Design | To Buy Antiques in a Modern World

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This week, we have been decorative antique shopping for our Cotswold studio.

Sims Hilditch Cotswold headquarters

This is always an exciting task because of the range of possibility that the term ‘antique’ opens up. The guidance from the UK’s trading standards tells us that “there is no uniformly accepted definition of the word”, and this ties in rather nicely with our belief that instinct should guide you when choosing your furniture and furnishings. So, if your heart is set on anything, be it from the Georgian period or the Pre-Raphaelite era, then you can feel confident in your selection.

We've put together a guide on our favourite places to source antiques within reach of our Cotswold studio, including a selection of markets and gorgeous shops:

Antiques Markets

These are the places that the dealers themselves visit to purchase items to sell in their own shops and so it can be an excellent place to uncover a good deal. Additionally, the stock is moving all the time so there is a real treasure trove waiting to be discovered.

Antique books and joinery

Kempton Market:

Kempton Market, or Sunbury Antiques as it’s also known, is heaving with fabulous pieces. It has been in operation since 1979 and has over 700 stalls. It’s a good idea to bring cash as card machines are rare!

Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair:

The Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair fair takes place at Battersea Park in London three times a year and is one of our founder and creative director Emma Sims Hilditch’s favourite places for shopping antiques. Every dealer is reputable, and there is such a wide range of items for sale, form bric-a-brac to high end.

Antiques Shops

As much as we love the fast-paced frivolities and fun of antique markets, we very much advocate purchasing antiques through smaller shops too. They provide much more certainty about provenance, especially if they are a registered member of the BADA (British Antique Dealers’ Association) which is something we always look out for.

Sims Hilditch Oxfordshire Hall Antiques

Lorfords:

Situated in Tetbury, Lorfords is a must visit. They now also have an incredible out-of-town warehouse that is a former aeroplane hangar where a whole host of representatives come together to exhibit their antique wares from 18th century to mid-century modern.

Twig:

Another gem located in Tetbury, Twig is filled with wonderful artwork, urns, furniture and sculptures, you’re bound to find something that sparks your interest.

Antiques are a way to add real gravitas and depth to an interior. They embody a sense of history and heritage that help a home to tell a story. At Sims Hilditch we believe that antique buying is something that everybody should have the courage to engage with. So remember, start small, let your choices come naturally and buy something that you love.

Sims Hilditch antiques for an Oxfordshire interior