Indoor-outdoor living is a welcome modern lifestyle trend that has extended the versatility of our homes. And alfresco entertaining – whether you have an urban balcony or a rambling suburban garden – is not going anywhere. This is where carefully chosen antique furniture or vintage pieces add a bespoke touch to an outdoor space that quickly becomes reflective of the owner’s personality.
In the architectural and building industries, ‘biophilic design’ is a concept that is all about increasing connectivity to, and communication with, the natural environment. What better way to achieve this “dialogue” than bringing the indoors out and up-styling outdoor areas with antique furniture and vintage accessories?
With nature’s colours already in place, your garden, balcony or patio are the ideal places to play with decor styles by adding an antique twist and some eclectic vintage charm.
Every space deserves a little history and character, and integrating antique furniture into outdoor design delivers this in spades.
Just add some seating
Wrought iron options are the practical and traditional choice, but there really are no rules. From formal to laid back, contemporary to French rustic, there is the perfect antique occasional chair or daybed that needs to find its way outdoors. And if your patio or outdoor entertainment area is protected from the elements, then your decor options soar. Go bold with upholstery patterns and colours and add the scatter cushions and throws.
Just add some tables
Be that a coffee table or kist, side, console or dining table, an outdoor area needs an antique or vintage option. This is where the casual mixing and matching of contemporary and antique furniture is a success story. Modern garden chairs around an antique wooden table, or a mixed ensemble of antique chairs around a sleek contemporary table, are a natural invitation for memorable dining moments.
Styling an outdoor area is where mix-and-match takes on new meaning as the seamless connection with nature encourages the playful arrangement of furniture and design styles. It is all about comfort and communing with nature. It is also where wooden antique furniture fits perfectly, connecting to its roots.
Just add some urns, pots, jardinières (or concrete dogs)
The stately addition of decorative cast iron or concrete garden urns, terracotta pots and ornamental jardinières are the ultimate romantic garden decor accessories. In the 19th century, the Victorians believed that “decorating your small garden with vine-filled urns meant that you were cultured and you had the money to afford indulgences..” –Barbara Israel
Today, the classic urn’s versatility is unmatched for all outdoor spaces, adding an immediate structural and architectural element. Besides the obvious loveliness of ivy, topiaries or colourful flowers tumbling out of them, they can be turned into water features or custom side tables (just by adding a piece of glass on top). They add instant vintage appeal and one will never be enough.
Just add some bling or quirkiness
Mirrors, chandeliers and decorative bird cages are obvious and timeless go-to accessories that add “wow factor” to any space – even an outdoor one. Mirrors not only make spaces appear larger and reflect light, but on a patio, they reflect nature’s greenery and botanical whimsy. This creates a seasonal artistic element that always surprises and will transform any corner.
The layering of antique chandeliers or vintage lanterns adds soft ambient lighting and enchantment to an outdoor patio or garden area.
The simple trick to making an outdoor area look and feel livable and cohesive is to include a couple of antique or vintage items that are loosely related – perhaps wood type, colour or shape. This adds intentionality and depth to any scheme.
Just add The Crown Collection
Shopping for antique furniture and vintage items for your outdoor – or indoor – spaces doesn’t get easier than The Crown Collection; South Africa’s largest antique emporium. With over 5000 pieces of stylish decorative antique, French, vintage and contemporary furniture and accessories, The Crown Collection is not your regular antique store. Rather, it is a curated collection of carefully hand-picked pieces specifically chosen for their decorative appeal – for indoors and outdoors.
Shop online or visit our studio at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston, for a unique antique and vintage shopping experience.