When you consider that most antiques we buy are generally well over 100 years old, it is no wonder that we could possibly feel quite overwhelmed when trying to apply these treasured old things to modern day living.
After all, we are generally told that we shouldn’t change them in any way because they retain their value through being in their original state.
Buying antiques is about how old and rare they are. Don’t buy a period Queen Anne walnut breakfront bookcase for example and immediately start to pull it apart; that would be nonsensical and would also destroy its value. What you could do, is buy a Victorian neo-classical revival mahogany cabinet, add in some drawers, drill a few well placed holes in the back for electric wiring then place a TV and DVD in it. When not in use, the doors are closed up and it’s back to being a good looking cabinet again. The same can be done with a large buffet sideboard. The flat screen can be placed on the wall above and music centres, DVDs, CDs and other components placed in the buffet sideboard below.
The Victorians themselves were never averse to using old pieces of timber in new furniture and there is no harm in finding a remnant of something very old and transforming it into something else. Architectural salvage provides rich pickings where doors, cupboards and windows from old public buildings can be turned into bespoke fitted kitchens or fitted bedroom furniture.
However, always take advice. When buying antique cabinets in Cumbria, seek help from local dealers when considering a change of use.
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