How to Decorate Around a Piece With Lots of Patina

published Sep 19, 2015
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(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

There are certain pieces of furniture or decor that have history. On a good day, you might call their particular style vintage or shabby chic; on a bad day, it’s just plain dilapidated. Pieces full of patina can be super special and look great, especially if they’re included with just the right touch. Here’s how to make your own pieces stand out in a good way.

Let its imperfections shine

You’ve chosen not to redo this piece so celebrate it in all it’s worn-in glory. In other words, own it! Don’t tuck your piece away like it’s halfway out the door, put it front and center and let it be a showpiece.

(Image credit: Alysha Findley)

Contrast it with sleeker styles

Think of patina like a print: it’s a strong statement so use it in limited amounts and mix it with simpler, sleeker pieces for a nice contrast. Patina usually has plenty of texture so it’s always nice to add a hint of metallic on a rustic farm table or a glossy paint on the wall behind a roughed up bookcase.

(Image credit: Alysha Findley)

Investigate its story

Half the fun of having a piece of furniture with patina is celebrating its history. So ask! Chat up the flea market vendor, your Grandma or the person you saw throw this thing onto the street and find out anything you can about it. Or, make it up! After all, you don’t know that a Victorian lady DIDN’T get caught in an illicit affair while lounging on that chaise and no one else will know either!