Do you decorate or collect?

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Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 PA License - AB067198

Do you decorate or collect?

Derby spill vases

When you buy a house, you begin to turn it into a home. Whilst I am a big believer in a home is made by people rather than things we all inevitably gather things around us as well. Some people are decorators, they artfully mix and merge things from all over the place and blend them together. They take Aunt Mary's old table and mix it with a new piece from Restoration Hardware for example and it is as if they were made to stand next to each other. Others become collectors, some in an extreme way, having a period home and everything in it must be of the period so it becomes a reproduction of the time. Others begin by buying something, like the spill vases above, a pair of English Derby porcelain spill vases from the early to mid 19th century because they liked the colors and how they look. (Spill vases were used to hold small pieces of wood, spills that were used to start a fire or light candles, so sat upon the mantle.) But then they begin to gather other items, they may be Derby porcelain from the same time period in different patterns, or it may be different factories, say Spode porcelain in similar patterns, like the miniature teapot below.

Spode teapot

Most people begin with furniture, often because they inherit a piece. This may be a small sidetable or a dinner table and chairs, then they add other pieces, enjoying the search, antiquing at weekends and when on business trips, and attending yard sales.

But eventually they move on to art as well to hang on the walls, from contemporary to well established names, it all depends on their style and how they want to decorate their home. There is no reason why you cannot mix antique furniture with contemporary art, I see it all the time in Architectural Digest.

Living room

At home, I have a Chinese antique 19th century Elm altar table, the paperweights came from my mother and are a mix of antique and more modern creations, the clock comes from Trudy's mom, the light is new, the picture is 19th century Canton school obtained in a yard sale, the other box is an English tea caddy from the 19th century as well from my parents, and the brush pot is also Chinese and I bought it in Hong Kong. Across the room...

living room

we have a modern settee, an antique wicker chair we got in a yard sale, a Japanese wood print and a painting by a friend, the side table is an antique Chinese table. These all work together, I don't think of myself as a collector, but as a decorator, I buy what I like and mix things together.

When I used to deal in antique ceramics I met both, it used to be collectors were more prevalent, often knowing vast amounts about what they collected and you could learn a lot from them. Today, nearly everyone is a decorator, often aided by professional decorators who guide them and direct the overall project.

So, which are you, a collector or decorator or a little bit of both?

If you are looking for a Main Line Home to store your collection or to decorate, give us a call, we totally understand both mindsets and will enjoy helping you hunt down the right property.

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Harry F. D'Elia
Real Estate and Beyond, LLC - Phoenix, AZ
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It is fun to collect and display items at home.

Nov 15, 2016 08:32 PM #1
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Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Nick and Trudy. Your home looks warm and inviting and is your place. I like to mix things up too.

Nov 15, 2016 11:36 PM #2
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Ron and Alexandra Seigel
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Nick and Trudy,

The only think I have collected is old perfume bottles.  I have not seen any lately that I really like, and I have not bought any for about 10 years...Other than that we have sentimental things around us, like my father's backgammon set, etc.  A

Nov 16, 2016 07:03 AM #3
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Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543

Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line
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