Temza's top tips and best recommendations for antiques hunting in London and beyond.
Temza’s top tips for unique furniture finds!
Have you ever dreamed of Indiana Jones adventures or Lara Croft real-life discoveries? Hunting for antiques is a similar treasure hunting experience. At Temza London we love a challenge, plus we always try to find the best deal for our clients. Therefore, choosing antique pieces bring much of the desired sophistication and authenticity to a classy London home interior. However, antique buyers who want to take home unique and reasonably priced furnishings that match their personal tastes, must go through quite a bit of research and exploration. To make your life easier, our interior designers have prepared a quick guide, some tips and our tested recommendations on finding that special piece on a feasible price.
Quality is key!
At Temza Interior Design Studio, we would always recommend purchasing antique furniture based on the quality of the chosen item. The higher the quality, the longer the piece would last you. In result, it will save you money in the long run! Especially if you would like to keep the existing ‘classical’ style.
Next, comes condition
The condition of the item is almost as critical as its quality. Our interior designers would always recommend to buy pieces which already are in good condition. Of course, there might still be little imperfections, and restaurateurs would gladly repair these for you at an additional cost. Don’t be afraid of small scratches, they add this particular moment of authenticity and recognition of the era they were created.
Upholstered furniture is an entirely different story. Make sure you really are in love with the piece you are planning to purchase and be ready to pay a lot for reupholstering. It is not an easy task, we have to admit.
When you buy antiques, and especially when you’re planning significant investments, we recommend to go to a respected and established antique dealers. They have the knowledge and will advise you on the state, quality and history of the furniture you are buying.
Ask for Details
While we are on the topic, the dealer or seller should be able to give you details of the item you are interested in, unless you are buying little items in bulk (like cutlery, glasses and other trinkets).
For bigger pieces like a chest of drawers, sideboards or desks, ask for a description that provides circa age, period style, timber, condition of the piece, if any restoration has been undertaken, and also the provenance of the item.
Seeing in person is always preferred than buying online
Often photographs online lie about the state of the item and furniture. Feel free to request more images if needed, as well as angles or details that you wish to take a closer look at. Wherever possible, request to see the item and check the condition. Balance of the pieces is a tricky thing to inspect through a monitor.
Measure and template
Enquire about the dimensions of the item and of course, measure the space that you acquire. A good idea is to cut a template of the item and place it at the desired area for example. If perhaps you use a CAD software, place the article on your 2d plan and check for yourself if it would fit nicely.
Take good care of your newly purchased beauties. Use a good furniture wax with beeswax. But avoid sprays with silicon as they will spoil the original finish.
Now that you are ready, here is a list of our tested and favourite places to purchase antique pieces. Only recently Temza completed a project of grade II listed, early Victorian House in Clifton Hill and we sourced many of the pieces from these exact locations.
Auctions Houses-good items, reasonable prices. We placed our bids in these two Dutch auction houses and were fully satisfied with the obtained furniture and items. One thing to keep in mind though, you might need to organise your own transport and delivery. But trust us when we tell you, prices are totally worth it!
Antique shops London-the city is full of these. We have had a great experience at the following places:
Antique and flea markets London-or an exciting way to spend a weekend in the capital.
Old Spitalfields Antiques & Flea Market
Portobello Road, Notting Hill
Covent Garden Antiques
The Decorative Antiques and textile
And while London is a great place to find antiques and surely will provide you with a large selection of items to furnish your home with, interesting finds can be discovered all over the island. If you would prefer a weekend getaway plus a little bit of shopping, here are some must stops.
Honiton in Devon
Finally, here are a few recommendations for the busy ones, for whom online shopping is the only option.