Interior Designer Amy Hirsch, the “designer of record” for this year’s Darien Antiques Show, above, tells her clients that “the distressed look of antiques adds nuance and something unexpected to a space.”

Interior designer Amy Hirsch tells her clients that they shouldn’t want their rooms to be perfect. “The distressed look of antiques adds nuance and something unexpected to a space.”

Hirsch, the “designer of record” for this year’s Darien Antiques Show, is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology and has been designing for 14 years, having worked with some of Architectural Digest’s top 100 interior designers.

Her business, Amy Aidinis Hirsch Interior Design, was honored by New England Home magazine as one of five top emerging designers under age 40.

A blogger, Hirsch likes to share her ideas about design, what inspires her, and sources that she likes to use. “I think good design is always about the blending of old and new, and the top designers are bringing more antiques into their rooms.”

While incorporating antiques into an interior can seem intimidating to homeowners, Hirsch recommends considering accessories, such as old boxes with great detailing, mirrors, side tables, and old benches, which are good for layering.

One important guideline to keep in mind when mixing old and new pieces, Hirsch advises, is scale and proportion. “People tend to have undersized furnishings, especially light fixtures. Pieces in a room should have substance.” If you are in doubt about whether a piece of furniture fits in your home, she adds, dealers will often let clients take a piece home on preview.

Another thing to remember, Hirsch says, is that antiques can cost less than reproductions. “Going to a show like the upcoming Darien Antiques Show, where there is a range of affordable pieces,” she says, “can be an opportunity to purchase a unique item for your home with its own history and character.”

The show, now in its 46th year, will run March 1-3 at the Congregational Church of Darien. It features more than 33 dealers of fine 17th through 19th Century English, American, and continental furniture; antique carpets; silver; estate, antique, and vintage jewelry; posters, prints, and English and American oils on canvas from the 19th and 20th Century; pottery; and decorative accessories. The show will also include vintage and mid-century modern pieces.

Hours on Saturday are 10 to 5 and on Sunday from 11:30 to 5. Admission at the door is $10; $8 for seniors and discount card/ad holders. A café provides homemade soup, salads, and sandwiches.

A Biedermeier chair

Preview party
There will also be a preview party on Friday, March 1, from 7 to 9 p.m. The proceeds will benefit Inspirica, a Stamford-based, nonprofit that aims to break the cycle of homelessness. Tickets are $50 at the door and include weekend admission to the show. Partygoers will have the opportunity to make early purchases before the show opens to the public, bid for silent auction items, and enjoy jazz, fine wines, and hors d’oeuvres.

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