Living with Heirlooms and Antiques
“Antiques add the touch of time and the human hand. Every dented baby cup, mended tablecloth, perfectly or imperfectly preserved piece of silver or porcelain tells a story that began long ago and hasn’t ended yet. There are no rules about living with them, except to take what’s old and keep it young by making it part of daily life.”
The past meets the present in perfect style in this guide to incorporating heirlooms and antiques into stylish and contemporary contexts. Featuring interiors decorated by collectors, antiques dealers, and well-known design professionals, author Susan Sully demonstrates ways to create tradition-inspired interiors that aren’t fussy or stiff and breathe new life into old things by changing finishes and upholstery or combining objects in surprising juxtapositions.
Sully also explains how to display collections creatively, to set inviting tables, arrange interesting tabletop compositions, and successfully mix and match objects from varied styles, periods, and degrees of formality. Ranging from a converted 1915 fire station to a French neoclassical-style mansion, the selected homes reveal the beauty and relevance of antiques in every setting, from casual to elegant, rustic to refined.
Praise for Past Present
"Twenty homes fill the pages of this artful guide, from a converted 1915 fire station in Montgomery, Alabama, to a Greek Revival in the heart of the Big Easy. Though the book showcases homes around the country, a common thread becomes apparent in the Southern abodes, where culture and tradition play vital roles in home décor."
In this age of minimalism and decluttering, the common response to an offer of a family heirloom or antique might be, 'I don't have space,' 'It's not my taste,' or simply 'No thanks.' Well, 'pull yourself out of that as fast as you can and start saying yes,' urges Susan Sully of Charleston, South Carolina, author of Past Present. The trick to blending old and new in your home's decor is careful curating—and keeping an open mind. Her book is packed with photos and descriptions of 20 homes around the country, from a converted fire station to farmhouses to elegant city dwellings. She offers tips on displaying odd collections, setting inviting tables, arranging tabletop compositions, and bringing together objects from different styles and periods."
"Susan Sully's book, Past Present, is a highly personal one. After inheriting china, cut glass, and 19th-century French furniture from her mother, the Southern architecture and design expert set out to make it work together inside her 1950s cottage in Charleston, South Carolina. In this book, Sully opens the doors to 20 beautiful houses throughout the South, Texas, East Hampton and Sag Harbor, all in an inspired effort to see how others handled the challenge of integrating old with new."
The Monacelli Press Also Recommends
Inspired by Tradition
Norman Davenport Askins; written with Susan Sully
Dror Benshetrit; foreword by Aric Chen
New York Contemporary
Thomas Hickey and Edward Yedid
A Romance of East and West
Mona Hajj; written with Judith Nasitir
Texas Made/Texas Modern
Helen Thompson; photographs by Casey Dunn