Say ‘Yes’ to an antique chest of drawers or chest-on-chest

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If you could choose just one piece of furniture to make a bold statement in any or every space of your home, an antique chest of drawers or chest-on-chest is likely to make it to the top of your list. The simple reason is that they offer three distinct decor advantages: they are beautiful, sturdy and functional. What more could you want from a piece of furniture? 

But anyone on the hunt for one of these versatile storage pieces does need to be warned – the artisanal detailing, striking hardware, genuine wood finishes and handcrafted elegance of an antique chest of drawers will make you long for more than just one. After all, they work for towels in your bathroom, linen in the passageway nook, clothing in the bedroom, stationary in the study, odds and ends in the hallway, crockery and cutlery in the kitchen and dinnerware in the dining room. 

Need we say more? Well, perhaps just a little…

Antique chest of drawers

The beauty of a Bombe chest of drawers

The irresistible allure of Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve’s bombe chest in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ has transcended the fairy tale realm and comfortably takes its place in the real decor world. 

Coming from the French word meaning ‘curved’, an antique bombe chest is the simplest way to add a little French character, feminine charm and romantic flair to your decor story. 

Antique bombe chests

Go for a natural or varnished walnut, mahogany or rosewood bombe chest with ball feet if you are more traditional, or a distressed or painted (in any colour) version with slender legs if you prefer a more contemporary statement. Either way, the elegance cannot be matched. And If you really want a bold accent piece, then a chinoiserie-style lacquered bombe chest with Chinese motifs is a unique addition.

Besides their fantastic storage solutions, bombe chests offer accessorising creativity which adds an extra layer of design personality or decor whimsy wherever they are placed. Pop one in your entrance hall, make a dramatic statement in your bathroom or let it be the focal point in your bedroom or dressing room. 

The elegance of a Tallboy chest-on-chest

Could anything be better than an antique chest of drawers? May we suggest an antique chest-on-chest? More commonly referred to as a ‘Tallboy’ by the Brits or ‘Highboy’ by the Americans, this stately piece actually belongs to the French. ‘Tall’ or ‘high’ comes from its height and ‘bois’ is ‘wood’ in French. This is definitely where beauty and function pair up to create ‘high’ drama. 

Antique Tallboy chest-on-chest

The chest-on-chest (or chest-on-stand) first made an appearance in the late Queen Anne period and is simply 2 pieces that stack vertically to make one very appealing and super functional piece of furniture. If you have the space to showcase one of these, they are a no-brainer investment piece. And as they are becoming rare finds, they will definitely appreciate in value over time. 

Just like the little black dress, an antique chest of drawers – in any shape or size – will always be a timeless and fashionable antique item in the decor world of interiors.

Antique & vintage chest of drawers

The simplicity of a vintage chest

If you are not yet ready to commit to an antique chest of drawers or Tallboy chest-on-chest, then perhaps a smaller antique chest or kist is exactly what you need. They are not only ideal for mixing and matching with contemporary furniture pieces but also perform perfectly as blanket storage trunks at the foot of a bed, toy chests in a child’s bedroom or repurposed coffee tables in a lounge or on a patio. And that empty nook in your entrance hall is simply crying out for a vintage chest. 

Vintage and antique chests and kists

The wonder of the Crown Collection

The fun of sourcing antique furniture and decorative accessories to suit your home’s aesthetic doesn’t come easier than a trip to The Crown Collection. 

As South Africa’s largest emporium of handpicked and curated antique, French and vintage items, we have an antique chest of drawers, a Tallboy chest-on-chest or a kist that has your name written all over it.  

For the perfect antique chest for your home, shop online or in-store at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston.

 

Give your decor a silverware twist

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Antique and vintage silverware finds are making a welcome comeback – but not in the way you would think. In an age of upcycling and repurposing objects, decorative silverware hits the decor world with a flourish. Instead of pouring tea from an antique silver teapot, it now becomes a conversation piece as it adorns any surface; bursting forth with roses or tulips. That decorative silver tray? It now comes into its own as a magnetic noticeboard board or a stand for a collection of treasures, glass bottles or alcoholic decanters. 

Polished to a shine or gloriously showcasing an aged patina, silverware adds a rich historical narrative, a gorgeous vintage vibe and an unexpected glam factor. You don’t have to be part of British royalty or the French bourgeoisie to make decorative silver accessories part of your 21st-century interior style story. 

If you are looking for charm, whimsy and sparkly sophistication, then you need to be on the hunt for silverware pieces and make their beauty part of the history of your home.

SIlverware teapots

Mismatched collections

The joy of decorating with silverware is that it doesn’t matter if you don’t find a complete set. It doesn’t even matter if the lid of a silver teapot or sugar bowl has gone astray. Its decorative and functional purpose has been redefined. Arranging various pieces together gives a quirky elegance and a storytelling moment to any space.

A curated collection of mismatched silver items brings a unique decor flavour to a sideboard, table, dressing table or desk. Each piece has its own history and together they bring in a level of repurposed quirkiness and layered elegance that is hard to define. 

VIntage & antique decorative silverware pieces

If you are just starting out with your silverware collection, smaller vanity pieces are a great start as they are relatively more affordable and offer bespoke personality and really pretty organizational solutions. They also bring in the whimsical charm of a bygone era. Fall in love with little silver-topped crystal perfume bottles or a  handheld silver mirror

Decorative sIlver trays – in any size or shape – are really trending and the more the merrier. Use them as a reflective base to showcase a collection of objets d’art or hang an assortment on a wall in any configuration. 

Decorative silver trays

And then there are silver cutlery sets. Whether you source a full canteen or a mismatched set, any table setting is suddenly elevated. Life is too short to not make every mealtime a special occasion, so don’t leave your silverware lying in a draw, celebrate it by using it. 

Mix-and-match vignettes

A design distinctive of silverware is its versatility when it comes to combining it with other materials. Balance and harmony occur when pairing a timeless metal such as silver with modern pieces. 

The ‘colour’ of silver also seamlessly enhances all furniture styles – from classic and French country to mid-century modern and sleek contemporary minimalism. It also works in any room in your home.

A collection of silver candlesticks marries so well with glass bottles, concrete-based lamps, wooden photo frames and an ornate gilded mirror. The overall effect is exquisite and yet almost random. 

Candelabra and candlesticks are highly sought after decorative pieces and we have dedicated an entire blog to them.   

Silver candlesticks & candelabra

A silver tray once again comes into its own when doubling up as a drinks tray or bar tray; becoming a really stylish feature in your home. No matter how you mix and match the bottles, the silver tray is the anchor decor feature that makes it all come together so beautifully. A styling tip is to balance high and low bottles, glasses and decanters to ensure an inviting visual landscape. 

SIlverware drinks tray

Silverware moments at The Crown Collection 

Not sure where to start with your silverware collection? The Crown Collection’s handpicked and curated pieces of decorative vintage and antique silverware will captivate you, making you feel like a child in a candy store. With new stock arriving weekly, we are pretty sure that you will find just the right piece to perfectly fit in your space. 

Shop online or in-store at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston.

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Antique furniture trumps mass-produced furniture… every time

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Browse through any decor magazine or watch any interior design renovation show, and the final reveal seamlessly showcases the glory of antique furniture over mass-produced items. It may just be one or two pieces, but the transformation is inspirational. The stylish layering, the rich design story and the intrinsic charm are motivating factors for any homeowner who is looking to furnish their spaces to start sourcing antique or vintage pieces. 

This does not ignore the loveliness of modern factory-made pieces, but furnishing an entire home with such pieces will often feel generic, soulless and more like a showroom than a character-filled home with bespoke charm and personality. There is no debate when you are on the hunt for ‘Objets de vertu’ (objects of interest for reasons of history and craftsmanship); antique furniture and accessories fit the brief – every time. 

This topic is not a new hobby horse for us; it is a drum we keep banging because the end result is always so satisfying, personalised and sustainable. We have highlighted why antiques are a no-brainer and explained the logic behind why antiques appreciate in value over time. We also believe we are quite persuasive when entering the eco-friendly debate that buying antique furniture (instead of mass-produced furniture) is a legitimate consideration when it comes to saving the planet. 

But the case for antique furniture gets even stronger when considering the design trio of artisanal quality, timelessness and storytelling. Mass-produced pieces – made in a factory – will always struggle to keep up when measured against these 3 criteria:

#1 Quality craftsmanship

Quality is always a persuasive argument in any retail discussion. From clothes and shoes to art and furniture – people are prepared to pay more for something because it will last or because it can be passed down to the next generation. This is where antique furniture shines really bright. In a disposable age, investing in antique furniture is a refreshing sustainable narrative that not only looks good in any space in our homes but also makes us feel good. So start with a solid wood antique armoire, chest of draws or kist – each will become a focal point and conversation piece. 

Quality craftsmanship of antique furniture

Antique furniture ‘hits the nail on the head’ thanks to the quality artisanal handcrafted skills related to materials, craftsmanship and workmanship; resulting in one-of-a-kind pieces that will stand the test of time. Adding such a piece to your home will always add ‘life’ to your decor and an elusive quality that will make visitors to your space want to linger awhile. 

#2 Timeless trends

Mass-produced furniture fads come and go, but there is a customised and handcrafted distinctiveness to antique furniture that will always stand the test of time. Antique and vintage pieces easily transition into any space or design aesthetic – from old-school traditional and French rustic to contemporary chic and modern minimalist

This mix-and-match ability of antiques– over hundreds of years – still adds the wow factor and is a tribute to the beauty and design distinctiveness of antique furniture design over the centuries. You will want a piece of this in your home. 

Timeless & sustainable antique furniture

The timeless beauty of antique chandeliers will always set the scene in any room,   and then there is the functional and visual glam of vintage mirrors. And then there is the versatility of occasional antique chairs

#3 Subtle storytelling

A room in your home is not neutral. The walls, space options and architectural features are all the backdrop to a story and memories. And in interior design, the art of storytelling is not about words, but about the combination and energy of specially selected and curated furniture and accessories

Antique furniture already has a backstory that is rich in history and craftsmanship features that can set the tone for the rest of your aesthetic or be the finishing and complementary touch to a room that contains mass-produced pieces. The only difference is that 50 years from now, only the antique pieces will still be standing. Mass-produced furniture is simply not built to last. 

Antique furniture decor story

Start your antique furniture journey at the Crown Collection

A trip to The Crown Collection – online or in-store – is the simplest way for you to not only indulge your love of antiques but also source vintage, French or antique finds that will tick quality, timelessness and storytelling boxes. 

With over 5000 hand-picked antiques to choose from, we are convinced you will find something that will fit in your home. And if the finish is not exactly what you are looking for, our in-house restorers will gild it, paint technique it or stain it. 

Shop online or visit us at 20 Ballyclare Drive, c/o Galway Road, Bryanston and get up to 30% off.

Indulge your love of French styles at The Crown Collection antique emporium

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“Nous sommes amoureux des styles français”  – we are in love with French styles. (It only seemed appropriate to start this blog in French). There is no denying that when it comes to French food, wine, perfume, and fashion, the French flair and penchant for refinement are unmatched. And that quintessential “je ne sais quoi” seamlessly translates into their timeless interior decor trends. 

French styles of interior design tell a story that has been inspired over hundreds of years by culture, history, landscape and lifestyle. That is why it works in any home and why we cannot get enough of French furniture and accessories. 

The effortlessly chic way the French decorate their homes brings together the iconic character and elegance of the space with practical luxury.”  – Betsy Kasha

From a “pied-à-terre” (small apartment) to a grande maison” (large house), curating your space – French style – will always add a sense of casual sophistication. The allure is captivating and irresistible and it is so easy to bring the signature elements and lived-in warmth into your own home. 

If you are ready to start your hunt for antique French pieces, we highlight some of the key elements of three French styles

#1 French Farmhouse 

If you are looking for the epitome of rustic charm, then the French Farmhouse style is it. Exterior pastel shutters usher you into a welcoming interior with stone floors, light wood tones and simply shaped furniture. 

French Farmhouse Style with antique bird cage

Decorative bird cages, rattan storage baskets and rattan chairs will be casually placed to create a soulful balance and weathered comfort. The spaces almost look un-decorated and yet there is harmony and a subtle curated intent. Although the overall palette is muted and monochromatic, colour beckons under a glass cloche in the form of macarons or petit fours as well as oversized blooms randomly placed in glass vases.  

The French celebrate age and tradition which celebrates distressed furniture and scratches. And a faded or fraying Aubusson rug is the perfect floor covering in a French Farmhouse aesthetic. 

#2 French Provencal

 Anyone who has travelled to the region of Provence cannot depart without leaving part of their heart behind as fields of lavender and olive orchards weave their magical spell.  That landscape is beautifully translated into a French Provencal style aesthetic that includes exposed stones, whitewashed walls and a dreamy colour palette of ochres, lavender blues and olive greens. The overall finish is warm, friendly and cheerful – much like the people.

French Provencal Style furniture

intrinsic to the Provencal decor style is the blending of the French countryside with the Parisian elegance and dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries when the peasant classes wanted to decorate their houses with furniture similar to the kings but on a smaller budget. This featured elements such as console tables, writing desks and ornate mirrors. Bleached wood is one of the signature elements of this style.  

Wrought iron is a material that features strongly French provencal decor – from beds and outdoor furniture to lanterns. Ceramic pottery, pitchers and concrete urns and planters are also key elements of French Provencal style decor. 

French Provencal antique style furniture

#3 French Chateau

Although all French styles are characterised by a relaxed and eclectic simplicity, the French chateau-style (aka Chateauesque) adds a touch of luxurious and ornate whimsy. The decor story originates in grand houses furnished with bronze accessories, crystal chandeliers and walls with mouldings, wallpaper, portraits and tapestries. 

Decadently patterned upholstered gilded armchairs, chaise lounges, clawfoot tub baths, elaborate mirrors and silver candelabras finish off the French chateau design brief. If you are going to go all out on French chateau-style, then quality antique pieces have to play a role and be centre stage. 

French Chateau style antique furniture

Visit the Crown Collection for some French-style inspiration

Your French-style decor passion – be that natural materials, muted colours, toile fabrics, extravagant lighting, touches of gold gilding on mirrors, chairs, settees or tapestries – will easily be satisfied at The Crown Collection

Whether your French look and feel is Farmhouse, Provencal, Chateau or an eclectic mix, we have the largest selection of antique French furniture, wall decor and accessories.  

Choose your items and buy them online or visit the store @ 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston. We deliver to your door.

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Take a seat on one of our antique chairs

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Sitting comfortably may come down to personal preference, but sitting stylishly is all down to antique or vintage chairs. Each has its own personality when contrasted against the backdrop of a sleek, contemporary aesthetic and modern spaces come alive when old meets new. The natural wood tones, colourful or patterned upholstery or gilded patinas of antique chairs add a much needed artisanal finishing touch to any space.

It may help to know your Hepplewhite from your Chippendale and your Louis XVI from your Queen Anne, but all styles of antique chairs offer their own decor story moments in every home. 

All you have to decide is which antique or vintage chair(s) to invest in.  

Dome Chairs – A show-stopping hero piece 

A distinctive touch of grandeur starts with the opulent addition of an antique dome chair (aka porter’s chair, canopy chair, balloon chair or Versailles chair). Historically, their purpose was to protect people in drafty environments. The undisputed elegance of a dome chair doesn’t preclude it from sitting in the corner or taking centre stage in any modern setting. 

Antique dome chairs

Invest in a pair and let them frame a window or become an intimate conversation vignette. Their eclectic presence is a bold way to mix and match antique pieces in a contemporary aesthetic. Pop one in a corner of your bedroom or make an entrance in your hallway. (Such a grand gesture of a chair does come with a price tag, but the assurance that they will increase in value over time is reason enough to invest in one)

Yoke Chairs – A simple statement piece

The simple and dramatic sculptural craftsmanship and functional versatility of antique Chinese yoke chairs make them perfectly suited to modern Western homes. Interior decorators love their slender and artisanal silhouettes.  They are also the ideal occasional chair for any space in your home. With their natural wood tones, they add warmth and comfort. A yoke-back chair’s rustic, pared-back design is the perfect juxtaposition in a more traditional design and the perfect complement to a minimalist design 

They literally work in every room – as dining room chairs, occasional chairs, dressing table chairs or desk chairs. There is no way you will stop investing in just one yoke-back chair. 

ANtique CHinese Yoke-back chairs

Armchairs – A striking centrepiece

“Who sees an armchair must perceive with the eyes a sense of mental comfort and not just a physical one.” – Patricia Urquiola (designer and architect).

The easiest way to mix and match antiques with modern pieces is the ever-popular and comfortable armchair; a timeless piece of furniture that will always top antique and vintage finds. Gilded French Bergere-style, ornate and carved Flemish-style or Spanish Savanarola-style, an armchair brings luxurious character and a classic lived-in charm. In leather, natural wood or upholstered options, there is no reason to not incorporate their comfort and elegance into one of your spaces. 

Antique armchairs

The Crown Collection – Full of beautiful eye-catching pieces

Giving the seating options in your home careful consideration starts by setting foot in the Crown Collection emporium – in-store or online. With over 300 antique, French and vintage chair options to choose from, please ‘take a seat.’ We are sure that you will find a chair that is just right for you. And if it is not ‘just right,’ our furniture renovation experts will bleach, stain, gild or upholster any piece of furniture to perfectly suit your brief. 

Mix and match vintage and antique chairs

Antique or vintage chairs are probably the most fun and versatile functional pieces of furniture to change up modern spaces. Once you have chosen your chair of choice, sit back and relax, knowing you have made an investment purchase as well as ticking the sustainability box

 

Let’s gather around an antique table

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Childhood nostalgia and happy memories will likely have a dining room or kitchen table at their centre; the heartbeat of family celebrations and friendly conversation. And whether it is a meal shared, dipping a rusk in a mug of coffee or a cup of tea (which solves all the world’s problems), a vintage or antique table is that quintessential piece of furniture that makes every room a better place. 

Most interior designers are of the persuasion that a space is not a finished space without a table. And when it comes to vintage or antique tables, there are so many versions that fit the brief. 

We’ve already dedicated an entire blog to mixing and matching modern and antique tables and chairs. But that is just for starters as there is an entire world of antique tables ready to provide the wow factor in any space or setting.

Because antique and vintage tables – of all shapes and sizes – cost much the same or less than new equivalent ones and also increase in value, they become a smart, sustainable and more interesting choice. 

#1 Refectory tables

An antique refectory table is a large, long and robust table that has seating for many. They are a simple way to create beauty and presence in a room. You can go formal or casual, depending on the wood finish and the chairs or benches you decide to partner with them. A farmhouse aesthetic is ideal for a kitchen or outdoor patio or you can amp up the tradition in the dining room with sumptuously upholstered chairs. (Now all you need to do is sign up for that tablescaping masterclass). 

Refectory tables

#2 Drum tables

We almost feel like asking for a drum roll, as antique drum tables are ever worthy of decor applause and attention. Introduced in the late 18th century, a drum table was a circular table with a central support and was often fitted with drawers. They are versatile enough to serve many purposes – as functional or accent pieces – in any space; as an end table in a lounge (adding interest to straight-lined sofas), as a focal point in an entrance hall or as a nightstand/pedestal table in the bedroom. 

Drum tables

#3 Library tables

Vintage library or antique reading tables are a rare and special find. Designed for writing and studying, they are the standard desk height and are generally rectangular in shape. Manufactured in a variety of solid wood options, they add instant glamour and a touch of historical luxury. They also do double duty as desks, consoles or work surfaces in any room.

Antique library tables

#4 Console tables

Console tables are always on trend and are a home essential when it comes to a multi-tasking piece of furniture. Beloved by the 17th century French and Italian aristocracy as purely decorative items of furniture, they are now indispensable and loved as beautiful and functional pieces.

Antique console tables – gilded, marble, wooden, glass or wrought iron – come with just the right amount of ornate decorative detailing to become the hero accent decor piece against any wall (breaking up a long narrow hallway for visual interest), in any niche or in any setting. You can really have some eclectic fun placing them all over your house. They make the prettiest dressing tables in smaller rooms (just add a mirror), cocktail tables (gin and tonic anyone?), or accent tables behind a sofa. 

Vintage & antique console tables

#5 Occasional tables

Every home needs a vintage or antique occasional table dotted here and there as a side table, coffee table or pedestal table. Occasional tables are the little statement pieces that transform a space by creating unique visual interest. This is where you can go to town (or to The Crown Collection) and really mix it up with shapes, style and materials. 

Occasional tables

If you are asking yourself,  “Why haven’t I added one of these antique tables to my home?”, the simple answer is you probably haven’t yet popped into The Crown Collection South Africa’s largest emporium of vintage, antique and French furniture.  

Shop online or pop in at our studio at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston and start making memories around the table.  

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3 Reasons to invest in an antique armoire

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You say “wardrobe, cupboard or closet,” we say “armoires and Dutch bombe cabinets.” But we are not going to quibble over terminology because when it comes to statement pieces, hero pieces, accent pieces or conversation pieces – antique and vintage armoires are simply awesome and tick every box. An artisanal celebration of form and function, these period pieces – in all shapes and sizes – are a must-have in every home. 

Simply defined, an armoire is a large cabinet or wardrobe with panelled doors – in wood, glass or mirrors – featuring shelves, hanging space and draws. Antique armoires are handmade from solid wood  – oak, walnut, mahogany, ash, rosewood etc – and have a longstanding reputation for their craftsmanship and decorative detailing.

As a collector or lover of antique furniture and vintage pieces, an armoire is that one piece that adds the practical wow factor and is a great addition to modern spaces. 

If you still need persuading, here are 3 reasons to inspire you to add an antique or vintage armoire to your home:

#1 They are so functional

A vintage or antique armoire is hands down one of the best purchases you can make when it comes to decor investment pieces. Not only will they hold their value, but they also tick the sustainability box and offer a variety of functional storage solutions over the long term. 

No matter what you want to store, an armoire puts its best foot forward in every room of the house – from books, linen and clothing to toys, dinner services, silverware and even pantry staples.

Antique Armoire storage solutions

#2 They are so versatile

It might sound like we are beating the same drum, but there are so many reasons to recommend an armoire. Their unique versatility lies in the various styles that you find with each telling a different story; adding a bespoke element to your design scheme. There is one that is just right for every style of home. 

One of our favourites is a classic and timeless antique French armoire. You have so many options to choose from – French Provincial, Art Deco, French Country, Victorian, Art Nouveau, Rococo, Louis Philippe, and Louis XV styles. The romance associated with French furniture and the ornate inlays and decorative embellishments make these highly desirable. (And then you might as well add a chandelier to complete the French chic aesthetic).

Antique French Armoire

A conversation about armoires is not complete without shining the spotlight on Dutch bombe cabinets and Dutch cupboards. These 18th and 19th-century ‘armoires’ create a grand presence in any room. Dutch cabinet makers were the first to include marquetry, parquetry, linefold decoration, lacquered panels and veneer over carved oak pieces. Another mark of Dutch furniture craftsmen was their artisanal inventiveness and high standard of construction. 

Showcasing an antique Dutch bombe cabinet or linen press/armoire in your home is the epitome of a functional and versatile hero piece. The upper part of the cabinet generally has an arched moulded cornice centred by carved scrollwork with doors enclosing shelves and drawers. The lower part has a bombe design – two short and two long drawers – inlaid with floral marquetry and raised on ball-and-claw feet. 

Antique Dutch bombe cabinet

#3 They are so beautiful

The visually interesting elements, decorative hardware and different woods all contribute to antique and vintage armoires excelling in the beauty category. Because they take up more vertical space than horizontal space, they are ideally suited to smaller footprint spaces; adding a timeless and beautiful decor element to any contemporary house, townhouse or apartment.  

Armoires are the one timeless piece of antique furniture that interior designers gravitate towards to boost your decor statement and solve your storage issues. One of these highly sought after pieces deserves a place in your home and will complement any space. 

Antique & vintage armoires

The Crown Collection

As the largest emporium of curated and handpicked antique and vintage items in South Africa, The Crown Collection needs to be your first stop when sourcing the perfect armoire to furnish your home. 

But whatever vintage accessory or piece of furniture you are looking for, The Crown Collection is a treasure trove of antique delights. Visit us at our studio at 10 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston, or indulge your passion for antiques by shopping online. (We deliver nationwide). 

Start by browsing all our antique armoires, Dutch bombe cabinets and linen presses.

 

5 Reasons shopping for antiques is a decor no-brainer

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The resurgence of incorporating antiques into modern interiors continues to gain momentum. Mid-century modern decor and vintage-inspired aesthetics have been reimagined to fit 21st-century design narratives. And across the globe, interior decorators and homeowners are embracing the rich heritage of antique furniture to perfectly counterbalance contemporary spaces.  

“I know that personally I could not decorate a house, let alone live in one, without antiques! Decorating with antiques adds character, charm and elusive gravitas to a scheme”  – Henriette von Stockhausen (Top English Interior Designer and owner of VSP Interiors).

Gone are the days when traditional antiques represented old and stuffy museum-like spaces. There is a fresh twist when antique pieces and vintage items are added to modern interiors; transforming rooms with a seamless, layered look that transcends time.  

If your home needs gorgeous personality, bespoke character, one-of-a-kind charm and a sense of story, then a well-placed antique is the solution. It will look like it has been there forever!

Let’s highlight 5 reasons why adding antiques – no matter what your style – is a no-brainer:

#1 The sustainability factor

Conscious consumerism and slow furniture are hot topics in the decor and design industry. This has created renewed interest in antiques as they become an authentic player in this conversation. There is no denying that antique furniture is an environmentally-responsible and sustainable way of decorating your home in the face of a throw-away culture. 

Antique furniture sustainability

Antique furniture celebrates solid wood and unique craftsmanship. Re-using these quality ‘traditional’ pieces of artisanal furniture in modern schemes significantly reduces our carbon footprint compared to new and mass-produced furniture. 

#2 The wow factor

There is nothing that says ‘hero or statement piece’ in a contemporary space more than a well-selected antique or vintage item. Antiques have the ability to transform any space into a dream space. In the kitchen, an ebonised desk and chandelier will transform it from bland and boring to charming and indulgent. A Victorian secretaire will add warmth, character and show-stopping storage to a bathroom or bedroom. Mirrors (we have over 300 to choose from) and kists were made for any room, but are especially good at redefining an entrance hall. (We have an entire blog dedicated to how antiques can help make an entrance to your home).

Antiques kitchen decor

#3 The versatility factor

In interior design circles, there is a move away from a cookie-cutter decor story or ‘showroom’ look. Discerning homeowners are looking for a layered aesthetic that will give their spaces a ‘collected-over-time’ feel that is personal, unique and timeless. Mixing antique furniture and vintage items with newer pieces seamlessly brings in this depth and history. It can be as easy as adding a pair of Chinese yoke back chairs to a rustic contemporary farmhouse design. Their simple sculptural shapes are the perfect balance to a modern minimalist room

Antique yoke chairs

No matter what space we are talking about – indoors or outdoors – the versatility of vintage and antique options makes them the perfect accent pieces. When something is missing from a modern space, the likely solution is an antique. 

#4 The price factor

The price tag cannot be ignored, but generally speaking – unless we are talking about a rare collectable – antiques are not necessarily more expensive than good quality new furniture. (They obviously cannot be compared to the affordability of mass-produced items – but the quality, durability, sustainability and longevity of these cheaper items do not match those of antiques.). 

And then, of course, there is the investment factor and the appreciation of antiques over time. The fact that antiques will not only retain their value but are likely to appreciate in value compared to their contemporary machine-made counterparts, make them definitely worth investing in. So add a few pieces that you love and up the beauty in your home. 

Modern art and antique furniture

#5 The Crown Collection

If you are not yet persuaded as to the beautiful allure of antiques, then you have not yet stepped into The Crown Collection emporium, where over 5000 antique, French, contemporary and vintage items await. This curated treasure trove of antiques is hand-selected – from chandeliers and objets d’art to armoires, daybeds and everything in between. (Enjoy 30% off your purchase until 31st March 2022 – just another reason to shop for antiques!).

Visit our blog page for more inspiration and ideas on how to include antiques – of all shapes and sizes – into your home. 

Finding the perfect antiques to complement your decor style is as simple as shopping online. Or visit us in the studio at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston.

 

Black & white with a touch of antique furniture

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Opposites attract and in this case, a black and white palette attracts antique furniture; the perfect complement to a timeless and classic design aesthetic. Black and white interiors are a basic monochrome and minimalistic decor solution that make a bold and striking statement. But the stark sophistication and drama need to be softened with a layered storytelling element for warmth, depth and richness.

Antique furniture and vintage pieces are the obvious solutions to balance the polar opposites of a black and white interior design narrative. 

‘The Illuminati’

The simplest way to up the ante and create interest in a monochromatic space is with lighting. Antique chandeliers and vintage lighting options become the obvious solution to achieve this; the decorative designs, shapes and materials available will create the perfect mix-and-match element to ‘ground’ a black and white scheme. It’s all about layering the interest. 

Antique & vintage lighting

‘Smoke and mirrors’

Every space in your home deserves a mirror. And when it comes to antique furniture and vintage accessories, mirrors take the lead. Wooden, bleached, painted or gilded, they help any black and white scheme become the fairest of them all. They reflect light, enhance a space and add beautiful architectural contrast in a contemporary setting. 

Antique & vintage mirrors

‘The colour purple’

A black and white palette becomes the perfect excuse to add a feminine hint of colour and texture; saving a scheme from masculine monotony or being cold and clinical. (In feng shui this is a yin and yang moment). No matter where your heart lies on the colour wheel, an antique or vintage occasional upholstered chair is a versatile supporting actor. Playful interest is always welcome when looking to add personality to a space. (And remember – gold is also a colour!).

Antique occasional chairs

‘See the wood for the trees’

Speaking of colour, antique furniture is a ‘green’ eco solution. The visual warmth of natural wood elements is the ultimate in sustainable design elegance, elevating any contemporary monochrome space. Darker wood antique pieces will add historical drama and presence while lighter-toned wooden pieces will counterbalance the serious black and white tones with a relaxed warm French or rustic vibe. Your wooden antique and vintage options are broad – from imposing armoires and smaller wooden kists to decorative screens and grandfather clocks (which are timeless). 

Natural wood antiques

‘On display’

Antique accessories and vintage itemsglass pitchers, porcelain vases, silverware, candlesticks, antique books, artworks and concrete busts – are where you get to have a little decor fun and add some whimsical charm against a black and white backdrop. Arranging vignettes of objets d’art on a side table or shelves keeps your eye engaged and gives dynamic context to a neutral palette. Your room will come to life with these curated decorative and eclectic groupings.

Antique & vintage objets d'art

‘The Crown Collection’

There is only one emporium that will satisfy your antique curiosity and deliver on the largest collection of vintage, French and antique furniture in South Africa. With over 5000 items in stock, The Crown Collection is a space where you can indulge your antique design creativity in one place and shop to your heart’s content. 

Browse and shop all our collections online or visit us in-studio at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston.

 

What’s not to love about antique French mirrors?

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When it comes to antique mirrors, you’ll have to pardon our French. To say we are in love with these reflective and versatile decor beauties is an understatement. And when it comes to French mirrors, we can hardly contain ourselves, but a blog will have to do. From the mirrored halls of Versailles to your home, a touch of decadence is always a finishing design touch and French antique mirrors deliver this in spades. 

Besides their practical benefits, French mirrors will always add a refined decorative elegance to any decor style. Whether you choose from tall and stately or small and charming, the visual glam factor is off the wall!

A French mirror vocab lesson

Let’s brush up on some basic ‘designer vocab’ when talking about French vintage and antique mirrors:  

  • A Trumeau mirror (pronounced ‘troo-mo’) is a classic antique accessory originating in France in the 18th century. It was originally set in wood panelling in walls above the fireplace mantle in wealthier homes. Their purpose was to reflect light and bounce it around the room. An antique trumeau mirror is a rectangular mirror set into a tall wooden frame with a large painted or carved sculptural decoration at the top.

French Trumeau mirrors

  • A Parisian Cheval mirror originated in France during the late 18th century. This is your classic French standing rectangular or oval mirror that has a long, thin frame attached to the top. They were originally made for Marie Antoinette who had an obsession with them and placed 170 of them around the Palace of Versailles.  
  • A Mansard mirror is the epitome of a romantic French Provencal aesthetic. These accent mirrors are inspired by French architecture of the mansard roof with dormer windows dating back to the 1600s. As a smaller decorative accessory, they add a rustic dimension and vintage charm to any space and complement any style.

French Mansard mirror

  • Period style French mirrors from different historical eras have always defined interior design trends and remain statement pieces today. They are the ideal accessory to mix and match with any contemporary design. So take your pick from the following: an antique Louis XV mirror, a Rococo style gilded mirror, an ornate gilded Baroque style mirror, a Neo-classical style bevelled French mirror or a pair of wooden painted Empire style mirrors with gilded highlights. 

Baroque, Rococo, Neo-classical style mirrors

A French mirror interior design lesson

Of course, it is lovely to be able to slip some of these French decor words into a conversation, but there is even greater impact when you can slip a French-styled mirror into your design scheme. From gilding, gold- and silver-leafed techniques to distressed paint finishes and effects, there is not a room in your home that will not benefit from a vintage or antique mirror. 

Let’s start in the bedroom: 

What could be more dramatic and gorgeous than an oversized French mirror as a headboard? Talk about a statement piece! Actually, our words cannot do it justice, so we’ll just let you be awed by the visuals. 

VIntage and Antique French mirror headboards

Of course, besides a headboard, you can get functional and up the storage solutions in your bedroom with a mirror-fronted French oak armoire or a 19th-century French carved walnut armoire with a mirrored door.

(We actually have an entire blog dedicated to the irresistible allure of French armoires). 

The bathroom is next

If there is one room in your home that deserves a little French flair, it is the bathroom. A vintage or antique mirror has the power to completely transform and personalise these utilitarian spaces. Go oval with a french gilt option or go big and rectangular with a French-style bevelled mirror with floral ornate carvings

Then there are silver hand-held mirrors that add a simple touch of fairy tale charm to any dressing table or bathroom counter. 

French vintage bathroom mirrors

Don’t forget all your other spaces:

French mirrors are the quintessential decorative accessory to up the glam factor on any wall; becoming living art pieces in entrance halls, living rooms, dining rooms, stairways and even kitchens. Hang them individually for imposing presence, as a grouping for dramatic visual effect, or for an immediate wow factor, stand a large oversized antique French mirror on the floor. 

Oversized French mirrors

Antique French mirrors at The Crown Collection

If we have kindled a love for vintage and antique French mirrors in you, then you will not be disappointed when you visit The Crown Collection, SA’s largest emporium of all things antique, vintage and French

If you are not happy with the finishes on any of our mirrors, our restoration centre can apply bespoke staining, paint effects, French polishing and bleaching, and hand gilding techniques to your one-of-a-kind piece. 

Browse all our collections online or visit us at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston. 

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