Why Buy ‘old stuff’? Why Not?

A small, mid-century side table in soft green adds for a pop of unexpected colour, warmth and charm to Anne’s Headquarters in Kemptville.

In recent months, I’ve had many discussions about the relevance of antiques in the 21st century. Some people grump that millennials only care about IKEA furniture and the latest smartphone; others see antiques as fusty, useless dust-collectors. Even worse, some see them as garbage and treat them as such.

Yet I see millennials visiting flea markets, antique halls and auction houses, usually with their kids (mini-millenials?) and boomer-age parents in tow. That’s three generations right there. Sometimes the grandparents tag along too, making it four generations. I’ve seen entire houses outfitted in themed retro/vintage/antique furniture and decor.

Of course, you don’t need to go that far! Even just one simple piece can immediately add a sense of je ne sais quoi to an otherwise completely modern setting.

Now, I thought as I drove into Kemptville to get a long-overdue haircut, all I need is to find an older piece in a modern setting to illustrate the blog….and apart from the salon, where I had never been before, I had no other stops planned. Hmm.

Then I walked into Anne’s Headquarters on Van Buren Street. Bingo! There, in the reception area, surrounded by bright recessed lighting, large mirrors, gleaming chrome, glass shelves, tile floor and bold colours stands a gently scuffed little mid-century side table painted in a soft green, handling the important task of sanitation station.

Some call it ‘shabby chic’; I call it ‘just right’. For me, that table instantly and sweetly interrupts the very modern lines and decor of the salon with a blast of charm, warmth and homeyness. For others, it may evoke nostalgic memories, and others may be spurred to search for a similar little touch of the past for their own homes. Or workplaces.

You don’t need a lot to make an impact. It doesn’t have to be a piece of furniture. It can be an oil lamp, a bud vase, a figurine, tin toy or something completely whimsical and useless, like a wicker tea pot. The vibe from older pieces, the sense of history that they bring, just add something that contemporary decor lacks. So, give it a try!

Hope you have learned something useful, and feel free to reach out to me via the contact form with any questions.

  • Special thanks to Anne Evans of Anne’s Headquarters for photo permission..and the great haircut!

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