Antiques in the Living Room

Antiques You Can & Cannot Use in the Living Room

Consider antiques for bringing in a vintage, warm feel to your living room, particularly if you have a living room suffering from an identity crisis.  Not only are antiques a timeless decorating use, but it can save your budget from busting when redecorating.

What antiques are appropriate for living rooms, and what’s better left out when decorating this room?


If your living room is used more formally and not as a combined great room or family room, antique rugs are just the area rugs to consider when defining seating groups or warming up stark hardwood or even wall to wall carpet.

Certain types of antique rugs can cost big.  Why do some cost more than others?  Many antique rugs are wanted not for decorating but by collectors as well.  These include oriental rugs, Persian and Chinese Nichols rugs, and William Morris/Arts & Crafts rugs. 

Also consider what antique rugs go through over the years – constant use.  That makes it difficult to find rugs in good condition, which makes the price higher due to basic supply and demand.

So what antique rugs are appropriate for living rooms?  Oriental rugs tend to be the most durable, literally they were woven to use in the desert and outdoors.  Nothing can beat the warm patina of a true antique oriental rug in a living room.


Antique living room furniture has a patina and style all its own.  What pieces should you look for when furnishing or decorating your living room?  The sofa is relatively new concept.  Sofas back in the day were smaller loveseats and you sure won’t find an antique sofa with plush comfy seating.  Save antique seating for chairs, particularly wing chairs and side chairs.  Watch the height, stability and comfort if you're choosing antique seating – people in the 19th Century were smaller and shorter, and joints may have loosened over the years.

Antique tables are the best pieces to use in living rooms.  They’re also readily available at antique auctions, flea markets and yard sales, so you can watch your budget when choosing antique living room tables. 

There is one point to remember – there’s actually no such thing as an antique coffee table.  Coffee tables came in to living room decorating in the 1920’s, antiques are 100 years old – thus a true coffee table is one or the other, not both.  What you're seeing as coffee tables are usually parlor tables with reduced legs, either the legs are cut down to due to lower leg damage or to convert the piece to coffee table usage.  Either way, the antique value is reduced with the reduced legs.

Art & Accessories

Art and accessories may be the easiest and least expensive way to introduce antiques to your living room décor.  They’re the most versatile decorating tools with endless possibilities.

If you need to skip the flooring and furniture because of the wear and tear or the budget impact, consider antique art and accessories instead.