My daughter Isabella Walker-Smith recently moved home after living abroad with her husband for the past 18 months, and they couldn’t wait to decorate their first proper marital home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. The first thing Isabella did was find the key pieces – a dining table, a sofa, some chairs, and a desk. Then came the personality pieces, and the real fun. You can shop Isabella’s Holiday Collection for similar pieces.
The sale – online now at Lawsons – has everything you need for Christmas, 2022 – and is one of the best ways of decorating your way to a very merry holiday.
Whether you are in the market for cushions or lamps, sofas, tables, art, or garden furniture, there’s something for you in Isabella’s holiday collection which celebrates living well in all its glory and is the perfect way to get a jump on summer.
There are boucle armchairs, contemporary sofas, antique dining seats, 19th-century French mirrors, a spectacular 10-arm leaf candelabra, and vintage rattan, plus an excellent mix of lamps in the Ralph Lauren style, less 70% retail.
As a rising star on the local design scene, Isabella Walker-Smith has a sharp insight into how the younger generation thinks, acts and spends differently.
What are you waiting for?
“My friends and I have changed our spending habits,” says Isabella. “We love the availability advantage of auctions; because the pieces already exist and can be in your home immediately.
“Auctions aren’t subject to material or production delays, transport limitations, rising labour costs, and material shortages.”
“I’m often asked what piece of furniture I consider to be the most integral,” says Isabella. “Somewhere to perch, whether that’s a chair, or sofa is key.
For importance, it’s hard to deny the dining table. It’s like an island around which the everyday things of modern life revolve – work, eat, entertain, read. A desk too is vital – my day revolves around it”.
These pieces prove you don’t have to knock walls down.
There’s a mix of furniture, art, and objects that represent a broad spectrum of styles, time periods, and provenance. Seek antique sideboards, commodes, tables, ladderback chairs, French mirrors, vintage copper, windows, and gates.
“Designers and homeowners value the soulfulness these patinated pieces bring. The future of sustainability is regeneration and resale: replenishing and restoring what we have lost, while allowing the planet to thrive, too,’ says Isabella.
Throw in a hero antique item or finishing touch from Isabella’s collection for a vavoom effect, and the results can bedazzle.
There are ceramic vases, and wait til you see the handmade cushions and bolsters made in Italian cotton velvets, Belgian linen, and French grain sack edged with hand-woven fringes, trims, and feathered fringing.
There are organic crocheted light pendants like you see in the best Parisian interiors. Oh and don’t miss the deals on antique European portraits of men in neckties, nudes, girls, women. And much more.
“Buying and selling secondhand extends the lives of your favorite pieces and keeps them in circulation longer,” says Isabella.
“I recently decorated our first home as a married couple, and 70 per cent of the interior is vintage and antique – staple pieces like an antique walnut round dining table, 18th century Heppelwhite elm chairs, a vintage farmhouse table I’ve repurposed as a desk, an original Bentwood sofa for our bedroom, antique side tables and marble-top stands galore (I can’t stop collecting them), and a painted antique French stool which we’re using as a coffee table – I thought my husband would loathe it, but it’s one of his favourite pieces”.
The appeal of buying antique furniture is that nothing needs to be produced. Changes in consumer behaviour, led by millennials are driving this new interest in using renewable pre-owned items.
They know that antiques are better for the carbon footprint. Plus antiques and vintage bring presence to any room, reflecting your interests and sense of beauty.
“My friends have embraced the resale segment when it comes to their homes.”
“Pre-pandemic, fashion was the star of the resale market, but now we have all discovered the benefits of re-commerce and developed a hunger for the resale industry in home furnishings. We are comfortable buying big-ticket items like desks, chairs, sofas and tables online.”
“The pandemic increased millennials’ interest in buying used, vintage and antique furniture online, as we come into home ownership and furnish our own spaces.”
“People are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint.”
“My pals and I like choosing pre-owned products that make a stylish statement but a practical and eco-conscious one, too. It’s all about shopping local when possible and if buying new pieces, making quality and longevity a priority.”
The right antique or vintage piece can make your space unlike anyone else’s.
Whether it’s antique dining chairs, commodes, tables or art, personality in our spaces satisfies our inherent need for expression.
Contemporary upholstery will change an antique armchair.
With more awareness around sustainability than ever, antiques are a great way to invest in second-hand furniture, sourcing well-made renewable pre-owned pieces with pedigree and character.