Vintage Buying – The do’s and don’ts

I recently had the pleasure of chatting to the lovely Claire from Louisa Grace Interiors on Instagram Live and we didn’t get to answer all of your lovely questions about choosing, buying living with vintage sourced and antique furniture items. So on the blog today, a round up with some more pearls of wisdom for you all.

Claire has a location house and barn full of vintage finds in Surrey, which is top of my visit list after lockdown.

How can I style an antique piece the right way?

This is an interesting question. I like to mix things, a lot. If you follow my interior design and styling you will know that this creates, for me anyway, a nice mix of high low pieces. I would advise not mixing lots of antiques or vintage pieces all together in one room. If you have an old rug, mix with a newer sofa or side table. Add a more simple vase or lamp to an elaborate cabinet and so on.

How do I know which colour is right if I’m painting a vintage piece – will it look strange if I paint it a wild colour?

It really depends on the piece and where you are putting it. I am all for a mad colour pop in the right spot. And colour is totally subjective, the colour is right if you love it and it makes you feel good when you look at the piece/walk in the room.

Where can I find the best hardware to replace cabinet handles and knobs?

Oh I’ve a few faves. My go to is Dowsing & Reynolds. I like to also check Corston Architectural and Anthropologie. If you are on a budget and looking for something a bit more straightforward have a look on Screwfix and Ike

How do you know you can trust Ebay and Gumtree finds?

I think this is a risk we all take when buying second hand and online. Make sure you ask as many questions as you can. Especially about dimensions, the journey of the piece (where it came from, where it’s lived). If you can see good quality photos, and the seller has good reviews then I think you are in safe hands. Also see what the return terms are in case you aren’t happy with Ebay, or see if you can go and check the piece out (socially distanced until June of course) with Gumtree

Which is the best paint to use for furniture?

I’ve always used Annie Sloan. I’m pretty sure Claire would agree with me that it’s fab and goes on ANYTHING! I know a lot of people are starting to use Lick on furniture and cabinets too, but I’ve yet to try it on anything but walls so far.

Where is the best place to find vintage textiles and rugs?

Etsy and Ebay always have a good selection. There are also some amazing individual sellers like Sunday and Story. My initial go to is Vinterior when I’m looking for rugs for a client.

In short, if you love it and it moves you.. buy it! xx

Photo Will Horner

Cover Photo Oliver Perrott

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