Living with antiques


There have always been collectors of antiques who have filled their living quarters with their treasures. However, it is always about the singularity of the unique antique, and not at all about the idea of furnishing one’s home. I often walk through their rooms, full of admiration, pleased with the fact that I have time and again helped extend a collection in my capacity as an antique dealer.

Other lovers of antiques see their homes holistically, skilfully arranging their antiques to form a harmonious composition. It seems as if each single object had always existed in that particular constellation. Frequently, the interior matches the building perfectly – i.e. the inside of the building is the result of its outward appearance. As a guest, I enjoy the sometimes exquisite or sometimes comfy atmosphere and discover how wonderful furniture from my own business fits into those very surroundings.

Today’s furnishing style is characterised by consciously placing antiques amidst contemporary furniture and objects. A break in style is the concept. Be it a rustic cabinet adorning the light-flooded room of a 21st century architect’s house, a rustic table standing in a loft with concrete flooring, or a rustic chest sitting in the classical apartment of a period building, antique furnishings enhance their environment, accentuating the individuality of living and highlighting the atmospheric flow, thus establishing habitable identity.

Antique furniture frequently adopts the role of furniture people yearn for; a craving that is not fed by nostalgia, but rather by the emotion of here and now. The rustic cabinet, table or chest is re-interpreted in a whole new context.

The composition produces an interesting tension due to heterogeneity, convertibility and uniqueness. A rustic table mingles with designer furniture, a rustic chest is surrounded by modern sculptures and a rustic cabinet stands in a room amongst shabby chic furniture. Modern art hangs on the walls above a rustic chest and Moroccan rugs cover the floor. We are gradually breaking away from the dictates of taste and furnishing norms and want to take up and redefine the existing instead. Unbiased dealings with exhibits from various centuries, artistic genres and cultures require a great deal of curiosity and desire to experiment. In such an environment, antique rustic furniture generates an aura of dignity and radiant beauty.

It is a great pleasure for me, together with my clients, to find out how they wish to live. Living is a day-to-day concern that reflects our basic needs. It is all about privacy and personal value orientation. Collaboration with architects and interior designers detaches itself from this very personal level, joining forces in a mutual quest to achieve the very best for the project. In both cases, empathising can be very challenging in specific situations and motivates me tremendously. In both cases, personal relations are forged.

Gabriele Prödl-Posch