Antique finishing touches for your Surrey home

Surrey antiques

Surrey antiques - Credit: Archant

Surrey Life’s antiques expert, Ali Heath, brings us all the latest from the local scene – from the best fairs to where to bag a bargain or hunt out vintage gems. This month, it’s all about the detail...

With autumn upon us, it’s a time that I seem to find myself driven by an urge to nest and spend more time on my home.

When you first move into a space, we all spend a lot of time getting the expensive decisions right – planning kitchens, bathrooms; choosing sofas, beds, chairs, tables, curtains, blinds and paint shades.

For me, though, the most important part is all about the final details – sourcing the perfect antiques, searching out pictures, paintings, textiles, books, mirrors and quirky objets d’art. These are the pieces that will transform a house into a home and without them a space will always feel soulless.

If you share a love of both vintage and styling then you can cost effectively re-examine the look, layout and feel of your space by changing things around and introducing stored antique finds that add the extra detail and interest.

If you are frustrated with how a particular room is feeling then I hope these styling tips will help you achieve a new look without spending lots of money: • Take a fresh look at the layout of each room. Move furniture around and switch pieces between rooms. It can help you fall in love with your things again. • Move big pieces of furniture away from the walls; it will make rooms feel larger and will give you the chance to use display tables around the edges of your space. • Once the furniture is in place, focus on the small details and tell a story with your possessions. As a stylist, I am constantly creating vignettes and cameo displays. Play around with colour, theme and scale of grouping, adding height and items in front of pieces to create drama and intrigue. Think odd numbers – items look better with an odd number of items in the display. • Don’t be afraid to move your treasures from room to room. Accessories are the quickest way to change the feel of a space and stop the interior feeling tired or samey. Change it all around and suddenly you have a totally fresh look. • Don’t stop adding extra touches too soon. Mantelpieces, fireplaces, antique console tables and side tables can take on a whole new look if layered with books, pictures, freestanding paintings, tea-lights and fairy lights. • Build up displays – a pile of books topped with a decorative object and surrounded by various heights of lamps, vases and flower-filled china will create a focal point to inspire. • Drape furniture with vintage textiles – why keep antique throws and sheets stored away when they can look fabulous layered over battered chairs and sofas. • Think personal at all times. Your things, if displayed well, will add a unique identity to your space.


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Ali Heath is the owner of Plum (see / To contact Ali about styling and writing commissions, e-mail