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Period Style on a Budget

By: Kelly-Rose Bradford - Updated: 1 Aug 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Antiques Car Boot Sales Fairs Charity

If you long to create a period style in your home, you might think that authentic styling is way out of your price range - particularly if you find yourself doing no more than peering wistfully into antique shop windows and recoiling at the four figure prices tags on the smallest of decorative items!

True, authentic style, complete with reclaimed or antique fixtures and fittings can cost an arm and a leg to re-create, but there are all sorts of tips and tricks you can use to get the look of the era you wish to replicate without breaking the bank!

One of the most useful things you can do when making over your home, or just looking for suitable bits and pieces to complement your current interior design is to measure up! Take careful measurements for curtains, blinds, rugs and soft furnishings, as well as alcoves and recesses that could house small pieces of furniture.

Jot them down in a notebook and keep it with you at all times - there's nothing more frustrating than spotting something in an antique shop or junk shop and having to pass it up because you're not sure it will fit! And of course, the likelihood that it will no longer be there if you rush home, measure up and then go back!

Where to Shop

Don't immediately head for the antiques shops! Unless you know what you are looking for, and know the true value of supposedly period pieces, you could end up paying over the odds - or getting carried away and spending way over your budget!

For real bargain buys, check out car boot sales, flea markets, charity shops and reclamations centres. And always keeps your eyes open for garage or garden sales - excellent hunting grounds for real treasures! Again, don't buy just for the sake of it - have your list of 'wants' and 'needs' and your all important measurements and just buy what you really need - there's no point in snapping up a gorgeous 1920s chaise-lounge for next to nothing if you have absolutely no where to put it - no matter how much of a bargain it is!

Don't rule out the high street either for period style fixtures and fittings - you can sometimes be pleasantly surprised by what's available in mainstream stores - particularly for items likes light fittings and lamps where antique examples are more difficult to come by and would need refurbishment or modernisation to make them compatible to current standards.

Bargain Breaks

Stay on the look out when you are on holiday too! If you are in France, look out for signs for 'brocante' or 'braderie' - basically second hand markets full of antiques, bric a brac (and a fair amount of junk!). The French markets are fertile hunting grounds for gorgeous real wood furniture, huge decorative mirrors and lovely enamel kitchen wares. Just bear in mind how you will transport it all back!

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