Two antique collectors who love the trend of mixing vintage and antiques with ultra-modern share their passion.
You could say antiques are in publisher Robyn Foyster’s DNA. She grew up surrounded by them; her aunt was an antique dealer and she visited galleries with her from a young age. “My favourite period is Victorian. I have a fabulous mahogany chest of drawers that has travelled the world with me. So many fond memories are attached to it! What I love about antiques is that each piece tells a story. And when you buy a particular antique, it becomes part of your own story—the connection becomes deep and personal. “
Robyn started collecting globes when she was a teen and says it’s fascinating looking at them now to see how much the world has changed. “I have always been an avid collector. When I travel, I head out to the antique and flea markets to look for interesting pieces. For me, it’s on a par with visiting a museum. When I was in Vietnam over 30 years ago I bought some wonderful jade and silver jewellery that I still wear today.” Robyn also has a knack for finding unknown artists who later become famous. Her taste is eclectic and she loves mixing various styles in her own home. “I love that the antiques are always a talking point; and I am lucky that I have modern and antique pieces that mesh perfectly together. “
Writer Catherine Marshall’s interest in art and antiques also started at a young age. “My father’s cousin was married to a French Orientalist who asked him to look after his paintings during the war. He never returned, and his art hung from one end of our apartment to the other, a blaze of colours, sensual scenes from the Kasbah and intriguing landscapes. As a child, I found them fascinating and would often ask my father to tell me the story behind each work. When I got a bit older, I trawled antique shops, always looking for something special that would speak to me of the past and far- away lands. I once bought an antique Spanish travelling trunk that still sits in a corner of my modern living room. Every time I look at it, I am reminded of a by-gone era when travelling was a luxurious experience. I love the charm and nostalgia of antiques; they bring beauty into your life, a sense of history and continuity. And I love the thrill of the chase. Finding that special piece that makes your heart sing!
I like mixing antiques with modern furniture; I find it adds depth and texture to a room. It’s a wonderful way to add the unexpected to a room. I have an ornate 16th-century Italian mirror over my very modern fireplace. It looks terrific! “
Antique dealers say that a younger crowd is now seeing the benefits of buying antiques. They view antiques differently nowadays, not as dusty or fussy items, but rather something that brings value and character . Retail furniture has become more homogenised and with antiques you can find unique pieces that really showcases your individuality and celebrates your approach to life.
Mix & Match with confidence
- Follow the 80/20 percent rule. The room has to be either predominantly traditional or modern so work with that ratio.
- Tie unlikely items together, following a theme (it could be colour, size, and texture).
- Mix antique artwork with modern sofa; antique lamps and modern side tables.
- Vintage pillowcase with modern linen.
- Have at least one unexpected piece that gives focus to the room.
Where to go to buy antiques
AAADA Antiques Fair Melbourne is on May 3 to 6th at the Melbourne showgrounds. Price is $20 per ticket but there’s an early bird special till April 14th of 2 for $20 if you go to their website aaada.org.au and buy now.
Pic credit: The hero shot of antique jewellery is from the Sydney store, Anne Schofield’s Antique Gallery.