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Kitesgrove's Guide to Antiques

The London design practice's Head of Design explains how to instantly elevate your space

Jon Sharpe
By Jon Sharpe, Chief Creative Officer
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The beauty of brilliant design is that it lasts. Timeless and enduring, quality pieces crafted with skill will always last a lifetime; these are pieces to treasure. For many of us, it is antiques that best summarise these pieces, perhaps collected over time or handed down through generations, though they can prove a challenge to style, particularly in the more modern home. 

Like many interior designers, Kitesgrove recognises that incorporating antiques into their spaces—including modern schemes—can bring added character, depth and a touch of culture. Sourcing unique and unexpected pieces which can be mixed with contemporary finds is what allows the team to create indulgent, calm and inviting homes that value longevity over short-lived wow factor.

With a recently renewed interest in traditional design in the world of interiors, Kitesgrove have fully embraced the resurgence in the popularity of antiques. Here, the design studio’s Head of Design, Clara Ewart, reveals her tips for decorating with antiques.

Often working with much-loved antiques owned by their clients, the design team have become seasoned in creating the perfect backdrop for antique furniture to sit in a newly refurbished home, without losing its authenticity. Taking into consideration the nostalgia of cherished heirlooms, Kitesgrove have updated worn items giving them a new lease of life and making them the focal point of the rooms in which they are placed. 

Doha Chest of Drawers
More options available
Jonathan Charles
Doha Chest of Drawers
From £3,410

For Ewart, every home is in need of an antique, but depending on the style of your home, you may require a different approach. “When styling antique pieces,” Ewart comments, “it is important to respect the architecture of the house you are decorating. Some houses are well-suited to lots of antiques whilst others will benefit from a mixture of vintage and modern.”

Her best piece of advice? “Most trends tend to come back into fashion, so I advise buying something you love when you see it, and not get too distracted as to whether it will suit the design scheme you have planned. If anything, it will enhance the overall look providing rich textures and a connection to the past.”

“There are many places to find wonderful antiques and you don’t need to have a big budget to find pieces which can be restored, reupholstered and renewed” says Ewart. “Repurposing one-off pieces of furniture or lighting will also provide a great sense of satisfaction—to be continuing the life of an item which may otherwise have been discarded.”

Boulogne Guilded Mirror, Gold
Eichholtz
Boulogne Guilded Mirror, Gold
£1,565

You don't need to have a completely traditional space

“Juxtaposing antique finds with modern furniture will lift a space; a bold antique brass pendant light will make a statement and catch the eye whilst an oversized vintage rug in muted colours will anchor a space allowing modern furniture and accessories to take centre stage.”

It’s all in the finishing touches

“Smaller antiques work well as accent pieces, whether it’s a beautiful vase, a side table or a light. These little details will make your home feel as if it has organically come together over time.”

Create ambience with Lighting

“Antique lighting is a wonderful way to incorporate vintage pieces into a room, not only adding to the aesthetic but providing a key functional element as well. Most vintage lamps can be easily re-wired, so if you find something to suit your style, don’t be put off buying it if a little work is needed to make it good as new again.”