Toma Clarke Haines on antiques and interiors in 2018

Toma Clarke HainesWith the return of the London Art Antiques & Interiors Fair next month, bringing together over 30,000 classic to contemporary items for the three-day event at London ExCeL, we caught up with some of the leading interiors and antiques experts appearing at the fair to ask what 2018 will look like for our homes and lifestyles. Toma Clarke Haines, CEO of The Antiques Diva, looks to the East for inspiration.

“More and more Asian antiques are taking places of prominence in people’s homes as the design world looks East for inspiration. As interiors become more minimal, clean-lined Asian antiques are a perfect way to add patina without creating visual cacophony. I’m seeing, for the same reason, a rise in art deco furniture as well as empire style chests of drawers. People want the gravitas of antiques even in modern décor. When thinking how to make antiques modern – it’s all about the mix.

“The future of antiques is brighter than ever before. Whereas antiques used to be all about period rooms for a select few people, today antiques are for everyone. People will use antiques in unexpected ways and unexpected places – from chandeliers in the bathroom to 18th-century mirrors in the kitchen. As the green movement becomes de rigueur, repurposing and re-using remains en vogue. Antiques are green, and as millennials catch the wave of this realisation, I predict by the 2020s, antiques will become the next ‘Ikea’ – AKA the go-to choice for the first homeowners decorating their space.

“Finally, 2018 is going to be all about glamour and drama – it’s the diva lifestyle after all! Art will be oversized statement pieces and gilt is coming back.

“Just do it! First time buyers often hesitate when shopping for antiques because they’re afraid. Am I getting the right price? Is it the real deal? Meanwhile, high street shoppers tend to impulse buy. My advice: if you love it, and the price is a price you’re willing to pay, just do it! Research has proved our best decision are made in a blink of an eye so when you’re struck dumb by love at first sight of that perfect antique – trust your instincts.

“Secondly, don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t know. Dealers love to talk about their inventory – admitting areas where your knowledge is weak allows you the opportunity to bond with the dealer, which might result in additional discounts. The better a relationship you have with your antiques dealer, the better the price becomes. Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount; an easy soft ball pitch way to ask is: “Is that your best price?”

Toma Clark Haines will be speaking at the London Art Antiques & Interiors Fair on Friday 12 January at 12.30. The Fair runs from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 January. For more information visit

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