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When you collect antiques, your home isn’t just a home—it is a precious time capsule where you curate priceless artifacts. If you have a vast and varied collection, you may be unsure how to organize your antiques in a manner that creates an appealing home design. We have a list of some of the best design tips for antique enthusiasts to make your home complement your valuable heirlooms.

Contrast Vintage With Contemporary

With interior design, opposites can attract. Make your antiques stand out from the rest of your decorations by surrounding them with complementary contemporary décor and furniture. Some different eras of antiques may go better together than you might initially think! Make bold decisions to wow your guests, such as pairing brassy antique accents with sheer white modernism. Your house is your home design sandbox, and you have plenty of time to try new designs until you find something you enjoy!

Function and Form

Clutter in the house is never a good thing, even when it comes to antiques. Slim your collection down to the pieces that serve a function in the house yet still look stylish. You can use the rest of your antique collection in display cases, or you can store them away and rotate them into your décor later. Many pieces of antique and vintage furniture can still be used to serve their original purpose. Your antique furniture may require some extra love before you can decorate with it, but the effect of sitting or eating on items that have been used for generations will stick with your guests during their visits.

Spotlight Your Favorite Pieces

Chances are, there are some antiques that you are especially proud of acquiring. Keep these pieces somewhere in the house where every guest will see them. You can place art, paintings, and documents in an extravagant frame to accent a hallway or living area. Adding lights or spotlights to call attention to your special antiques will add a certain museum quality to your antiques. If your favorite antique is more subtle in design, use louder accent pieces to guide your guests’ eyes toward it.

Treat Your Home Like an Art Piece

As a homeowner, you are the artist of your home design. If the concept of home design overwhelms you, imagine your home as if it were the reference for a still life painting. Take pictures of your antique design regularly. Seeing your furniture out of context as a piece of artistic photography will help you consider what may be missing from or cluttering the image.

It also may help you to send the image to other collectors who can give you more specialized design tips for antique enthusiasts in a group setting. As with any artistic medium, a critique can be your best friend if you allow it to be. Take the compliments and the critiques from others to heart and put their opinions to good use.