Vintage ratta baskets can serve a variety of functions, from simple décor to storage.
Photography by Ashley Field
the past, revived
Sukhmani Home salvages textiles, statuary, and architectural elements with handcarved features from around the world as a way to preserve the past.
the past, revived
A colorful vintage Moroccan rug sets the stage for matching black and white floor cushions and a reclaimed wood table.
by Desiree Lozano
Order pieces find new life among modern décor
A home should be a personal oasis brought together by comfort, warmth, and style. While contemporary-style furnishings are a popular choice, incorporating antique and vintage items can bring intrigue and vibrancy to any space.
Integrating older elements into your home can be as simple as purchasing a secondhand item at a thrift store, or it can be an in-depth process that repurposes storied pieces from around the world. Hari Mander Jot Singh Khalsa, who co-owns Albuquerque furniture boutique Sukhmani Home with his brother Sat Gurumukh Singh Khalsa, travels to places like India, China, Indonesia, and Turkey to find furniture, accessories, textiles, and architectural elements—such as archways, doors, and windows—to transform into custom-designed pieces.
A lot of thought goes into creating a new piece out of an old one. The key to reviving an older object, according to Khalsa, is making a connection with the client. “It’s an intuitive feeling, watching how people interact with a piece,” he says. “There’s a story behind that piece and being able to tell that story reminds me that someone could have entered a space every day to pray, and now it’s a beautiful mirror.”
When bringing antiques or vintage elements into the home, it’s important to remember your personal style and why each piece speaks to you. “It’s about your space and how you want it to read,” says Irma Estrada, operational manager at El Paso Import Company (EPIC), which imports and refurbishes furniture and accessories from around the world. “I think the bottom line is to find something that you love first, then you can incorporate it because you like it.”
Khalsa agrees, saying that if you start with one piece you love, and then integrate it into what you already have, it can transform the overall aesthetic of a room. “I like to help customers find an anchor first, whether they’re starting from the bottom up with a blank canvas or looking for an intricate piece to make it pop,” he says. “What can you use to pull the whole room together? Maybe it’s a painting or a rug on the floor.”
It may seem counterintuitive to revive a space by bringing in vintage décor, but mixing older items with modern designs can bring an entirely new voice to your home, creating opportunities to share stories both old and new. From transitioning an old dining table into a coffee table to adding a vintage bench under a favorite piece of contemporary art, there are endless ways to incorporate older elements into your space. Getting started is as simple as thinking outside of the box and finding potential in a piece with history.