The Main Line Antiques Show is thrilled to feature this guest blog by Interior Designer Janice Lachman. Janice has had an illustrious career in design, which began with her studies at Syracuse University, and includes a Fulbright Hayes Research Grant for two years studying textile design in Southeast Asia with trade experts there. Janice spent 14 years designing in New York City, working for Scalamandre, the decorator fabric furnishing design firm; Ratti SpA, which features Italian silk products; and J.P. Stevens.

Since 1992, Janice has been running her own interior design business in the Washington DC area. She currently resides in Washington, VA. Her work was featured in the magazine “In Fauquier.” Janice is relocating to the greater Philadelphia area this fall.

Interior Designer Janice Lachman at home with some of her antiques: Pair of Queen Anne Japanned  Side Chairs; American, Circa 1810; English Lacquered Cabinet; Victorian, Circa 1870

Interior Designer Janice Lachman at home with some of her antiques: Pair of Queen Anne Japanned Side Chairs; American, Circa 1810; English Lacquered Cabinet; Victorian, Circa 1870

We asked Janice to offer her advice for beginners with regards to collecting antiques, and this is her experienced perspective.

* Get to know a reputable dealer who collects pieces you admire. Do not be shy about asking questions or having an educational dialogue with him/her.

* Most dealers are quite knowledgeable about their stock and are willing to share their knowledge. Inquire about the quality of manufacture when you are considering a specific item.

* Do some research to determine which period styles are “your style” and would partner well with your aesthetic. Be true to your own likes and taste level.

* As in any work of art, buy an antique because it evokes an emotional response in you and gives you pleasure. I love an eclectic mix of antiques with existing decor as long as it blends well together through color, design motifs, weight, etc.

* Be aware that pieces which have been worked on are not going to have as much value as pieces in their original state. Before you buy, decide which is more important to you: having a specific look or retaining more value over time.

* Inspect a piece of furniture carefully before making a purchase. Do not hesitate to open drawers or cupboards to make sure that the age of interior walls and lining matches that of the exterior surface. Screws and nails should also be germane to the period. Measure doors, stairs and landings to make sure that your purchase will fit through the front door as well as in the designated rooms.

* Be creative about using objects in ways not originally intended for them. For example, an antique leather plow horse collar makes a wonderful frame for a mirror. Objects from past eras can be reinvented and recycled with a bit of imagination.

* Most importantly, HAVE FUN with your new adventure into the wonderful world of antiques!

Cast Iron Pitcher, English, Edwardian Circa 1890

Cast Iron Pitcher, English, Edwardian Circa 1890

Living Room, Waterford, VA designed by Lachman Interior Design

Living Room, Waterford, VA designed by Lachman Interior Design