Earlier this year, I visited Round Top for an antiquing trip and shared my haul and shopping tips. If you’ve ever gone antiquing, you know that you can’t always expect to hit all the items on your wishlist. You may end up taking home things that weren’t on your list at all—it’s all part of the excitement of antique hunting.
My goal was to finish an office makeover. I went home with a full car but didn’t have the items I needed to finish this project, so I went back for the second trip.
This time I scored BIG.
That’s why I am sharing what I brought home, the process I followed, and teach you how to master antiquing and love what you find.
In this week’s blog you will learn:
Instead of just hoping inspiration would find me while antiquing, I created a floor plan of the pieces I needed along with measurements.
I even drafted a sketch of how I’d like to arrange the furniture pieces. Antiquing without a plan can feel overwhelming, so it’s helpful to have a plan to make sure you’re staying focused on the items that would fit your design.
It can be as simple as grabbing a piece of paper and roughly sketching out the design plan. This sketch will act as your cheat sheet to keep you on the right track and find the things that help complete your room.
A general rule of thumb is to keep three feet or more around any of your large pieces of furniture for circulation or space to move around.
Before I left, I jotted down a list of the key pieces I needed to find on this trip. This included approximate dimensions, and colors. Once you have your floorplan down, simply write down the top 3-5 items you need in your notebook or smartphone.
On my list:
Once we got there, I stumbled upon so many beautiful objects like armoires, old farm tables, cabinets, chandeliers, wall panels, and so many other things that were not on my wish list.
I was tempted by the abundance of beautiful things that I saw, but having that design plan guided me to say “no” to decisions that were not going to help me at this time.
When designing a room, I always recommend starting with an area rug as an excellent way to build the foundation for the overall style and color palette.
I was looking for something monochromatic and in a neutral light gray or blue with a little pop of color. When I’m in my office space, I want it to feel calm and serene so that the space allows me to do my best work.
After sifting through mountains of wool, I realized I wasn’t going to find the right fit for my space as most of the rugs at Round Top were rectangular, and I needed a more square-shaped rug.
I didn’t have any luck in my rug search, but I was determined to follow my plan, so I moved on to find a desk for my office.
It can get overwhelming to try and find everything all on one shopping trip. Instead, focus on smaller sized chunks of furniture, such as one or two items at a time.
The desk is the main focal furniture piece of this office space. It takes up a large amount of space, and it has to be both functional and beautiful. That makes it number one on my antique shopping list.
My office desk criteria:
I was tempted by beautiful secretaries, secretary cabinets, and old farm tables, but I had to say “no” because I knew this would not help me have an efficient office. They’d give me a beautiful office, but not one that would help me get my work done.
For example, I initially fell in love with a secretary, but after looking at my floor plan, I could see that it was just too small for my office.
Once I laid out my office floor plan, I realized that I would be facing closet doors from where I’d be sitting.
At first, I was just going to use two sets of bi-fold doors from my local hardware store as my closet doors.
On second glance, I decided to take this as an opportunity to look for a set of beautiful antique doors, or at least beautiful to me.
You can use closet doors, bathroom doors, powder bath doors, cabinets, vanities, mirrors, windows and even blank walls as an opportunity to use antique and vintage furniture to add architectural enhancement to your home.
For this set of doors, I was looking for something that was:
Along the way, there were so many project pieces that I couldn’t wait to bring home, but I kept hearing my design assistant, Beatriz’ voice in my ear saying, “No, Amitha, you are banned from project pieces!” because I tend to take on way more than I have the time to do – can you relate?
While it is fun to hope inspiration finds you, it’s even more fun to get your projects done and not waste money on things that might not work.
Sketch out a simple, pencil and paper floor plan to keep you on track and list out your key pieces.
If you can, have a designated person to help you say “no” if you are not the person who can say it for yourself. For me, it’s the help from my game plan. If it’s not in the plan, it makes me think twice.
Ultimately, I was able to take home a lot of vintage items. Because of my plan, I made very confident buying decisions right on the spot and left with a couple of big-ticket items.
I’ll tell you the one thing I didn’t leave with – was buyer’s remorse because I didn’t stray from my plan.
Curious to see what I ended up buying?
I’ll be sharing my entire haul with you next week.
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Keep using your gifts to create heart in your home,
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