Susan Bednar Long: Designing Chic Spaces with Vintage Finds

Throughout this past weekend at the Washington, Connecticut Antiques Show, I spoke with collectors about how to integrate their new pieces into an existing decor. It struck me how this process now rivals the thrill of the hunt and how much we crave the depth these objects can bring to our homes. My interiors are often described as modern traditional, but a home should above all reflect its inhabitants. A deeply personal collection or heirloom can balance contemporary furnishings and give permanence to a childhood memory. As with any new element, you should take a nuanced approach. I’ve compiled some images from my portfolio along with work from some modern masters, to illustrate my styling rules of thumb: 1. Layers of texture and accessories allow contrasting styles to happily coexist.

Living Room by S. B. Long Interiors. Photo courtesy of S.B. Long Interiors

Dining Room by David Kleinberg. Photo courtesy of David Kleinberg

Study by S.B. Long Interiors. Photo courtesy of S.B. Long Interiors

Living Room by S.R. Gambrel. Photo courtesy of S.R. Gambrel

A residence in Spain. Photo courtesy of Savvy Home 

2. Create new context for vintage pieces.

Smelting Pot-turned-Coffee table by S.B. Long Interiors. Photo courtesy of S.B. Long Interiors

Mariette Himes Gomez stacked antique boxes. Photo courtesy of Gomez Associates

 

An antique sea chest as console table. Photo courtesy of S.B. Long Interiors

3. Don’t rule out the functional spaces.

S.B. Long Interiors bathroom. Photo courtesy of S.B. Long Interiors

Bath by David Kleinberg. Photo courtesy of David Kleinberg

Chris Holt bath. Photo courtesy of Savvy Home

Meg Ryan’s Martha’s Vineyard kitchen by Marsha Russell. Photo courtesy of Elle Decor.

Aerin Lauder’s kitchen. Photo courtesy of Habitually Chic

Finally, experiment! Allow the space to evolve over time and accumulate its own patina.  And get to know a dealer who will keep an eye out for the things you love. -Susan Bednar Long Susan Bednar Long is an award-winning interior designer known for delivering tailored, crisp and sophisticated interiors to the most discerning clients. Her firm, S. B. Long Interiors, is a full-service interior design firm whose “modern traditional” signature style is internationally recognized. Susan’s projects have been featured in design publications including Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Elle Décor and numerous books on interior design.

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