“I created The Find Antiques because I want to challenge the stigma surrounding the word ‘antiques’ and all the negative connotations that it evokes in most people – the idea that it means outdated, stuffy, dark brown Victorian furniture, reminiscent of childhood or visiting your grandparents’ house,” says Danielle Rusko of her online business The Find Antiques.
It was after working at an antique store in Noosa that Danielle was inspired to challenge the perception of antiques. “I want to show people that they needn’t be afraid of antiques as they are still quite functional in their use and not just as decorative items. It is not about having a house full of antiques anymore, but how one or two statement pieces can really add a touch of individualism and add depth and texture to a room,” says Danielle who has worn many hats throughout her career including a stint as an accountant in corporate finance and as a makeup artist (a hat she still wears today).
“I had been a lover and collector of antiques throughout my twenties and thirties and it was actually whilst stalking my favourite Instagram hashtag #antiques a couple of years ago that I really believed there was an opportunity to create an online store selling antiques,” says Danielle who has been invited by the Australian Antique and Art Dealers Association to exhibit at its Art – Design – Living Fair in Sydney this month from August 16-19.
“There is no formula to how a room should look. By adding one or two antique or vintage pieces, you can really transform a space and create a romantic and eclectic fusion of interior design that is visually stimulating and appealing. It also helps the antique item by giving it a new lease of life when mixed with the modern and contemporary and creates a dynamic style and special synergy within the home,” says Danielle.
“I think that we have become a little too seduced by what we see on some reality TV design shows and believe we can’t create a room based on our own style or budget without being ridiculed for it. I personally do not want to live in a ‘same, same’ environment where the interior of my house looks the same as next door,” says Danielle who ships Australia wide and is opening a retail space imminently. “I am in the process of creating my dream showroom in an industrial warehouse in Noosaville which will be a visual utopia of modern and antique,” she says.
“When you can touch a piece and see the artistic skill of the marquetry inlay up-close or you open the drawer of a commode and the scent of old wood overwhelms you, that’s tangible. It is my aim to impart the history of craftsmanship, skill, survival and nostalgic stories of the past to evoke an emotional response and connection with the viewer,” says Danielle who will also use the retail space to illustrate how to blend the antique with the modern.
Danielle’s top five tips for merging antiques with a modern home:
- Don’t be afraid to create a relationship between the old and the new. It helps to bring out the personality of the antique and creates depth and texture to a room that can sometimes look too sterile.
- Most homes have that classic white wall and tiled flooring, so introducing antique cabinets or tables can really add character and personality to a room.
- Use simple form and rich materials in your choice of furniture to create consistency between the older and newer pieces. For example, satinwood is a timber regularly featured in antique furniture and is an great match to complement your more contemporary pieces.
- Use the piece in its functional capacity as it was designed to be used. Sometimes we can be a bit overwhelmed by its age and beauty that we forget antiques still have a practical use. It is hoped that as it has already survived this long with a bit of care and consideration that it will last another 100 or so years.
- Buy with your personality in mind. Antiques range from the exquisite to the quirky to the questionable – including their price point! Buy what feels right for you and resonates with your sense of style. You may like to start off with something small like a lamp or vase and gradually as you begin to become more confident you can incorporate larger more statement pieces, like a beautiful French commode.