With the pandemic putting an end to bland, beige minimalism and open floor plans, décor and furniture are making a return to geometric shapes, decorative metallics, and bold colors of the art deco architectural style.
Art deco furniture can be hard to come by, especially since it’s trending in interiors. To aid in Northern Virginia Magazine’s quest for this style, we caught up with someone who deals in sourcing furniture for a living, and found Leigh Newport, principal designer at the Sterling-based Staged by Design, who shared her favorite places to shop, as well as how to shop for the specific piece you want.
Antique or Vintage: Where Do You Start?
“Part of what you have to consider is why you want to purchase a particular style of furniture in the first place,” says Newport. “There are a few different options when it comes to shopping for these pieces, and asking yourself a few questions is key to getting the right type of piece in the style you want to explore.”
She says to start with the era, then move into the purpose of the piece, and then consider the overall effect the piece will have on the rest of your décor.
“If it’s the brand name you love, then watching out for new collections inspired by that era in design is the way to go,” says Newport. “If it’s a specific style, like art deco, with a specific purpose, like an occasional table for your living room, then you should go for an antique piece. If you’re looking for something that’s fun and eclectic to add to the mix, vintage is a safe bet.”
With so many options out there, it helps to you know you’re getting a solid deal on a particular piece.
“When it comes to antiques, I always say look for the quality of construction on any piece of furniture, and then try to determine its usage within the home. If it’s a very valuable piece, you might not want it, if you need to use it heavily — like a hallway hutch that you store things in,” she says.
“The beauty of vintage is that you can take an old TV stand and turn it into a vintage art deco-inspired bar with minimal investment of time or money. Mass produced items are not as easy to modify, as the construction usually doesn’t lend itself to changes,” she says.
Now where to find the furniture you’re looking for? You can visit Newport’s favorite antique destinations throughout Northern Viginia, as well as explore a few online resources for great reference material.
Old Lucketts Store
Newport describes the Old Lucketts store as “the Holy Grail of antiques and great place just to find a little bit of everything.
“It’s very well known on the East Coast and a great place to find a wide range of items, from antique to new. There’s individual vendors like an antique mall, as well as ephemera, furniture, china, and silver. There’s something for everyone.” 42350 Lucketts Rd., Leesburg
Hip and Humble
“I love Hip and Humble in Berryville because they’ve got an eclectic range of antiques,” she says. “This is a small space in a converted train station. They’ve got a fun mix furniture, upholstery and books, as well as architectural pieces you can bring into your décor.” 401 E. Main St., Berryville
Four Sales, Ltd.
“I also like to shop estate sales, mostly for clients and also for my own personal collection of items. Four Sales estate sales holds sales in Alexandria, as well as DC and Maryland. You should keep a list from their website, and you find really unique gems and things that are so different at antiques malls or individual stores.” 6405 10th St, Alexandria
Royal House of Modern and Retro
“For deco antiques specifically, there’s Royal House of Modern and Retro in Front Royal,” Newport says. “There’s always something that I can’t live without. If you add accents that are vintage, those are easy to change out and update.” 1207 N. Royal Ave., Front Royal
Chairish and 1stDibs are other resources to check, but Newport says they are not entry-level priced. “You can use them for reference when shopping in a store or estate sale and find the market value of an item you like,” she says.
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