The Cathedral Antiques Show: Tips for decor and tablescapes

Attachments to antiques can be powerful.

Author Julia Reed, a speaker at the 2016 Cathedral Antiques Show, needed to recover an heirloom Chinese Chippendale sofa when she lived in New York. The sofa was one of the items passed down from her great-grandmother and grandmother. Even its color brought back memories.

“We found this green silk that was almost exactly the same thing that had been on it,” said Reed, who now has the sofa in her home in New Orleans. “We have sentimental attachments.”

At the show, she will preview her book, “Julia Reed’s South: Spirited Entertaining and High-Style Fun All Year Long,” which will be released in May. A growing trend in entertaining, she said, is that people are paying more attention to table settings. For example, some of her favorite tablescape items include 19th-century glassware and heavy French linens and damask napkins.

“It’s a joy to dine with those kinds of things,” she said. “I think a table setting is almost as important as what you’re putting on the plate.”

The Cathedral Antiques Show, which runs from Jan. 31-Feb. 7, will feature more than two dozen furniture, art, accessories and jewelry dealers, talks with designers and authors, a flower festival and two home tours. Two experts attending the annual decorative arts event offered decorating and entertaining tips.

Suzanne Rheinstein, interior designer and author of “Rooms for Living” and “At Home: A Style for Today with Things from the Past”

Decorating tip: "I think a look that feels very good to me now, no matter what kind of house it is in, is one that combines pieces from different eras," she said. In a 1950s home for empty-nester clients, Rheinstein used a 19th-century kilim rug from Afghanistan with orange, purple and deep yellow in a room with light floors and off-white walls. Then she added a 19th-century Japanese tansu, a storage chest, in a more mellow dark red lacquer finish and a 17th-century English oak chair upholstered in linen next to the tansu. Above the tansu, she placed a colorful painting by Cuban artist Cundo Bermudez. "These are four different objects from four different countries, but the way they're put together seems more for the way we live now. It's a little more graphic," she said.

Favorite Atlanta shops: "You have wonderful shopping for the home," she said. Robuck in Buckhead is one of her local favorites.

Be on the lookout: At antiques shows, markets and shops, look for beautiful, constructed objects with a wonderful patina or a pretty color, she said. It may be a bowl that can hold flowers, oranges or even dog leashes, a woven basket, a pewter mug or a porcelain dish.

Gudrun Cottenier, Belgium-based floral designer and author of “Floral Party Table Decorations”

Tablescape tips: More people are paying attention to the table decor, not just for a party, but for daily use, she said. When you're decorating a table, start with a color or theme and continue it for the door decor or at a small table in the entryway. "So you see everywhere in the house, the same color, the same atmosphere. It's more complete," she said. Instead of one floral centerpiece, play with repetition. Use similar items, such as glassware, candles and candle holders, even if they're different sizes.

Flower arranging 2.0: Be daring. In a tablescape, try using different types of flowers, such as a traditional tulip and an exotic plant. Mix colors, such as orange, red and pink. Flowers in their different stages can bring the interior to life. Even a flower that is dying is interesting to see, Cottenier said.

Top tricks: When using flowers from the garden, put them in a vase inside your home for three to four hours without water. That will help you determine if you can use the flowers for an extended period in the home, with water. Also, decorate with petals, bark and other natural items that you can find in yards and gardens.

If You Go

Cathedral Antiques Show

When: First Place Passion Tour, 1-4 p.m. Jan. 31; show with talks, book signings and flower festival, Feb. 4-6, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; Tour of Homes, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7

Where: Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, 30305

Prices: Varies. General admission show tickets start at $15, talks and book signings are generally $20, home tours are $20 and $30, and evening parties are $125-$150 per person

Info: 404-365-1107,