For those interested in antique interior design styles, Andrew Flesher is a resident guru. An award-winning interior designer with 25 years of industry experience, Flesher started his own firm nearly two decades ago. He’s also the former co-head of Gunkelman Flesher Interior Design in Minneapolis. Minimalist interiors, Bohemian style, coastal style, French country, and every eclectic style you can think of. Flesher has worked with almost all decorating styles at one point or another.
His current firm, Andrew Flesher Interior Design, operates offices in both Minneapolis and New York and completes interior design projects all over the country. His work has been featured in House Beautiful, Metropolitan Home, House and Garden and more. Both InStyle and The New York Times (in addition to other publications) have quoted Flesher as a home expert.
Flesher and Antique Interior Design Styles
Flesher recently purchased a Biedermeier table from us here at Styylish, and plans to incorporate it into one of his projects in Florida.
“We’re going to place it in the foyer of a condo,” said Flesher of the Biedermeier piece he purchased, “functioning as a center table stacked with books with three stools sitting under it which people can use to sit down. I’m also mixing it with a contemporary light fixture hanging over the table. It’s this kind of sprinkling of antiques and modern that I love,” he told us.
To Flesher, it’s the juxtaposition of antique and modern in contemporary homes which creates something exciting and interesting. “It’s tension we wouldn’t expect to see,” he says of these contrasting spaces, describing such designs as “using the element of surprise.”
One of the principal reasons Flesher often blends antique and modern interior design styles in his creations is he wants the spaces to look collected and lived in, “not like the decorator just left,” he told us, laughing. “Rooms that have that mix have more of a soul, they tell a story about who lives there,” Flesher continued. “I’ve always said anyone can open a history book and copy an interior. Anyone can copy from a showroom, but then… well, you look like you’re living in a showroom.”
To hear Flesher tell it, the hardest part is to collect things and know how to put them together. To know how to blend myriad styles and eras to craft a visceral, lived-in space holistically. On shopping for antiques, Flesher has a few tips.
“When you find an antique, it should be really special,” he said. “I think it should be tailored to fit with the modern in your space.”
The Antique Lab
He uses his own houses as a “laboratory” of sorts to craft the perfect blended spaces. His New York home, built in 1710, features a wide variety of modern furniture and design elements in stark contrast to the colonial architecture of the 310-year-old home. Still, he incorporated tailored antique pieces to add a touch of class and mystique, including a Biedermeier secretaire, like many we carry here at Styylish.
One of his lofts features a stark white paint scheme, almost like an art gallery, or a “snowstorm,” as Flesher jokingly described it. Here, he’s placed antiques so they almost appear to be art pieces, set against the white backdrop.
“One of the things I think about a house when you’re filling it, especially if doing remodels,” said Flesher, “is that it’s so important that the structure of the shell and the space is consistent and true to itself.” Contrast doesn’t mean inconsistency where interior design styles are concerned.
It’s best to think of the juxtaposition of antique and modern as a blending, a melding, as opposed to a mixing. The “surprise” Flesher speaks of when he juxtaposes modern and antique differs from the “jarring” feel of viewing a hodgepodge of poorly meshed pieces in a space.
On his own personal views on pairing antique and modern furniture, Flesher told us, “I don’t follow trends, and I’m always looking for antiques.”
However, he doesn’t like overly ornamental antiques when pairing with modern. He feels they don’t pair well with modern styles like more refined, clean-lined antique pieces do. “Above all, don’t be afraid to experiment,” Flesher told us.
If Flesher can tell us one thing, it’s “design with your gut.”
Why Antiques for Interior Design Style?
When I asked him about his opinion on the value of antique furniture, he told me the higher price of antiques is almost always worth it. This is because Flesher operates with a philosophy of “buy good and buy once.”
“You can’t reproduce the patina, the craftsmanship, of an antique piece,” he said. “It’s a lost art. I encourage clients to think about it as an investment, something you hand to the next generation.”
Buy good, buy once. It’s that simple.
Modern and antique Interior design styles don’t have to be costly. Flesher continued to explain that as little as one quality antique piece in your space can elevate the entire room. You simply need to accent it properly, of course.
“One year at the Oscars, Sharon Stone wore a Gap t-shirt with a Dior skirt,” he told us. “It was amazing, but you have to have the Dior skirt to elevate the Gap t-shirt.”
In the same way, an elegant, classic antique piece can anchor every other piece of furniture in a living room. You can mix well-designed, inexpensive items into a space. Then simply use one, jaw dropping antique piece to elevate the entire room to another level. This works even if 90% of the pieces in the space are nothing special.
Your anchor pieces are waiting for you here at Styylish. From neoclassical to mid-century modern, we have all the styles, all the forms, all the variety you could ask for.
Start your search TODAY, and find the antique piece you’ve been waiting for!