Wainscot piece

The many monuments throughout history are a reminder that, as humans, part of our identity is in what we identify with, even for things we didn’t experience. This most commonly occurs in younger people with music, with them lamenting that they were “born in the wrong generation”. This feeling of connecting with the past could be for any number of reasons, as a biological imperative to learn from past lessons, or perhaps it’s our past lives speaking through us.

Wherever the desire comes from, we all know this feeling and can appreciate it in others. One such place where antiques and antique-styled furniture and fixtures such asraised panel wainscoting are regularly celebrated is in the modern home. Having these things is considered by some a social status, and for others it’s a homage to their past and their ancestors. 

Here are some classic fixtures and furnishings that are still popular today.

Chandeliers

Having evolved from candelabras, chandeliers retain that candle-lit elegance and can cast a dazzling display of light over your dining room. They are often a work of art, and immediately turn any room into a classy affair, especially when combined with other classic fixtures and furnishings. Recent years have seen more contemporary styles of chandeliers come out, made of brightly colored plastics and adorned with LED lights. 

Depending on your preference, you may wish to go with a classic chandelier style which usually comes in white, silver, or gold, giving them their luminant nature. Chandeliers typically suit:

  • Living rooms 
  • Dining rooms
  • Master bedrooms
  • Hallways and foyers

Vintage-Framed Portraits and Mirrors

Another key element in the quintessential Victorian household, are the older decorative frames that lend copious amounts of character to both portraits and mirrors. Whether it’s an actual vintage frame, or vintage-styled, these frames can truly turn a room into a story. If you have a portrait of an old family member, then find a suitable frame and bring them to life by putting them in your living room. Otherwise a mirror can be just as effective as a frame-filler, and can modify the space due to the shift in lighting and perspective.

Be sure to only invest in vintage frames which have been maintained over time, or those vintage-styled frames which are made out of actual wood. Also be mindful of what stains and sealants have been used on them, as some may leach toxins into the room.

Vintage-framed portraits and mirrors typically only suit living and dining rooms, but could also make a welcome addition in the hallway or foyer.

Wainscoting

Wainscoting, or more specifically, raised panel wainscoting had a practical use in the 18th century homes it was first featured in. These days, insulation has diminished the necessity for a layer of wall to deter dampness. Raised panel wainscotingnever stopped being popular in homes throughout America, but especially in areas like New England where many of these classic fixtures and furnishings are commonplace in most homes. Wainscoting can be utilized instead of or alongside wallpaper to completely change the appearance of certain rooms.

Remember to only invest in high quality wainscoting, as the alternatives that are available online are often made of low quality materials which can deteriorate and break much easier. Wainscoting can suit any and every room of the house, and can be especially helpful in those households with toddlers who love drawing on walls.

Fireplace

While they still have their practical value in most households, the fireplace is quickly becoming outdated technology thanks to the increase in accessibility of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. These systems tend to be substantially more efficient, and can be much less harmful to the environment than simply burning wood. Although, having a fireplace doesn’t necessarily mean you have to burn wood everyday. Modern fireplaces can be completely electronic, producing the warmth, sound, and appearance of a real fire without unnecessarily burning trees.

The living room or master bedroom are appropriate rooms to have a fireplace. Although that doesn’t mean you can’t explore how a fireplace would look in your dining room, or any other room.

Additional Home Aesthetics

There are a few other classic fixtures and furnishings which may be of benefit to your home’s aesthetic, including:

  • Vintage bathtubs look great in a spacious bathroom
  • Decorative items like gramophones or older lamps or candelabras look great on corner tables in living rooms or hallways
  • Antique vanities and dressers can be perfect for the master and other bedrooms

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