Saturday, 3 September 2011

Antique Hunting In Victoria BC

One of my favourite activities to do during summer weekends is to explore the great selection of antique shops and auction houses we have here in Victoria, BC.  I am always amazed at the quality of furnishings and antiques that you can find at affordable prices.   Pieces that had a good life many years ago can tell a new story now.  I also believe that antiquing can be something that reflects the current state of our economy; not everything needs to be new, or come with flashy packaging to be beautiful, or even to work in a sleek interior.



French Bronze Cherub


I love the thrill of the hunt, the experience in which you can identify a piece that is unique and can tell it's individual story. Victoria is also a world renowned location for great antique finds, and there are often incredible state sales.  As a designer, you need to have an appreciation for the style periods, and all the decorative arts. It doesn't matter if you prefer contemporary design, you should still know the origin of many of our design elements and principals, as well the styles that led to the evolvement of what is now known as contemporary design.



Jade Foo Dogs


I know that sometimes it is a hard sell to bring an old piece full of patina to my clients homes; but to me, it is like inviting an old friend - someone who can tell a great story and bring that unique and memorable factor to the space.  Nobody else has it. It is uniquely yours, you are special and your space is special to have it. We are often bombarded by the media to buy more, buy cheap and buy the best deal. A vicious circle that you can break by supporting our local antique stores and auction houses.  Sometimes you don't even need to leave your home to go antique shopping, you can find something really special in your grandpa's attic for something that has been a part of your family history.



Chinese Antique Cabinet


I have been very fortunate to find amazing treasures on my antique hunting trips like a pair of Foo Dogs in jade, a 1740's antique etching with Ann of Cleve, a French bronze Cherub. an antique Chinese cabinet, a couple of paintings, including an over scale daguerreotype,and my all time favourite a 1950'S Gio Ponti tea set.  All these pieces have become part of my everyday life, bringing that juxtaposition factor that as designer I love between new and old.



Tea Set -Gio Ponti


I encourage all my readers to go antique hunting their own treasures, and support our local Antique Road and see what our great town has to offer!



Ivan Meade is a local designer and principal of Meade Design Group, a multidisciplinary interior and graphic design studio in the heart of downtown Victoria –

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011


Karena said...

Wonderful thoughts Ivan. You are right; it is so great to find a unique and unusual piece in an antique store.

We have become such a throw away and buy new society.

Art by Karena

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more Ivan! A combination of new old makes for the best interiors!

Anonymous said...

Yes, we need to make use of the great antiques in our city. A home filled only with new things simply has no character.

Brillante Interiors said...

I love every word you said: patina, memories, history, feelings. Buy less but buy the best you can afford! Coincidence: I was at an antique fair in Vancouver on Saturday and we talked about the many more treasures that Victoria have.

Echo said...

Exactly, we need to take advantage of the fact that we live in such a city with access to so many great treasures. We often complain here on the island that it's so hard to bring over some of the good stuff (from chains that we don't have here for example,) but if we took a look around at some of the antique shops we'd find some really great alternatives that make our homes more unique, lived in and personalized!

Brett Anuik said...

Ivan, great article. Less is more.

Character pieces not only add to the feel of a room, but also spark great conversation.

Brett Anuik said...

Ivan, so true. Less is more. Character pieces fill a room so much more than a bunch of new commercialized dollar items. Not only is there a history, but conversation is sparked.

Anonymous said...

Hi - thank you for the lovely blog! I have a question about your Gio Ponti tea set I hope you won't mind me asking. I have an identical set made of brass (creamer is silver plated on the inside). Mine is simply marked Italy or Made in Italy. I can't find any examples except yours and I am wondering what yours is made of and if it is marked? I love it and I am trying to research it but have hit a wall... Many thanks! Alexa Winton agwinton at gmail dot com