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How To Make Your Interiors More Sustainable With Antiques.

Updated: Apr 19, 2021

Sustainability is a buzz word in the interior design world at the moment. But what does this actually mean and is it popular across generations, or only for millennials? In this blog, Nicholas Wells Antiques (NWA) talks about how to create this kind of interior, with suggestions from their latest arrivals range.

Placing antiques in the same room with brand new furniture is a style of décor that blends contemporary design with more traditional items such as wood furniture, pictures and other works of art and antiques. A study mentioned in An English Home suggests that a piece of antique furniture is sold once every thirty years; roughly one sale per generation and that a new piece of furniture will, on average, fall apart within fifteen years. Going on this data, an antique piece of furniture has a six - fold less impact on the environment, compared to something new. Quite striking figures.

Sustainability has a wider environmental impact, lowering the energy and materials used in the production of new furniture. Antiques are often made with higher quality materials than cheaper modern materials found in mass produced goods. Whilst it’s unrealistic and impractical to expect all rooms to be entirely furnished with antiques, it is possible to blend both the old and the new. Many independent furniture stores deliver directly to clients for a small fee, and at Nicholas Wells Antiques, you can be certain that your purchase from us will be shipped carefully with our expert handlers to your location, across the globe.

What do interior designers think of this current trend? We spoke with Marion Falchi of Falchi Interiors, who gave her opinion on the subject. Falchi says that thinking in the right way about sustainability won’t change the world, but it’s a good starting point. Interestingly, Falchi says that a more transparent approach of knowledge sharing and openness might benefit the industry and designers working in it, to provide a more harmonious and greater awareness of the source of materials that designers use. ‘The topic of sustainability, although it’s been around for a while, seems to have been brought to a head by the circumstances of the last ten months. It’s early days yet in the interior design industry and, until we have a process for sharing information on sustainability of sources, individual practices such as Falchi Interiors have to walk a tightrope between time and cost.’ Being aware of whether or not materials are produced as locally as possible, for example, and to avoid the mass produced, as far as possible and within financial feasibility.

‘It is also time for all of us in this industry to begin thinking about what we can do to support sustainability. Apart from the basics of recycling and going digital, wherever possible at Falchi we are beginning to use a few key words to help us focus and move towards a more sustainable working environment, such as sourcing, craftmanship, longevity, restoration, restoration, provenance, heritage, local, insulation and communication.’

For another perspective, Janine Stone & Co has this to say: ‘When seamlessly blended into a more contemporary interior style, antiques can introduce a depth and uniqueness to that interior, which can't be simply created by the use of new furniture alone. Like all generations, millennials want design that expresses themselves and their values. It takes a lot more design skill, and finesse, to blend antique objects into a contemporary interior, and more people are beginning to appreciate the beauty and individuality of this approach beyond its eco-benefits alone.’ Exactly!

Certainly, for those with desk - based jobs, the trend of working from home appears to be showing no sign of abating just yet. In which case, what better time is there to invest further in your office space? An antique desk could be the ideal solution to pair with a modern lamp and bright cushion. Our Instagram – worthy George Oakley Rosewood writing table could do just the trick.

Home improvements have increased astronomically over the past twelve months and while a brand - new ergonomic office chair might be the preferred seating for an eight - hour shift at the laptop, perhaps you might want to gaze at something a little more glamorous, sophisticated and mysterious upon your wall. NWA has a selection of both paintings and works on paper, such as this unique piece, an eighteenth century drawing of a French Chateaux. NWA’s newly acquired plush red - cushioned nineteenth century George II stool would suit as a stunning practical example for any modern home. For something really opulent, how about this pair of Jean – Charles Delafosse Louis XVI Gilt Bronze wall appliques, to showcase at your next Zoom call. Available now.

Antiques don’t have to always be the larger, more dominant additions to a room but could also accessorize and compliment what is already there. Objects d’art can play a key role, such as mirrors, lamps or glass vases. Do not hesitate to contact us, to discuss your interior needs.

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