How to Decorate with Antiques from Holland Consignment & Auction House
Every year, thousands of locals and diehard antiquarians flock to Walkerville’s Holland Consignment & Auction House – one of the largest antique dealers in Windsor-Essex. The 11,000 square foot building sits at the corner of Ottawa Street and Moy Avenue and hosts hundreds of vendors and consignors who often sell rare museum-quality items. Most of their clientele shop with a common goal; to uncover treasures or oddities from the past, such as notable collectibles, furs, art, furniture and decor – we love to visit and hear the stories of how it all began.
Owner-operator Lawrence Holland, an auctioneer by trade, developed his passion for vintage around 1999 during the rising popularity of the Internet, when eBay (originally called Auction Web) offered an exciting new marketplace to buy and sell goods. To his surprise, while selling items online, he learned just how much demand there was for a brick and mortar in his own community. Since then, Lawrence has developed a keen eye for determining the monetary value of an antique or collectible and has become the local expert for those looking to auction full estates or needing help to downsize or declutter.
Like him, we see beauty in the unique; in vintage blue bowls and old-world clocks, in not falling in line according to the status quo of what’s on-trend. His store reminds us that the objects around us have their own story and if we resist the urge to buy what’s convenient and cheaply made, we will end up with a home decorated intentionally, with things that mean something to us – we’ll end up with a home that tells our individual story. But, decorating with vintage items that you connect with isn’t always easy and straightforward, that’s why we’ve put together a few of our trade secrets on how to celebrate your individuality and decorate with antiques.
To those who’ve been following us for a while, it’s obvious that we appreciate a home filled with character, personality, and meaningful touches: below are some of the ways we accomplish this in our own spaces as well as when we’re creatively staging a home for sale. Let’s jump right in and get you swooning over your great-grandfather’s clock or finding a piece that your house guests can’t stop asking about.
Tip # 1 – Be patient
Finding an antique that speaks to you doesn’t always happen in an instant, but the search is half the fun! So, find a pal, grab a coffee (maybe a snack too!) and spend an idyllic afternoon fleamarket-style hunting, until you find an item that you can’t leave without. Even if you don’t have a plan for how to use it just yet, purchase it and test it out in a few spots, or store it until the right idea for displaying it comes to mind.
Tip # 2 – Consider the frame as a part of the art
When you’re looking for art, try your best to look past the painting or photograph and consider the frame as equally important. There’s a chance that an older frame was hand-carved or at least very well crafted, leaving you with an heirloom quality item that is timeless and easy to work into the modern home. Apply the same to mirrors!
Tip # 3 – Find a vase, any vase
There are so many spots in the home that can use a vase: coffee/console tables, bookshelves, fireplace mantles, bistro tables, the list goes on. Grab a vase that has a unique shape, is made of silver, or has a weathered patina. If you gravitate more toward patterns and colours, opt for a vase in the ‘blue and white’ Chinese porcelain. Don’t feel the need to fill all of your vases with botanicals or fresh florals. We suggest leaving a few vases empty to prop up a cluster of books or simply sitting atop a coffee table book.
Tip # 4 – Clocks
An antique timepiece is another item that can hold its own in a variety of rooms around the home. We love the character of a 19th Century wood clock paired with the glossy clawfoot tub of a newly renovated bathroom. Whether it has an ornate frame or is sleek and modern, reach for a style or size that resonates with your personality. Enjoy how your vintage clock will draw the eyes of your guests for more than just the time!
Tip # 5 – Ask the dealer for information
Once you’ve selected (or made a short list) of precious items that you can’t leave behind, it’s always best to ask the dealer if they have any additional information. The history of the item might help you decide to love it or leave it, and stories are also a good way to help stimulate those nostalgic senses long after the trends have come and gone.
Tip # 6 – Don’t overdo it
As beautiful as an antique can be, by collecting too many pieces your space can become cluttered and untidy, ultimately evoking feelings of chaos or stress. Do your best to find balance and aim to create a space that makes it look as though you’ve trotted the globe for years, collecting unique pieces that help to tell the story of who you are or aim to become.