How to: Transform Unloved Auction Items into Treasures for Your Home

vintage auction wall art

If you’ve ever visited our auction house in North Shields, near Newcastle, you’ll know the feeling when you spot a diamond in the rough. Whether you’re sorting through the antiques for sale in person ahead of our weekly auctions, or you’re simply browsing through our list of lots online – the explosive excitement that erupts when you see that special item you’ve been pursuing for years can be uncontrollable.

But, just because the item is for sale, that doesn’t mean it’s inherited the pristine condition that it once held in the past; it might need some TLC before it can sit pride of place in your home – and that’s where today’s post comes in. We’re taking you through our top tips for restoring lots won at our auction house back to their former glory.

Buy a pot of paint – or three!

When it comes to making your home your own, it’s important to begin your DIY project with a goal in mind, regardless of the unique decorations and furnishings you intend to decorate your home with. To highlight your antique items as special and distinctive, try painting different aspects in bright colours that add an element of modernity to their exterior without ruining their personal value.

In a dark and cosy living room, use a metallic glaze to update your antique chest of drawers. Not only will this brighten up your room, but it will also emphasise your newly rehomed furniture as a one-off piece without compromising its unique history. For smaller statement pieces such as desktop globes and grand lampstands, opt for bold colours that will highlight your new staple’s exterior.

If you’ve acquired an antique globe – a common sight in auction houses around the UK – paint the handle in a vibrant yellow. Lampstands, on the other hand, can be updated using a deep purple or forest green – giving them a contemporary refresh while preserving the quirky frames that attracted you to them in the first place.

Turn functionality on its head

When it comes to picking items for your home, more often than not, the quirkier the better. After all, what better way to make use of an unloved coffee table than to upcycle it and transform it into your bathroom’s new washstand?

By turning an item’s initial purpose on its head and creating new ways it can be used in your home, your interior is given the unique touch it deserves, while your item’s antiquity is preserved as a timeless statement. On that note, consider repurposing any vintage maps you won at auction as wallpaper for feature walls or decorative covering for tired-looking storage boxes.

At our furniture auctions, you can find an impressive volume of different styles, looks and colours, which means there are endless options when it comes to repurposing pieces for a special use in your home.

Invest in a one-off

gramophone and antique chair

Before introducing a new decoration into your home, consider how much value it can add to the interior of the intended room. When looking for a statement piece, instead of over-complicating your interior with smaller ornaments dotted around your home, look to bid on larger, more grandiose items that will stand out rather than blend in.

Let the antique do the talking by leaving the space that surrounds it plain and simple – as this way, you can highlight its most charming aspects without it being lost in a sea of other antiquities. As a straightforward interior hack, suitable for even the novice decorator, giving a lick of paint to the wall where your new piece is to be featured, and reordering your furniture so it has its own dedicated space, can quickly establish your new antique piece.

Whether you’re on the lookout for a collection of retro posters to reframe, revitalise and hang around your house, or you’re on the hunt for that designer piece of vintage furniture to transform your tired living room, heading to an auction house might be just the trip you need.

Ready to read up on even more interior inspiration? Dive into the Featonby’s blog for the latest tips, tricks and more from the world of antiques, collectibles and auctions.

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