Fri Nov 22, 2019 London
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OPULENCE & SPLENDOUR

Luxury and the arts From houses to cars and from Hockney to van Dyck, a profile of the best and the worst

The antique revolution

Matthew Steeples celebrates that a major change in tastes in furniture is finally on the horizon

 

The designer Anya Hindmarch MBE is a beacon in the British fashion world and in remarks this week in the New York Times she’s hailing a new trend: the return of “brown furniture”.

 

For years, as Hindmarch points out, many old wooden items have been consigned to the skip. I equally recall a Somerset auctioneer lamenting that the level of disdain for such goods had reached such a point that many of his clients just burnt the stuff. His words filled my heart with sadness.

 

The board's consensus is that brown furniture is set for a revival
The board’s consensus is that brown furniture is set for a revival
James Ruig, Anya Hindmarch MBE and Oliver Newton
James Ruig, Anya Hindmarch MBE and Oliver Newton

 

Thankfully, now, times are a-changing and James Ruig of Salvage, an architectural accessories firm specialising in reclaimed antique wood, agrees. In a comment, Ruig, who has recently renovated the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club’s clubhouse, told The Steeple Times:

 

“Antiques have been off the boil for the last seven years and as always people return to them as they get sick of soulless new furniture. A mix of old and new always works perfectly”.

 

Equally, Oliver Newton, founder of the popular The Arts Warehouse antiques portal, shares the view also. He stated:

 

“Brown furniture is, at the moment, extremely good value. You can get a beautiful handmade 19th century piece of furniture for a similar price to the Ikea equivalent. It may not be extremely high fashion but juxtapose it with with some quirky modern pieces and you will be surprised how good it looks”.

 

The days of ‘Kelly Hoppen taupe’ are hopefully behind us. The antique revolution is about to begin.

 

 

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