Why style influencer Paula Sutton uses vintage furniture in her home


Paula Sutton’s Instagram posts are never full of shiny new pieces. Instead, they’re a testament to pre-loved, well-worn furniture and decorative accessories, and the depth and texture they bring to the home.

In this month’s column, she tells us why she loves buying antiques and filling her Hill House with unique and surprising pieces.

Add Interest to a Room with Antiques

paula sutton vintage and antique furniture

(Image credit: Paula Sutton)

“I’ve always thought that the most interesting faces are those that show the signs of a life well lived. Those with well-used laugh lines and the familiarity of a ‘well-trodden path’ of creases,” says Paula. “Beautiful faces are those that reflect the rich tapestry of years filled with experience and wisdom…

I feel exactly the same for furniture. Using vintage and antique furniture in an interior can add history, substance and depth to even the most decidedly modern interior spaces. Older pieces add historic ‘texture’, injecting character and revealing their own signs of use and love with each exquisite imperfection. Worn like badges of honor – a scratch here, a worn edge there – they are all things of beauty and wisdom.

“Sourcing antiques can mean browsing a local store or market, or buying antiques from the comfort of your home. The hunt can be as enjoyable as the treasure found at the end.

Timeless vintage styling

wooden desk in a library with white walls

(Image credit: Jenna Ohnemus Peffley)

“Antiques and vintage pieces generally survive for one of three reasons. They are either very beautiful – far too beautiful to be discarded and replaced. Or they are much loved and have too strong a meaning to ignore. are so solidly made that they have survived the various slings and arrows of time and wear and tear.

The vintage hunter’s jackpot is finding a piece that is all of these three things. In a practical sense, it is a testament to the wisdom of the original artisans that their creations can be passed down from generation to generation. The sturdiness of dovetail joints or the artistry of a scalloped Knapp joint took time and skill to learn, along with an understanding of aesthetic value. Creating a lasting legacy from great beauty? There is great wisdom there.

Interior designer Henrietta von Stockhausen is another expert who loves decorating with antiques and says connecting to the past helps bring a sense of history and connection to a home.

Mix old and new parts

Matthew Williamson chairs

(Image credit: Matthew Williamson)

Like designer Matthew Williamson, Paula likes to combine new and vintage pieces to create a distinctive look.

“There’s always a place for the thrill of exciting new pieces in a home, but personally I prefer to mix these items with things that can quietly tell a past life story without overshadowing everything else,” says- she.

“The beauty of incorporating older pieces is that they can feel relaxed and be brought together or collected over time, so never be afraid to mix different styles and eras of furniture. An evolved and beloved home is eclectic and interesting and should be an expression of the owner’s life and personality, not necessarily a replica of a bygone era.

Tell the story of your home

paula sutton living room at Hill House Vintage with antique furniture

(Image credit: Paula Sutton)

“When we buy something old or pre-loved, we are not just observers; we become an essential part of the journey. Adding our own personal touches by renewing, padding or reassigning can ensure that we help build the narrative by writing a new chapter.

“In a world where so much is unfortunately thrown away, there is a sense of permanence in choosing pieces that have seen life before us, and may even see life after we are gone. To rejoice in the much-used “laugh lines” of vintage and antique furniture is to enjoy a life that has been well – and beautifully – lived.

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