Although our work is more contemporary than not, I am in favor of using an antique element or two in most environments. I do not want to recreate a period space. We are not living in Tuscany, it is not the 18th century and we do not have large household staffs any longer. Rather, I want to use antiques sparingly to create a sense of contrast to make the space more modern than it would otherwise be.
To do this, I suggest thinking of the antique as a piece of sculpture. It needs a strong silhouette, a graphic presence. I also am in favor of a piece that shows use – even wear and tear. The Japanese ideal of Wabi-Sabi is totally on the mark. A piece that shows loving signs of having been used and enjoyed is more beautiful than one that hasn’t been touched often enough.
Go ahead, dare to use antiques to play up the modernity of the space you live in. It will enliven your home and bring warmth that is impossible to live without.
-MICHAEL M. MERRILL ASID, NKBA, CID