9 Ways to Get Romantic, Antique Style
Shopping flea markets and antiques stores is addicting -- especially when it's easy to turn your fragile finds into a family-friendly decorating coup. Explore this house to see how it's done.
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Safely stow away delicate collectibles in a display case, but when it agrees with your tastes, collect inexpensive items that you can use, such as these colorful teacups and spoons. Then you can purchase them guilt-free and not worry if a few get chipped or broken.
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Build Your Own Set
Why spend money on a pricey dining set when you can purchase a table to match your dining room's scale and color palette and find more dramatic chairs in an antiques shop? A new coat of glossy black paint and toile covers make these chairs smart again, and the perfect foil for the round marble-top table.
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In the living room, a large antique mirror hangs low on the wall to anchor the sitting area and reflects the daybed, billowy sheers, and drapery panels. The classic-boned 1930s French chairs were given a fun and functional facelift by swapping out silk upholstery for cotton.
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Clever Walls and Lighting
Salmon-pink wallpaper exudes romance in a hallway; clean-line wainscoting keeps the look simple and the paper out of reach of grubby fingers. Adding a vintage crystal chandelier is an easy way to transform the look of a room (or hallway) -- it lifts the eye and adds character to a space. Try colored shades for a chandelier or a soft pink light bulb for a lamp to give the room a romantic glow.
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Put Your Stuff to Work
Another serviceable collection: Depression-era pottery with curves that look good enough to stand alone or in groups. Toss in a few stems of wildflowers when entertaining or use shallow vases as key and coin holders.
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Room for Valuables
Stacking small piles of books and magazines horizontally leaves plenty of room for displaying more trinkets out of harm's way. Pricey antiques, such as a century-old European crown and vintage tiaras, stay safe but prominent on the top shelves.
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"Girly-girl" pink reigns in the master bedroom, where antiqued walls are a dreamy counterpoint for the gilt bed and mirrored table. A painted electric chandelier lights the room and reflects beautifully off the unadorned tile floor.
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Arrange at Will
This 1930s French settee is actually part of a set that includes the chairs in the living room. Like all the other furniture in the house, it's been reupholstered in stain-resistant fabric -- its pink and brown stripes match the bed's sheeting.
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