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Antique kists & vintage chests – A beautiful & versatile decor solution

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When it comes to decor statement pieces in your home, we salute William Morris – the British textile designer – who was way ahead of his time and sprouted a decor philosophy that we should all follow: “If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” And what could be more beautiful and functionally versatile than a decorative antique wooden kist or vintage chest to complement any design scheme?

In the furniture world, antique or vintage chests are classified as ‘case goods.’ They are also known as cassones, coffers, kists and trunks. But no matter how you refer to them, there isn’t a more stylish solution to up the ante in your spaces. 

Antique & vintage chests & kists

A beautiful solution

A wooden antique chest or decorative vintage kist is the one accessory that works in basically every room of the house; sprucing up kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, offices, patios, dining rooms and lounges; transforming into stylish coffee tables, eclectic side tables and extra seating options.

Placed at the foot of the bed, next to a chair as a side table or holding centre stage in a living room, an antique trunk or quirky vintage kist will never fail to arouse design interest. Each one tells its own story from the past and adds irresistible decor charm and personality. 

People want to break away from the sameness of interiors and view antiques as a way to create something distinctive.”Kimberley Wray.

Besides being a stylish and timeless showpiece – and depending on which room they end up in – they can also double up as the ideal storage solution for winter clothes, important papers, toys, blankets, linens or cushions. 

Antique trunks

A versatile solution

The added advantage of antique or vintage chests and kists is that they come in an array of different woods, finishes and design styles, so you are spoilt for choice – from teak and mahogany to rosewood and oak. 

Go colonial with an 18th-century Dutch oak kist or regal with a James I carved oak chest. For a slightly more understated look, you can’t go wrong with an Anglo-Indian mahogany campaign trunk with brass detailing or a 20th Century Cape Stinkwood chest

There is no doubt in the world of interior design that decorative vintage trunks and antique kists are the ultimate finishing touch to your home decor and there is just the right one to suit your style – from French rustic or traditional to midcentury modern or contemporary.

These incredibly ​​beautiful and versatile pieces are highly collectable items and are becoming quite a  rarity. 

Antique chests and vintage kists

A sustainable solution

When you add sustainability to the conscious consumer conversation, these pieces of furniture hit the mark like no other. They are the definition of ‘upcycling’ and are the easiest way to mix something old in a contemporary decor setting. 

Upcycling or restoring vintage and antique pieces of furniture baulks the trend of a ‘throwaway culture’ and is one way of reducing waste and our carbon footprint. And buying pre-loved furniture instead of its mass-produced counterparts extends its product life and further helps to minimize deforestation. 

Antique chests and trunks that find their way into your home – instead of the skip – become an ongoing tribute to the artisanal skill and craftsmanship that go into making them. They are sustainable investment pieces that are likely to increase in value over time. 

A local solution – The Crown Collection

Your love affair with all things antique – including chests, trunks, coffers and kists – starts at the Crown Collection, South Africa’s largest emporium of curated and handpicked collections of decorative antique, French, vintage, and contemporary furniture and accessories. We’re all about helping you find beautiful and useful pieces to add to your home.

Shop online or visit our studio at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston. 


Set the scene with antique candelabra & vintage candlesticks

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They could be referred to as the ‘poor man’s chandelier,’ but vintage candelabra have undergone a revolution in the decor industry. As highly sought after decorative styling pieces, their eclectic presence highlights any style or period – be that traditional, Gothic, French or contemporary. 

Antique candlesticks, candelabra and torchieres are just the decorative accessories to add sophisticated elegance and a functional statement to any sideboard, table or occasion. And you can have so much fun accessorizing them and wowing your guests.

Antique candelabra & vintage candlesticks

From crystal, silver or gilded to cast iron or bronze, their romantic glow and decorative elegance are unmatched.

Getting the terminology right

If you are going to talk about vintage or antique candlestick options, then semantics and jargon matter. Is it candelabra, candlestick or torchiere? 

Nursery rhymes made us familiar with candlesticks – quick and nimble Jack jumping over one – and fairy tales delighted us with Beauty and the Beast’s Lumiere, the maître d’ turned candelabrum. (Speaking of which, candelabrum is the singular and candelabra the plural).  

vintage candelabra

Antique candlesticks and candelabra comprise similar features with one defining difference; a candelabrum has ‘branches’ or ‘arms’ to hold more than one candle. (The ‘labra’ are the decorative arms). 

An antique torchiere (torchère), dating back to 17th century France, is a tall metallic or wooden stand to hold a candle, candelabrum or lamp. 

Getting the table setting right

Tablescaping is an industry term that simply refers to creating Instagram-worthy table settings that are works of decor art. And you cannot go wrong with vintage candlesticks and antique candelabra as your starting point centrepieces. 

From a gothic 22-karat gold leaf hand gilded wrought iron torchiere, a set of traditional silver-plated candelabra, and a pair of rare 19th-century French bronze candle holders, to a pair of Baroque-style wooden carved altar pricket sticks or a pair of vintage Art Nouveau candelabra, these pieces are the quintessential decor bling for any occasion or event.

Candelabra table setting

Planning an indoor formal event or a rustic outdoor garden celebration? Your solution to a beautiful and striking setting lies in these timeless and soft lighting options that add whimsical charm and wonder to any occasion.  

For just the right romantic ambience and intimate illumination, vintage or antique candlesticks and candelabra add drama and bespoke personality, especially when partnered with the versatile accessorizing options of floral arrangements or simple greenery. Such artful centrepieces will always stand out from the crowd.

Tablescaping with vintage candelabra & candlesticks

Getting antique shopping right at the Crown Collection

Whether you are a seasoned collector or a novice antique hunter, candlesticks and candelabra are the perfect starting point to any collection. Your journey to sourcing the perfect ‘lumiere’ starts at the Crown Collection, South Africa’s largest emporium of vintage and antique furniture items and accessories. 

Should you require stripping, a paint technique, hand gilding or staining of any items, our professional craftsmen are onsite to give you the desired finish. 

Pop in at our studio at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston or visit us online. We will also deliver to your door.