Friday, January 27, 2017

5 Dining Room Antiques to Splurge On

By Gretchen Sawatzki

Dining rooms are places designed for eating and entertaining. They have been called the nucleus of the home, and are a place for guests, friends, and family to gather. Because the dining room is a space dedicated to hospitality, this room became a place to show off one's status, wealth, and design sensibility.

Charming German chandelier, circa 1950.
Photo by Hannah Manning for
Materials Unlimited
Today, dining room antiques are some of the most desirable for their elaborately carved tables, throne-like chairs, and massive serving pieces. Decorating with dining room antiques can be a fun and unique way to add personality and charm to this special room, but where should you splurge when curating your dining room antiques?

Here's five antiques to splurge on in your dining room.

Lighting

Have you ever eaten dinner at a really nice restaurant and noticed that not only was the food delicious, but the ambience set the tone for the whole meal as well? Lighting is where you can make a statement or create a specific atmosphere. A chandelier can add chic design, sparkle, and a warm, inviting glow, and for about as much as a brand new light fixture, you can have a stunning piece of well-crafted history.

Dining Table

This seems like an obvious pick for investing your money, but in all honesty, antique dining room tables really are a great investment. Not only is the dining room table used for dining, but today's modern family uses the dining room table for a desk, game table, and artist's studio, among other things - which means it will always be used for something. Spend your money where you know it will last by purchasing a solid wood antique dining table.

Walnut and maple dining table circa 1920. Photo by
Hannah Manning for Materials Unlimited.

Not only will the investment pay for itself, but with an array of sizes and shapes out there, you're bound to find the table that fits your needs.  The possibilities are almost endless and prices can be all over the place.

Dining Chairs

Another obvious pick for splurging - dining chairs. Not only are comfortable chairs nice to have, but they are also critical for being a good host. Nobody wants to sit in uncomfortable or questionably stable chairs.

Upholstered antique dining chairs. Photo by Hannah Manning for
Materials Unlimited.
Look for solid wood antique dining chairs that have no signs of cracks in the legs or seat. Try to find upholstered antique dining chairs as your chances are good that the chairs will have all of the proper springs and cushioning. If you don't like the fabric, no worries, you can always take the chairs to an upholsterer to get the level of comfort and design that you want. Plus, solid wood chairs can handle the wear and tear of everyday use.

Sideboard

Victorian Era sideboard. Photo by
Hannah Manning for Materials Unlimited.
An antique sideboard may seem a bit antiquated (pun intended) by today's standard, but an antique sideboard can not only make a dining room more functional, but it can also serve as a visual focal point and work of art worthy of dinner party conversation.


Historically, sideboards were used to keep food, extra dishes, and even alcohol at-hand during a meal. Their long, wide surface can hold items of all sizes, making hosting large dinners a snap. They are also used for used to lock away valuable silverware and crystal stemware. If you like to entertain for holidays, a sideboard can be your most-trusted friend, and if you have the space, they are worth the investment.

Dishes and Table Settings

The Victorians dined like no other with silverware and pieces used for all types of dining needs. Seafood forks, salt wells, cruet sets, and muffineers are a few table items used for a Victorian dinner; not to mention all of the tea accoutrements...

With antique dishes and table wares you can really get creative. Mix and match your favorite plate patterns, purchase strange Victorian implements, and buy those strange napkin rings. This is the place to really show your eclectic side. You can also find antique dishes and table items in just about every antique store out there, so you're bound to find something you like for a price you can likely negotiate.
Antique cruet set. Photo by Hannah Manning for Materials Unlimited.

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