Antiques * Art Deco * Vintage
By: Rita Zenzen Heck
Did you know that just a touch of the past in your home decor can turn an ordinary so-so space into an exciting conversation piece? From antique (100 years of older) to the art deco and 50s vintage of mid-century modern, finding pieces in any of these periods is the epitome of saving valuable objects from the landfill and bringing a bit of history into your life. Not only will you spice up your decor, you may discover a new passion: antique shopping.
Neighbors Wende Lancaster and Katie Lillback get a lot of their current antique fix from Sherrie Sanderson’s A Little Room shop on Broadway. After working as a designer for many years, “I became frustrated at the lack of beautiful home accents to choose from in San Antonio. Everything I carry I would love to display in my own home,” Sanderson explained.
“I was always interested in antiques and dabbled in selling them during an overseas buying trip with Sherrie,” Wende said. “I met my husband, an antiques dealer, in Barcelona. After we married and he moved to San Antonio, we merged our interests in furnishing our home, combining antiques with our modern pieces.”
Katie Lillback has been hooked on antiques since a youngster. “I have loved old furnishings since I was a child and shopped with my mom. I moved to San Antonio six years ago. My first stop was A Little Room owned by Sherrie Sanderson. I knew then I was going to be a permanent fixture in her store. I love the colors in older furnishings and the warmth they give a room. I also like to mix them with my newer upholstery, so the house stays fresh. It’s hard to believe I have tables from the 17th century!”
Mixing period pieces with other styles can be challenging. Deco4all notes that antiques add chic to interior decorating in classic style and offers the following tips for decorating with antiques:
1. Avoid using different styles on opposite walls.
2. Group antique items in odd numbers for striking and classic decor.
3. Similar items can be paired for a symmetrical classic style.
4. Large and very decorative antique pieces, typical of Baroque, are most effective when standing alone, with surrounding space. Avoid using a dark corner when placing these items.
5. Do not spread small antique accessories around the room. Instead, display them as a group on a table for the most visual impact.
Antiques “At Home”
To get an authentic feel for antique furnishings and gather ideas for creating some antique pops in your home, a trip to San Antonio Conservation Society’s Steves House is a great start. Built in 1876 for Edward Steves, founder of Steves Lumber Company, this three-story beauty is filled with what was then modern furniture…today’s antiques. In back are the former carriage house, wash house and quarters for the gardener and stable boy (now the Visitors Center). The River House, originally one of the area’s first indoor swimming pools, was filled in and now has a brick floor. The space serves as SACS meeting quarters. Daily tours are conducted from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For reservations, please call 210.227.9160.
Photos by Rita Zenzen Heck