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If you saw Liz’s decorating trends post you know that she and I recently spent several (blissful!) days taking in all that’s new and notable in furniture, accessories, lighting, fabrics and more in High Point, NC at the world’s largest furniture industry trade show — or as I like to refer to it: Disney for Designers.

While I certainly enjoy checking out the trendiest fabrics and finishes, the highlight of each Market visit for me is spending a few hours strolling thru the Market’s Antique & Design Center. Here, 60+ premiere antique dealers showcase centuries-old European rarities, architectural salvage, mid-century pieces and funky vintage finds.

Antiques have always been a go-to for interior designers but with each passing Market, the collected-over-time look is being realistically reproduced by more and more manufacturers. Although most of the items I point out below are available to-the-trade-only, meaning you have to go through an interior designer or dealer to buy them (sorry!), they’re just a few of the trending antique styles that caught my eye. So, the good news is, if you love antiques, like I do, they’re super hot in the design world right now — whatever type of vintage items you prefer, display them proudly!

Vive la France: French-inspired antiques have been the design world’s darling for quite a while and they’re not ready to raise the white flag yet. I spied all the Louis (13-16) plus several Empire and Rococo gems at Market. Below is a reproduction Louis 16 (or XVI, if you prefer, AKA the same Louis who lost his head alongside Marie Antoinette) gilt settee from Eloquence. They’ve done a fantastic job replicating the handcarved details, even subtly distressing the gilt finish so this new piece looks as if it might have been found at Versailles:
antique french furniture from Eloquence

Aged to Perfection: Weathered finishes are also nothing new and I spied plenty of legitimately timeworn finishes, like the salvaged wooden pediment on the left at Design Legacy alongside new pieces, like the bistro chairs and zinc-topped table at Dovetail, that have been distressed to look like they’ve spent decades outdoors:
antiqued furniture at high point market

Handblown Glass Bottles: The recent popularity of decorating your home with oversized handblown glass vessels began with the demijohn or carboy, right. These big beauties have been used since the 1700s to ferment alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer or mead. The most valuable (and collectible) examples are European antiques still nestled in their original wicker case but modern-day reproductions like these from Dovetail have become so trendy that I spied many hand-blown glass vessels in all shapes, colors and sizes in several showrooms:
antique demijohn and glass jars

Classical Busts: If you read my earlier post about different types of classical busts, then you know that I’m already a fan — but these beauties are a good example of how accessory manufacturers are looking to the past for new introductions. On the left is a rare and pricey marble and bronze bust of Napoleon from the 1850s (from Del Ray & Assoc. Antiques in Atlanta, no website) and on the right is a pair of modern-day ceramic busts of Apollo and Diana by Global Views:
antique napoleon and classical busts

Intricate Inlays: While weathered wood is popular, you just can’t beat the rich, warm patina of stained wood – made even more beautiful by inlaying bands or fanciful designs in woods of contrasting colors. Known as marquetry, this laborious process is thought to date back to the Egyptians and was also popular in ancient China, India and Persia. Though a variety of woods is the most commonly seen example — especially among European antiques — marquetry pieces can also include mother-of-pearl, metals, tortoiseshell or even bone. As this is an expensive and time-consuming process, I didn’t see many modern-day reproductions but spied several antiques, like the inlaid bands of wood on a small chest at Robert Corprew Antiques and the scrolling leaf-work tabletop at Luisana Designs:
antique wood furniture with inlays

So, what do you think about antiques and how do you rock a collected-over-time look in your home?

MORE ADVENTURES IN ANTIQUING:
How to Restore an Old Wooden Bowl
Adventures in Antiquing: Clinch River Spring Antiques Fair
Adventures in Antiquing: Charleston Antiques Show Part 1
Adventures in Antiquing: Charleston Antiques Show Part 2
Adventures in Antiquing: (Easy!) Beachy Candle Makeover
Adventures in Antiquing: Repurposed Wooden Tray
Adventures in Antiquing: Crushing On Carrara Marble
Adventures in Antiquing: Old Toolbox Turned Magazine Caddy
Adventures in Antiquing: Old Clock Repurposed as a Frame
Adventures in Antiquing: Classical Busts
Adventures in Antiquing: Vintage Avon Bottle
Adventures in Antiquing: Salvaged Molding As Holiday Decor

16 Responses

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H. Camille SmithCamille is a managing editor for HGTV.com, fine artist and antique furniture devotee. As a former interior designer and Nickelodeon animator, she has a real passion for balanced, beautiful interiors...

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