf.
There are also smaller antiques that it may be fun to collect, such as old keys, marbles, or bottle caps.