Sustainable Savings: The Timeless Appeal of Decorating with Antiques

By Janine Parkinson


My love for collecting antiques ignited at a young age when my mother introduced me to my first market, called Circle M Antique & Flea Market. The captivating notes of Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Great Balls of Fire” played on the intercom as I explored through various eras and cultures, all within our quaint community. With each item I touched, I felt a connection to something larger, and with my very first purchase of a Super 8 camera, I realized I had embarked on a lifelong journey of collecting and exploring. I discovered the hunt that would define my passion for antiques and later my career in filmmaking.

Upcycled Coat Hooks

Now, whenever a friend or neighbour enters my house, they often find themselves captivated by my unique collection of antiques and collectibles. Inevitably, they ask: “Isn’t buying antiques expensive?” In response, I highlight that in a time where the cost of goods continues to rise and mass production dominates, investing in antiques not only benefits your wallet but also makes a positive contribution to the environment.

Antiques and vintage treasures not only infuse character and depth into our living spaces but also offer an intimate connection to the past, all while promoting sustainable living. As even my real estate agent would attest, antiquing is an exceptional way to decorate, providing timeless beauty and a unique one-of-a-kind style.

Vintage Cameras on the Fireplace Mantle with Mason Jar Art Supply Storage

Timeless and Sustainable Decor

Decorating with antiques isn’t merely an aesthetic choice; it’s a celebration of history and craftsmanship that transcends the realm of mass-produced modern decor. Antiques provide a unique opportunity to infuse your living spaces with life and personality. The allure of antiques lies in the stories they hold, the journeys they’ve taken through time, much like you and me.

Sustainability lies at the core of antique decorating. Embracing the beauty of the past helps curtail the demand for resource-intensive production. Every antique in your home becomes a powerful statement, underscoring a commitment to sustainability and reinforcing our dedication to community building and nurturing a more environmentally conscious future.

How to Decorate with Antiques: Tips for Success

Over the years, I’ve developed five fundamental tactics for incorporating antiques seamlessly into your home decor:

Nostalgic Teenage Room: Where Dreams of Exploration Began

  1. Be Consistent With Quality: When choosing antiques, prioritize craftsmanship. These pieces have already withstood the test of time, and when you invest in well-made items, you’re making sure they will remain special and important pieces in your home.
  2. Save With Antiques: Decorating with antiques doesn’t have to be expensive. Seek hidden gems at thrift shops, flea markets and estate sales. Some of the greatest discoveries happen by chance.
  3. Mix and Match: Don’t shy away from blending various design eras. Combining Victorian elegance with mid-century modern or the glamour of Art Deco with rustic farmhouse can result in a uniquely layered and captivating interior.
  4. Find Inspiration Online: The digital age has brought antique enthusiasts together. Follow antique dealers, interior designers, and fellow enthusiasts on Instagram or Pinterest for endless inspiration and ideas on how to incorporate antiques into your home.
  5. Paint It New: If you encounter an antique in need of a little TLC, consider taking on a restoration project. A fresh coat of paint or minor repairs can transform a neglected piece into a cherished heirloom.

From Dreams to Reality: My Life as a Writer and Filmmaker

Antiquing is more than just a hobby; it’s a journey of discovery. It lets you explore your community, different times in history, and diverse cultures. Back when I started, it helped me turn my house into the home of my dreams and set exciting goals. I dreamt of becoming a great writer, so I got myself a typewriter and channelled my inner Ernest Hemingway. With my Super 8 camera, I transformed into my own version of Steven Spielberg, recreating scenes from “ET” using Barbie’s. Antiquing not only made my living spaces more beautiful, but it also has made my life richer. You never know what you’ll discover or where your next adventure might lead you.

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