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.


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. 


Make an entrance with antique & vintage furniture choices

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Perhaps you shouldn’t ‘judge a book by its cover,’ but you can definitely judge a home by its entrance hall or foyer. And if you are fortunate to have one of these welcoming ‘walk through’ spaces, then you are in an enviable position of sourcing antique or vintage furniture pieces; the ideal accompaniment to any entrance hall. 

Even though guests are not likely to spend a lot of time in your entrance hall, it is the introduction to your home; the unspoken first impression. Adding vintage or antique furniture pieces to an entryway will elevate the overall decor aesthetic and appeal of your home. 

Mirror mirror on the wall

Mirrors certainly top our list of versatile antique or vintage pieces. There is not a room in your home that wouldn’t benefit from a vintage mirror and an entrance hall is just crying out for one. Not only will they give an expanded illusion of space but they also add functionality and your guests will always thank you. No matter what size mirror you choose, the transformation will be huge. (And who says you have to hang a mirror on the wall?).

Antique or vintage mirrors for entrance halls

Take a seat

If you have some dead space in your entrance hall, then adding one or two occasional chairs creates a tête-à-tête moment. You can go grand with dome chairs, elegant with upholstered chairs inspired by French kings or British queens, or simple with a couple of neo-classical stinkwood dining chairs or a fruitwood sandveld riempie bench. You may not sit in them, but the invitation to do so is tempting. Once again – you get to play with colour and pattern as these stand-alone pieces will create their own story. 

Antique Dome chairs

Don’t be square

A round table is the perfect antique furniture piece for larger entrance halls. No matter what wood finish you choose, the casual elegance of an accessorised round table is unmatched. From fresh flowers in a statement vase to coffee table books and vintage objets d’art, the aesthetic can change whenever you like. 

This is also the perfect time to mention that if you do have the space for a round (or square) table, then you also have the space to finish off your entryway vignette with an antique chandelier or vintage lantern. A chandelier – aka ‘decor jewellery’ for interior spaces – will be the ultimate finishing touch for your entrance hall. 

Antique & vintage tables

Who let the dogs out?

Welcome your guests with a smile. An entrance hall can easily become a space for a little wit and whimsy; antique style. A couple of concrete dogs, a bust or mirrored obelisks will not go amiss in the entryway and are likely to be conversion starters as soon as your guests enter your home.

VIntage concrete dogs, busts & urns

Light the way

Smaller and narrow antique console or sofa tables are the ultimate entrance hall solution for placing keys, handbags etc. But they also double-up as a display surface for that vintage desk lamp that you absolutely love or a pair of silver candelabras or candlesticks. The softer glow of a wall sconce or desk lamp (or two) adds immediate appeal as you enter your home – morning, noon and night. 

Antique lamps

A welcome rug

The best way to ‘roll out the red carpet’ for your guests is to place a time-tested vintage rug in your entryway. This colourful, patterned welcome not only defines the space but gives it presence, making guests pause as they enter your home. 

Antique carpets and rugs have a long history and will add such warmth and richness to your entrance hall and are proven to handle lots of foot traffic. 

The flat-woven elegant motifs and floral designs in earthy tones of Bessarabian kilims, the intricate and brightly coloured medallion designs of a Karabakh carpet or the 3-dimensional handmade tapestry weaving of a French Aubusson rug will add a timeless and classical narrative to any interior and are worth the investment. 

Antique and vintage rugs

A work of art

Adding vintage and antique pieces to an entrance hall couldn’t be simpler than hanging art. Art also makes a statement about who you are. Foyers are standalone spaces, making them the perfect areas to play around with furniture and accessories. And what better way than showcasing a statement artwork or a gallery wall of antique frames or vintage botanical prints?

Anitque & vintage art

Welcome to the Crown Collection

Inspiration for the entrance to your home starts at the Crown Collection, where a curated and handpicked collection of over 5000 antique and vintage furniture items awaits. Personalize your home by shopping online or visiting our studio at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston. 

Our professional onsite services include upholstery in fabrics of your choice, french polishing, hand gilding, paint techniques, bleaching furniture and staining in lighter or darker shades. 

Browse all our collections.

‘Escape to the Chateau’ in French Vintage Style

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There is a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ element to any home that has a French vintage style. The timeless elegance and romance associated with the French and their decorating history have bewitched us all. French decor has evolved from the elaborate and ornate Versailles and Renaissance decadence to a design solution that is practical, beautiful and sensual.

From French country chic to rustic minimalism, vintage pieces combine casual and regal in an effortless way. It is all about comfortable luxury pieces that everyone falls in love with. 

French Country

French country decor is all about soft, muted colours, toile and floral fabrics, bleached, distressed or painted wooden antique furniture, natural materials, a chandelier (of course) and a touch of gold. The old-world charm is achieved by mixing and matching vintage pieces with a unique vintage flair. Layering with fabrics, textures, wallpaper and antique carpets, is the secret to French romanticism and a bespoke ambience that will make you feel at home. This is where an armoire, a chaise lounge or daybed and a painted and carved French-style bombe chest of drawers (reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast) are the perfect starting points for any space. 

French Vintage

French Chic

What sets French Vintage decor apart is the ability to get away with mixing and matching fabrics and antique furniture in a bold eclectic way. This more ‘Parisian’ influence loves to make a chic statement with ornate fabrics and tapestries, gallery walls and bold, moody colours. There is a definite sophisticated edge but without compromising on comfort and practicality as well as not being too perfect or formal. There may be a lot going on, but the multi-layered design narrative and subtle arrangement still exude a sense of calm. 

French Vintage

French Rustic 

When French vintage adds rustic elements into the mix, the result is relaxed and almost thrown together, but it just works. Exposed ceiling beams, rough walls, distressed floors, mismatched colourful fabrics and natural elements all tell a story that has you feeling you’ve stepped back in time, but in a good way. The secret to achieving this is ‘chiner’ – a French word meaning ‘to hunt for.’  Hunting for antique and vintage furniture pieces is the heart of French decor. 

French VIntage

French Vintage at the Crown Collection

Your French affair starts at The Crown Collection, South Africa’s largest emporium of antique, vintage, contemporary and French-style furniture and accessories. Start your ‘chiner’ for the perfect French vintage and antique pieces to add that sense of handpicked ‘je ne sais quoi’ to your home. This is where comfortable and sophisticated French-style vintage charm lives from Louis XVI armchairs to gilded mirrors and crystal chandeliers.

Visit us online or in-studio at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston. 

Something Old, Something New – Mixing Contemporary & Antique Furniture

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If you are looking for an exciting yet balanced approach to interior design, then mixing contemporary and antique furniture is a timeless solution that will add visual interest and contrast to any home. Marrying different styles in a design scheme allows you to showcase your individuality and for each space to express its own personality without being constrained to one particular era or trend. 

“Modern spaces can especially benefit from incorporating antique and vintage pieces. They add real warmth and character, and the look can be as eclectic as you like.” – Jacqui Moskovitz 

Mix & match does not equal ‘mishmash’

Eclectic, however, is still a decor look that follows certain design principles and so just mixing any antique pieces with any contemporary items is not going to work. Juxtaposing too many different period pieces will create confusion rather than cohesion. But embracing a considered design plan with regard to layout, proportions and materials (and incorporating old and new) will always result in a well-put-together look that makes sense. 

Mixing contemporary and antique furniture

Decide upfront what the overall look is that you are hoping to achieve. Is it a contemporary look with some antique touches, or an antique look with some modern touches? When mixing modern with vintage or antique, follow the 80/20 design rule – i.e. keep 80% contemporary and let the remaining 20%  be vintage or antique accents. This will help you buy wisely and create a successful space.

Mix & match involves repetition

The simplest way of creating a coherent look when pairing contemporary and antique furniture is using repetition. Bring your look together with a common colour scheme, a repeated pattern or similar materials. There must be a mutual attribute that connects the modern and the antique to achieve intrigue and layered sophistication that will make you want to linger in a space and just enjoy the richness of the design story. 

Mixing contemporary and antique furniture

Mix & match adds depth and story

The minute you add a vintage accessory or an antique piece of furniture to a contemporary space you add originality, contrast, history and timelessness. This is the easiest way of avoiding a cookie-cutter or generic ‘showroom’ look. Bear in mind that this will take time as well-designed spaces evolve over time.

Consider the following inspirational ideas:

  • A modern, minimalist kitchen will immediately gain character by adding an antique dresser. A kitchen island will become a focal point with hanging antique pendants – creating story, harmony and interest without being distracting.
  • Transform a basic guest bathroom by hanging an ornate gilded antique mirror or a crystal chandelier for a touch of glamour. (Lighting fixtures are one of the easiest ways of combining the old with the new).
  • Adding contemporary ghost chairs to an antique dining table or partnering upholstered antique chairs with a modern wooden table will create balance and charm without being too heavy and imposing. 
  • Upholster occasional antique chairs with modern fabrics. 
  • Add a modern chair or lamp to an antique desk. 

Mixing contemporary and antique furniture

Mix & match at The Crown Collection

The Crown Collection is SA’s largest collection of antique, vintage, French, and contemporary furniture and accessories, allowing you to choose something old and something new that will add form and function to your home. Whether it is a contemporary piece of furniture or an antique piece of furniture, it needs to resonate with your style and personality. 

With over 5000 pieces of handpicked contemporary and antique furniture, our showroom is just the place to find pieces that you will fall in love with. 

If you are new to the world of antiquing, read our most recent blog highlighting 3 reasons you should be buying antique furniture. 

Find your perfect mix and match pieces by shopping online or visiting our studio at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston.

3 Reasons You Should be Buying Antique Furniture

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Antique furniture has a reputation for being prohibitively expensive and way beyond most people’s decor budgets, but that is simply not true. If you are sourcing rare collectable items, then be prepared for a hefty price tag,  but If you are simply looking for a quality piece that will spark joy in your home (we love Marie Kondo’s mantra), then vintage or antique furniture and decorative items are the ultimate and affordable design solution to add interest and story to your interiors. 

Adding antique items to your spaces far surpasses mass-produced furniture, becoming statement pieces that will add a timeless element of history and depth to your design personality and easily complementing other styles.  

“I love history. Everything is inspired by history, That is why I love vintage and antiques.” – Kelly Wearstler, Interior designer

Here are 3 reasons you should be buying antique furniture and accessories for your home:

The Style Factor

“ I collect antiques. Why? Because they are beautiful.”  – Broderick Crawford

There is no denying the inherent beauty and timeless elegance of antique furniture pieces and accessories – in any space! The craftsmanship and bespoke artistry have stood the test of time in design functionality and aesthetic form. Antique and vintage items add an old-world charm to a space, giving your design a sense of gravitas, bringing a scheme together and becoming the conversation piece in a room. 

In a world of mass-produced generic furniture and a “disposable culture,” antique furniture and vintage items are the perfect “mix and match” items to add character and class. Every space deserves that.  

Antique furniture

The Investment Factor

“Antique things have an appreciation and a worth… If this antique is preserved and deemed precious, it could be passed down as a family heirloom.”  – CeeLo Green

Beyond their heirloom and nostalgic value, antiques are referred to as investment pieces as they do generally increase in value over the mid-to-long term instead of depreciating like more modern inexpensive and mass-produced furniture. So buying antiques is buying smart. 

Newer furniture designs are often made with laminated chipboard and will generally last between 10 and 20 years, not surviving daily wear and tear well. This means their second-hand value is way less than what you purchased them for. 

Solid wood antique furniture retains its value and grows in value as it is more robust and less likely to break or get damaged, making it a sound (and solid) financial investment if looked after. And there are so many options – including mahogany, oak, walnut and teak – to suit your interiors and make any space beautiful. 

Antique furniture

The Sustainable Factor

“Our admiration of the antique is not admiration of the old, but of the natural.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of the most positive benefits of buying antique furniture is its environmentally friendly factor and the impact it can have on protecting the environment. So, buying antiques becomes a responsible “recycling” eco-choice and a better buy. Research has highlighted the lower carbon footprint of antiques compared to modern manufactured furniture. A new piece of furniture that is made in China, for example, has a carbon footprint 16 times higher than the antique equivalent per year.  

Antique pieces are typically crafted from natural resources, such as wood, stone or metals. Because of the nature, longevity, quality and investment value of antique furniture and accessories, they don’t tend to end up being thrown away like their modern mass-produced counterparts and ending up in landfills. 

The Crown Collection Factor

No matter what your experience in sourcing antique furniture may be, the Crown Collection is your place to start. With over 5000 pieces of eclectic and decorative antique, French, vintage, and contemporary furniture and accessories, there is something for your home. 

From armoires, mirrors, chests, linen presses, console tables, cabinets, tables, chairs, settees, sofas, gilded furniture, chandeliers, lanterns, candelabras, silver or crystal accessories, The Crown Collection is the “one-stop-shop” for the discerning antique collector. 

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

The Language of Antiquing – Is it Antique or Vintage Furniture?

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Whether you are a novice collector or a seasoned aficionado, there is a unique language to antiquing. From 20th-century interiors such as Downton Abbey’s Highclere Castle to 21st-century homes, sourcing antique furniture requires certain skills, general antiquing knowledge and training your eye to ensure the pieces you purchase will not only add a sense of story to your space, but will be authentic investment pieces that will offer longevity and timeless style. 

As you scout for armoires, chaises and chests of drawers to Tiffany desk lamps, crystal chandeliers and decorative objets d’art, you need to know your Chesterfield from your Chippendale, your Rococo from your Baroque, and your Louis XVI from your George I – just for starters. Then you need to differentiate between mahogany, imbuia, rosewood and walnut. But that is the wonder and delight of becoming a collector and appreciating the history, utilitarian backstory and status of each piece of antique furniture.

When you buy an antique piece – you are buying a piece of the past. You need to be in love with it because any period piece deserves to become a design statement and conversion piece in your home. 

But any discerning collector of antique furniture needs the simple basics and definitions of what sets an antique piece apart from its vintage counterpart. 

Antique Furniture

In broad terms, antique furniture has a higher value because of its age, quality, rarity, handmade craftsmanship, fine artistry and period detailing. (It is not just any item that is really old).

Most antique dealers and experts are agreed that to earn the label ‘antique,’ a piece of furniture needs to be at least 100 years old. (Fine antique dealers consider objects 150 years and older to be antique).

Shopping for antiques should be viewed in the same way as buying original art. Whilst some items can be purchased as an investment, many buyers purchase antique pieces simply for their love of an item – the style, look and feel.  Antique furniture and accessories should be enjoyed in your spaces, giving depth, individuality and interest as well as growing in value over time as they become more scarce and harder to source.

Antique furniture

Vintage Furniture

“An item described as ‘vintage’ should speak of the era in which it was produced.” – Ruby Lane

What makes vintage items highly collectable and valuable is their recognisable qualities that are unique to the specific era in which they were made. Generally speaking, to be termed ‘vintage,’ a piece needs to be at least 30 – 99 years old. Shopping for vintage pieces also includes an element of nostalgia. (But once again, not everything that falls into this timeline is vintage).  

‘Mid-century modern’ is currently a vintage trend that is very popular among designers and collectors, and authentic pieces from that era are highly sought after. Characterised by simplicity and functionality, the ‘Mid-century modern’ movement was started by Bauhaus architects and designers who moved to America from Germany after WWII. 

Antique furniture

The Crown Collection

Sourcing antique furniture is an exciting pastime. A visit to The Crown Collection is not only an elegant step back in time, but it is also an opportunity to be surrounded by beautifully curated antique and vintage pieces that will add interest, character and design depth to your home. Stepping into our showroom is reminiscent of stepping into a London, New York or Paris emporium. 

As one of South Africa’s finest and largest interior decor stores, our collection houses over 5000 pieces of carefully hand-picked decorative antique, French, vintage and contemporary pieces that will appeal to any collector. The Crown Collection is your “one-stop-shop” for the discerning buyer.

Shop all our antique furniture and accessories online or visit our studio at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston. 

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