Interior design is becoming more and more personalized nowadays. I hardly ever get requests for specific styles lately. Clients are now asking for an interior that matches their own lifestyle. First of all, people come to designers for personal comfort. So we have request for craft furniture and an increasing interest in antiques and objects with history. The trend of ‘reasonable consumption’ is becoming more and more relevant, and vintage pieces are in fashion again. This is no longer the preserve of individual collectors of art, but a popular trend. I see that more and more people want to have not stamped objects, but old and rare things with character, history, soul in their homes.
When creating the interior of an old building, the main challenge for me is to preserve and emphasize the historical elements of the building architecture as much as possible– but without forgetting about the functionality needed for a comfortable life. The rhythm of the space is set by the forms of window openings, niches in walls, and historic plasterwork on interior ceilings.. The house itself inspires and whispers ideas.
In an old Moscow apartment we stylized two arched niches, which apparently served as cold cabinets, as fireplaces.
It may be difficult to find the ideal vintage furniture for modern interiors. It is sometimes better to design and create new pieces. Often these are items from different settings, materials, countries and even centuries. However, it is precisely these combinations of the incongruous that creates a unique eclecticism.
Searching for the ideal antique cabinets we traveled from Moscow to St. Petersburg. These cabinets’ strict architectural lines of a graphite shade showcase the background of bright wallpaper designed by William Morris, with its echoes of medieval gabelen in the bedroom of a country house.
The antique black piano organically fits into a niche of vintage bookshelves. A carved sideboard from a St. Petersburg flea market and a fireplace on old cast-iron stove gives a private apartment in Moscow a truly unique character.
There are never too many accessories in a vintage interior, and it looks quite organic. It is important to find a truly unique item with a story that will be naturally yours. For example, we specially bought gold discs from cult rock bands from a London collector, for a client’s apartment. In general, for inspiration and unique items, I advise everyone to go to London – there are flea markets, art districts, and shops where you can spend half a day, enjoying the atmosphere.
BOOKS & ART
Books in shabby covers found on the shelves of rare bookstores play a very important role in vintage décor, as well as yellow-hued photographs from the last century, which retain the feelings of a bygone era. A stack of antique suitcases can be used as a coffee table. And it is impossible to create a vintage interior without paintings in massive frames.
There is a real issue in finding original textiles from the past, preserved in good condition. Mostly these are replicas by designers inspired by exhibits in museums. The more valuable are original items found in antique salons or at flea markets. Maybe it’s not too late for you to look into the attic of your grandmother’s country house and find real treasures in the dusty chests.
Vintage items become less and less affordable every year. If you have long dreamed of purchasing an interior item with a history, please hurry up! There is no need to be afraid of old pieces of furniture. We can give them a second life, and they give us fond memories in return.
Text: Anna Agapova, O&A London Creative Director