Designer Favs: Curating Antiques for Your Home

If you have a love for antiques, you know that there is an art to working them into your home’s decor. It takes a gentle hand and a skilled eye to mesh found treasures and flea market finds into your surroundings. In this edition of Designer Favs, Che Bella Interiors Design + Remodeling Senior Designer Stefanie Cohoe shares her fondness for antiques, offering helpful guidance on how to artfully bring them into your home. Gallery walls and furniture groupings are just the beginning. Let the antiquing begin!

 Gallery Walls

Gallery walls are a ‘stop you in you in your tracks’ moment in a home if they’re done well. A self-proclaimed sucker for gallery walls, Stef shares, “I have purchased many many antiques to use in my own home over the years for gallery walls, whether from a thrift store or an antique store. I’ve also received pieces that have been handed down through the family. Admittedly, finding something that fits the aesthetic I’m looking to achieve in size, style, and content takes a while!”

Stef encourages homeowners to take their time to find the right pieces that work well together and make a thoughtful and curated grouping rather than just finding something to fill a space. Finding pieces that mean something to you is Stef’s biggest criteria for whether or not to bring something into a home. “It has to mean something to me for me to want to use it and display it. Intentional design is where it’s at with antiques on a gallery wall.”  

Gallery Wall Using Antiques

Bedroom labor of love – Each frame in Stef’s bedroom was intentionally gathered, curated, and purposefully placed. Some new and some old.

Advice for displaying antiques on walls

The entirety of the top border of the bedroom looks like this! All but one piece was thrifted with most paintings dating back to the 1940s-80s!

Furniture Finds

Furniture from a bygone era is yet another way to add an antique flair to your home. Pieces with just the right amount of creases and a lived-in look exude the feeling of comfort in a space. There are tricks to mixing and matching colors, patterns and textures, but more than anything, the message is to find pieces that make your heart swell when they are placed next to one another!

This is a reproduction of a Herman Miller Eames chair and stool – likely from the 1970s – that Stef thrifted.

Natural Wonders and Deep Roots

Not all antique finds are manmade. In fact, Stef has an affinity for mixing natural elements into her designs that have been found over the years. From deer antlers to driftwood, items that have either come from the natural world or have been worn down by Mother Nature herself add a homespun tone to a room. Don’t be afraid to add natural elements to a room and mix them with pieces that carry a family story or even those with a current aesthetic.  

The dining room wall showcases a thrifted Minnesota plate with a pheasant photo that used to hang in Stef’s parents’ home. The small flower picture is made out of pheasant feathers and is accompanied by a carved wooden Elephant mask picked up in Bali a decade ago. Other items were purchased or made new, coordinating well with the other pieces on display!

Living Room Inspiration – the collage of items on this wall features a picture of Stef’s family farm in North Dakota where her grandparents emigrated to from Sweden. The red square is an antique sign from her hometown steel company while the bull’s head was naturally sourced in North Dakota.

Well-Worn and Well-Loved

Stef clearly has a gift for building a room using well-worn and well-loved pieces. What a joy to see how her professional talents translate into how she and her family live. If this piece has you thinking about how to curate a space of your own, whether it be inspired by years gone by or a modern aesthetic, look to the Twin Cities Che Bella Interiors Design + Remodeling team for inspiration. Our portfolio of projects runs the gamut from old to new and from upstairs to down. The services we offer include a full complement of interior design services, in addition to remodeling services ideally suited for large design/build/remodel projects including home addition and home office projects to bathroom, kitchen, and lower-level remodels.  Know that if a smaller-scale design project is on your radar, we offer virtual interior design services to help bring your vision to life. Let’s make your home beautifully yours together!

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