have antiques become antiquated?

 “don’t use the ‘a’ word”, an article by susan moore in the october 1, 2011 financial times (ft) questions whether or not antiques seem relevant or irrelevant to newer or younger collectors or consumers.

some (antiques) dealers are now showcasing their ‘masterpieces’ in minimalist exhibitions that feel contemporary, even though they only display traditional objects.

other dealers are taking an eclectic approach, like belgian interior designer and antiques dealer axel vervoordt, who furnishes his interiors with objects of similar shapes, colors, or materials, but of dissimilar age, origin, or value.  lately, the simple, authentic, imperfect aesthetics of wabi sabi inspire vervoordt’s interiors, which could be described as more curated than designed.

a painting by jean-michel basquiat | a gupta buddha head from india | a nok head from africa

residence | belgium | interior design by axel vervoordt

photo credit axel vervoordt | timeless interiors

a painting by lucio fontana | a queen anne mahogany table c.1700

residence | belgium | interior design by axel vervoordt

photo credit axel vervoordt | timeless interiors

as vervoordt’s work artfully illustrates, it’s all in the editing, and in the juxtaposition.

would this boardroom be as interesting without the juxtaposition of the louis XIV armchair, the nomos table, the eames chairs, and the 18th century piranesi engraving?  do you notice how the legs of the louis XIV armchair, the legs of the nomos table, and the backs of the eames chairs have similar silhouettes?

louis XIV armchair | nomos table | eames chairs | 18th century piranesi engraving

boardroom | the element building | toronto, ontario, canada | design by the element group

photo credit interior design

in the living room of this new york, NY apartment ‘every piece relates to another and intensifies one’s perception of the rest’.  does the george III mahogany armchair seem traditional, or modern in this setting?

george III mahogany armchair | 1959 oil painting by mark rothko | 1967 stabile by alexander calder | custom bronze and glass coffee table | custom upholstery

apartment | new york, NY | interior design by thad hayes

photo credit architectural digest

would you describe the furnishings of this los angeles, CA living room as modern or traditional?  isn’t the antique gilt console table from therien & co. an interesting counterpart to the black and white franz kline painting, the black rose tarlow chairs, and the white linen custom upholstery?  doesn’t the antique table add character to the room without making it seem too formal or overly decorated?

antique gilt console table | franz kline painting | rose tarlow chairs | custom upholstery

living room | los angeles, CA | interior design by richard hallberg

photo credit veranda

even though the prevalence of mid century modernism precipitated a stylistic simplification, i think that you can still create simple, comfortable, individual interiors by combining antique and modern furnishings.

in the october 2011 issue of ELLE DECOR, ‘fair trade’, an article by tim mckeough, quotes new york antiques dealer niall smith, who agrees that, today, most younger customers are creating pared down interiors that combine a few antiques with other periods and styles of furniture.

‘…it’s a much more simple look nowadays…

the cluttered look is definitely out, simplicity is in…

and quality still sells.’

-niall smith, new york antiques dealer

do you think that antiques are relevant to a modern lifestyle?

do you plan to visit the san francisco fall antiques show?

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