The present has improved on the past in many ways. For instance, running water, electricity, communication technology, and travel breakthroughs have added tremendously to our lives. Still, some elements of the past are beautiful and worth saving—including design and decor items.
We love having them in our homes because we know they have something to add despite modern alternatives readily available. While mobile homes may be relatively modern, their design inside can still nod to years gone by.
What decorating with antiques isn’t
Before we dig into the how-to of working incorporating antiques in your mobile home, here’s an important note. Decorating with antiques is not culling artifacts to create a musty, dusty, dark, depressing environment.
Some of our readers may be laboring under a misapprehension. You may be thinking that a mobile home that incorporates antiques is going to look old and tacky. You envision a mobile home interior reminiscent of a museum or antique shop you once visited.
Random curiosities litter the shelves, hang from the ceilings, and pile the floors collecting dust, bugs, and cobwebs. It may look like a good spot to shoot a spooky attic scene in a movie. But it’s not your idea of a dream home, for sure. Don’t worry. This is not what we have in mind for your mobile home. Not at all.
The many ways to decorate with antiques
Now that you know what you don’t want antiques to do to your mobile home, let’s think about the flip side. What do you want antiques to do to your mobile home? Well, it could be that you want them to add a timeless feel. Or you may want to highlight some precious family heirlooms.
You may want to honor the heritage of your own country or even another location. Plus, you may be looking to add antiques because they’re intriguing and they’re good conversation starters. Additionally, they may simply be perfect pieces to generate a certain aesthetic in your home.
Who’s going to be living there?
So, all this may beg the question—what is the right way to add antiques to my mobile home? And what should it look like? Well, the good news is there are many different ways to go with antiques in your mobile home. And while there may be principles to guide and pitfalls to avoid, there’s one part of the equation that’s big enough to merit mentioning right now.
That’s right, it’s your own preferences (by which we mean you and your family). You and your family have your own tastes and preferences. So do other mobile home owners. And a big part of how to decorate your mobile home with antiques involves these likes and dislikes. If you like things colorful, you may rope in different antiques than someone who likes things mostly black and white.
On the other hand, maybe you truly enjoy styling things in off white. If so, you might head a different direction with antiques than either of the above. Still, varying preferences won’t derail the beauty and usefulness of antiques in design and decor.
Get started with antiques in your mobile home
If your mobile home has a current design, one option is to start small and scale up. You can begin incorporating pieces now and keep working at it over time. Alternatively, you could opt for a full-scale re-do. Whichever way you go, here are some things to think about.
Don’t overcrowd in a small space
There’s a difference between a well-planned collection of pieces and an overflowing mishmash. Don’t fall to the temptation to introduce too much. Starting small could be a good way to go. After all, you can always add more as needed.
In short, more isn’t always better. (Unless, of course, you happen to want your design to feature a ton of items in a small space.)
In the same way that you don’t want too many antiques, you also don’t want poorly selected antiques. Of course, antiques are old by nature. And their secondhanded-ness may actually be part of their charm. But being old and being low-quality or rundown is not the same thing.
We said there’s a distinction between a collection and a mishmash. Similarly, there’s a difference between a carefully curated collection of antiques and a house brimming with old junk. You can purchase wonderful antiques and still be selective about it. Go for great antiques, not just any antiques.
Note your own constraints
Your mobile home design or renovation will probably be subject to several constraints. Determining what they are and keeping them in mind could help your project run well. Certainly, it might be enjoyable to have unlimited funds to spend on mobile home design and decor. But it’s often just not the case.
At the same time, there are tons of gorgeous antique pieces out there. But they won’t all blend with your overall appearance. Moreover, you could stumble on a piece of furniture that’s striking and would make a perfect addition to your home. Yet you may not have space to fit it in well.
In short, incorporating antiques might need to be bound by things like budget, style, and space. But that’s not a bad thing. Actually, it could be quite convenient sometimes—helping to ease up the decision-making. After all, you don’t have to agonize over whether to buy a piece if you know it’s out of your price range. And sure, you may love a retro L-shaped sofa, but if you don’t have room for it, don’t force it.
Mix and match
We already assured you that antiques don’t have to turn your home into a musty relic of days gone by. On the other hand, your home doesn’t have to shun modernity either. In fact, modern elements can co-exist quite well with antique ones.
Surprisingly, this concept applies even down to the level of individual items. While you may love the structure of an antique piece of furniture, the fabric may leave something to be desired. Then, simply re-upholster. Now, you have a blend of the old and the new.
You don’t have to leave all antiques in their original state. A fresh coat of paint or a new fabric could be the perfect medicine.
Tie together with color
Highlighting a particular color could be one way to bring a whole room together—antiques and all. Of course, you could start this by selecting the color then hunting for items of that particular hue. But you could also work the other way around, finding a key piece you like then working off its color.
And favoring one color or look doesn’t mean you have to choose a bright color and work it in everywhere. Are you a fan of off white with natural materials like wood, wicker, and plants? Then, you should be able to capitalize on that look with antiques. You can even repaint some of them to match with your theme.
On the other hand, maybe you lean toward a minimalist approach with mainly black and white. This duo-chromatic look can also afford to have antiques introduced. Simply choose antiques in these colors or repaint as needed.
Plus, you may be able to strategically add other colors, too. A few brightly-hued items in a sea of black and white could be striking. And certain antique metal pieces could look great also, even if they’re not black.
Embrace a theme
Pulling your antiques and modern pieces together by a theme is another way to go. There are many ways you could select a common thread to work with. A prime method would be to decorate based on your own interest or hobby. For instance, let’s say you’re a musician. Adding music-related decor simply makes sense—whether it’s antique sheet music or even old instruments.
You could also select antiques from a particular country. Or you could work off other hobbies or interests such as science, books, cars, etc. Additionally, you could design by gathering inspiration from a particular past era. (Neoclassical design, for instance).
How to find these antiques
Certainly, you can’t incorporate antiques into your decor until you find antiques. Thus, it makes sense to wonder how you go about procuring these old items for your mobile home. And if you’re working with a less-than-enormous budget, that adds yet another question. How do you find antiques without breaking the bank?
Keep your eyes ever open
If you’re looking to fill out your decor over time, then simply commit to keeping your eyes open. Do it while carrying on normal life activities. This may not be the best method if you’re looking to design and decorate in a hurry. But, if you do have time, then scanning for antique deals wherever you happen to be could be a good start.
For starters, look in your own neighborhood. Your neighbors may place pieces at the end of their driveway to be picked up by local waste disposal. However, the saying one man’s treasure is another man’s trash rings true here. Clearly, they don’t want to keep it. But you might.
Shop the area
Start going to local estate sales to look for great finds. Lawn sales could be another place to find someone else’s no-longer-needed antiques that may be perfect in your house. Drop by local antique malls, and even consider letting owners know if you’re looking for something particular. Even if they don’t have it themselves, they may be able to point you to another source more likely to help you out.
Also, browse a classifieds website in your area. This could be a good source for lower-cost antiques. And don’t forget your town’s thrift stores. Dig through plenty of stuff you don’t want in your mobile home to find some special treasures.
Also, note that while this isn’t appropriate in all venues, some of these sources are places where you can haggle to get a better price. An online classifieds website is a prime example. Can’t afford the item at the price listed? Then check if they’ll take a lower offer. You may be surprised.
Shopping locally isn’t your only option either. Actually, you can keep your eye out everywhere and anywhere. When you’re on vacation, you can have some extra fun by hitting the local antique stores.
And you can do the same on a quick trip out of town, too. Take a look in stores or simply as you drive along untraveled roads. (After all, other people’s neighbors set their unwanted items out by the curb, too). Plus, this is some fun you can share with others—whether it’s family or friends. They may enjoy joining you on your hunting excursions.
Do you have a particular item you’re looking to buy second-hand? Maybe you’ve had no success looking in your own area. Instead, if you know you’ll be out-of-town soon anyway, check the local online classifieds site for your destination. That way, your traveling can serve dual purposes. But you won’t feel like you’re wasting gas by driving hundreds of miles away just to purchase an item you found online.
Find what you are looking for
Remember that your search for a particular type of item (such as furniture) might not be rewarded right away. Give yourself time to search. Keeping your eyes out over time might yield a better item than making a quick buy because you feel hurried.
If you’re searching for a particular type of furniture piece, you may not find it at the first store you go to. And if you’re looking to find something that fits the bill, style-wise and financially, your search could take longer. Be patient. Your integration of antiques into your mobile home doesn’t have to come together all at once.
Find what you aren’t looking for
However, you don’t only have to wait for the items that you already have in mind. Sometimes, you may find an un-searched-for item that strikes you on first sight. You might have great success with it despite the unplanned nature of the buy.
Make your living space a beautiful place
Creating a mobile home that is both comfortable and beautiful should be an exciting task. Collect ideas and inspiration from many sources as you cultivate a welcoming home. And don’t limit your efforts to antiques. Check out our 8 Ways To Pull Off The Art Deco Look In Your Mobile Home. Or take a look at The Ultimate Renovation Guide To Creating A Timeless Mobile Home.