Vintage Garden Furniture can add a special focal point to your outdoor space in a way that no new piece can. Most people probably think Victorian or French design when antique garden furniture comes to mind. There is a rich history of cast iron Victorian antiques from 19th century foundries across America. French Metal is so synonymous with the Romantic gardens “a la Grey Gardens” of the past that is hard not to think of these wonderfully rich iconic styles.
But if you are more drawn to modern style and design, vintage outdoor furniture has something to offer too. Great Mid-Century Modern furniture from the 1950’s and 60’s have a rare quality that works with most any decor imaginable. I own a Salterini wrought iron set which I purchased many years ago from a local antique dealer with deep seating and scrolled forged floral leaves that works equally well in traditional settings as it does in something more modern. It still is part of my outdoor furnishings mix and I can’t imagine the room without it.
Sol Bloom wire scoop chairs work on a loft balcony high rise or on the prairie next to Indian Paintbrush. Outdoor minimalist tables by Richard Schultz for Knoll Associates are the most versatile pieces that can be worked into an outdoor room design scheme of most any style. With an aluminum frame, they instantly bring to mind the playful side of the 60s’ with orange enameled steel top! So nostalgic-and fun.
Mixing a vintage piece in with a more traditional furniture arrangement can add just the right amount of unexpected interest that transforms an ordinary room into something extraordinary. Some rules that help to keep everything working together can ensure a pleasing result.
If you have some common element such as wood tone that is consistent in the vintage pieces and the newer pieces, a change in style of the furniture, say a vintage carved french chair with lots of curve and movement mixed with more modern simple lines works well. If you are mixing materials such as wood and metal, keep the scale and size of the pieces the same. Color can also be a way to unify and emphasize a piece you want to highlight. A colorful chair mixed with a muted background of neutral tones can be a great look too.
If you enjoy the thrill of the hunt for your perfect vintage find, applying these principles to work it into your design scheme can help you to achieve a result uniquely your own.