Around the office, Suzanne is fond of saying, “what’s old is new again.” It may sound like a cliche, but it’s true. For us, we find that the rooms that are the most lasting (read: rooms you don’t have to redecorate every five years) incorporate a variety of vintage and antique furniture pieces or decorative elements. Making antiques feel current and fresh is all about balance. Very few people live in houses today full of furniture from one period (and that includes modernists). Today we create current-feeling rooms by pairing complementary but distinctly different pieces. In a recent entryway, we paired an antique Dutch mahogany console table with an Italian hand carved gilded wreath mirror with a French pair of Louis XV style chairs. Fresh, surprising color and updated fabrics and accessories are the other elements that add that “seen with new eyes” look. On the topic of bringing back an old decorating trend, our latest obsession are wall brackets. While some would argue they never went away, the very old-fashioned use of wall brackets has definitely reemerged in the past five years, and we couldn’t be happier about it.
We love this image of Jayne Wrightsman’s Maison Jansen designed Palm Beach library in 1959.
While lifestyle tastemaker Aerin Lauder’s living room in South Hampton is steeped in “traditional” furnishings, elements like the casual seagrass carpet and the modern color combination of lavender and bold blue give this room the feeling that it’ll never go out of style. The brackets on the back wall nod to the past without feeling out of place. Though they’re “old school,” the room still feels completely fresh, and in a strange way, of the moment.
Aerin must have quite a fondness for wall brackets as she’s also hung them in her china blue painted dining room. Isn’t this color inspiring? We love the sculptural arrangement of brackets on the wall.
Interior designer Alex Papachristidis’ sitting room has yellow gold Chinese foo dogs on display on a pair of sculptural wall brackets. Paired with the dramatic artwork, this makes a bold statement about pairing old and new.
At the Southern Gothic home of antiques expert Furlow Gatewood, he demonstrates his very sophisticated knowledge of how to pair objects together in dramatic vignettes. At 90 years old, and after decades of collecting antiques, he knows how to incorporate distinctive architectural elements, like the elaborate brackets in this room. He is a master of symmetry.
Another room in the same house where he uses a mirrored version of the same vignette.
Color enthusiast and interior designer Miles Redd likes to take chances, and in this dining room, he’s done just.
Author Carolyn Roehm, who has written several books, including A Passion for Blue and White, is also a prolific collector of vintage blue and white china and ceramics objects. She hung these crisp white brackets in the guest room of one of her homes to display one of her collections. The crispness of this blue and white combination is so enticing; we’d like to emulate this look in a room we are designing right now. Fortunately, there are many wonderful and gettable reproductions available.
Designer Windsor Smith takes a more modern approach to employing traditional brackets, using them to display small framed artwork over hot pink painted walls.