Cracking Antiques – A BBC2 Series

Cracking Antiques is on a myth-busting mission to prove that people can add style and glamour to any type of home by investing in second-hand, vintage and antique furnishings – without breaking the bank.

The prime-time series, which aired on BBC Two from 7th April to 12th May 2010, is presented by interior designer Kathryn Rayward and antiques expert Mark Hill.

Kathryn and Mark want to take the pain and shame out of buying old. From town houses to terraced houses, 18th-century French Rococo to shabby chic, they want to show that antiques and vintage furnishings can help create a stylish, fashionable home and are often the better buy.

Cracking Antiques shows that spending wisely on second-hand objects can be a cheaper and unique alternative to much of what the High Street has to offer, and in comparison, antiques are well-made and built to last so are also a much more environmentally sound investment.

The nation loves nothing more than trawling for trinkets and treasures at the thousands of antiques fairs, car boot sales and auction houses up and down the country, and as a result the British antiques industry is highly lucrative. But are people buying the right items, at the right price?

Mark Hill says: “Unique investments in quality and craftsmanship that will last a lifetime, prices that have never been more affordable, and individual statement pieces that will make a house your home, tell a story, and shout out your true personality. Antiques need to be taken off their pedestal and we should allow them to become exuberant and enjoyable parts of our lives.”

Kathryn Rayward says: “Buying antiques is recycling at its most glamorous! Purchasing second-hand goods means we’re not cutting down trees and damaging the planet. Embracing unloved family heirlooms or giving a quick lick of paint to a cheap and cheerful junk shop find can create a beautiful and utterly unique home.”

Throughout the series, Kathryn offered interior design ideas and practical suggestions on how to customise and revamp the tired and the distressed to transform them into glamorous and modern pieces. Meanwhile Mark was on hand with his top tips and helpful advice on the items to buy now, that could go up in value in the future.

From furniture to light fittings, curtains to crockery, Cracking Antiques provides the all-important guide to furnishing a home with classic pieces, how to bag a bargain and how to buy an investment piece for the future.

BBC Commissioning Editor, Jo Ball, says: “Mark and Kathryn are great talents and I hope they will make the world of antiques accessible to everyone.”

Cracking Antiques is a Silver River production. The executive producer at Silver River is Dan Adamson and the series producer at Silver River is Donna McLaughlin.

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Click here to read the BBC press release