Cracking Antiques was BBC2s exciting new series about antiques and interior design.  Co-presented by Kathryn Rayward and me, the series aired weekly from 7th April to 12th May 2010 on Wednesday evenings on BBC2 at 8.30pm.

Cracking Antiques took antiques off their pedestals and brought them kicking and screaming into the 21st century. If you love your home, love antiques, and have a eye for your wallet, you’re sure to love this series.

Each week, Kathryn and I visited homeowners who wanted to transform a room in their house into something individual, personal and stylish. Using magazines and books, we worked with them to pin down the style they were looking for. Then Kathryn and I sourced a range of brand new, good quality pieces from the High Street to give them the look they want. The cost was much higher than buying antique, secondhand or vintage examples, which Kathryn and I believe offer much better value for money in so many ways.

446cracking_antiquesThen the fun started, as we accompanied the homeowners to antiques and vintage dealers’ shops and fairs to find equivalent pieces to build their room. The results were typical of the wonderful value that antique, vintage and secondhand pieces offer today – in terms of the price, potential resale value, quality, craftsmanship, and the ‘green’ environmental issues.
Old really can be better than new.

Two final self-contained packages completed each episode. Kathryn took a piece of ordinary or worn furniture and revived it with innovative and incredible results we can all understand, and I looked at what antiques and collectables I thought might make a great investment for the future.

Cracking Antiques took a fresh look at antiques, collectables and vintage that was streets away from granny’s china cabinet. Live with and love antiques! The homes chosen covered a range of styles, and a range of budgets from as little as £1,000 for a complete room. There really was something for everyone.

CrackingAntiquesCover1Cracking Antiques
by Mark Hill & Kathryn Rayward
Published by Mitchell Beazley, March 2010
224 pages, 600 colour images, hardback
ISBN: 978 1845335564
RRP: £18.99

Produced in conjunction with BBC2 exciting new series, Cracking Antiques shows you how vintage and antique furniture and accessories can help you to create a stylish, individual home without setting foot inside a superstore.
Take antiques off their pedestal and forget their elitist image. You don’t need to live in an old house to enjoy antiques and vintage and, if you choose wisely, you don’t need a huge bank balance either!

Comprehensive and easy-to-follow text explains what to look for when buying antiques and secondhand treasures, and how to renovate them using anything from a little TLC to a complete makeover.

Special features and ‘tips of the trade’ give expert interior design ideas and show why antiques that might be out of fashion today may make great investments for the future. To round off this invaluable guide, a resources section tells you all you need to know about buying at antiques fairs, antiques shops, at auction and online.

Cracking Antiques demonstrates, using simple steps and inspirational images, exactly how to add style and glamour to your home by buying secondhand, vintage and antique furnishings. Turn your back on bland, mass-produced flat-pack furniture and remember that secondhand needn’t be second best!

Shopping Destinations by Episode
To read my blog posts about the shopping sources for each episode, please click on the links below:
Episode 1 – Rebecca – Dramatic Rococco Bedroom – click here.
Episode 2 – Karen – Shabby Chic Dining Room – click here.
Episode 3 – Dean & Ellen – Comfortable Country Cottage – click here
Episode 4 – Adrian & Jodie – Quirky Victorian Living Room – click here.
Episode 5 – David & Charlotte – Georgian & Victorian Dining Room – click here.
Episode 6 – Roy & Katy – Family Friendly Mid-Century Modern – click here.