Recently there was an interesting article in the New York Times about the antiques market declining quite a bit in recent years. The gist of the story is that more people now want custom pieces if they’re going to spend real money on their home’s interiors. Portals for higher end antiques and furniture like 1stDibbs.com have seen a large uptick in bespoke contemporary designs and a decline in traditional antiques (especially 19th century). Does this mean antiques are no longer an important part of many design projects?
We don’t think so. Discerning and original-thinking interior designers still use antiques, they just don’t depend on them to set the whole tone for a room or project. For example, not so long ago it was easy to throw a bunch of mid-century pieces into a room and call it an innovative day. But now, with so many cheaper versions of mid-century furniture in consumer facing stores, the ‘specialness’ of that style has been diminished. Interior design clients might not realize the value of certain pieces if they see them mimicked all over the place.
The issue is different for older antiques, which if not placed correctly can seem ‘stuffy’ and not fit modern floor plans very well.
This is why people still need and enlist the services of quality interior designers. An interior designer’s real value is in the ‘specialness’ of what they create for their client; the ‘I never would have thought of that’ result that can take a client’s breath away when they first see it. A quality designer will know how to use antiques from any era as both accents and center pieces in an eclectic mix of time periods and styles. This is something a consumer will never be able to do for themselves no matter how many design shows they watch on tv.
It’s important for high end antique dealers to connect with and forge lasting relationships with interior designers, who will become more and more important to their business’s prosperity.