Family Room Decor
If you can bear to spend your weekends with duster and polish, buffing up your fittings, then enjoy them. It is often possible to strip down chrome taps to reveal the brass underneath.
Any antique market will be able to supply you with more splendid brass and chrome fittings than you will you know what to do with, but bear in mind that genuine antiques may cause problems in installation or be hopelessly furred up. Consider instead modern reproductions if you want efficient plumbing as well as good looks.
Handmade tiles Delicate border designs (left and right) and Mexican motifs (centre)
White-glazed fire-clay sinks (below, top) Still manufactured, or can be obtained second-hand
Plate rack (below, bottom) Made from beech wood
Pillar sink mixer Here in brass with porcelain lever action, based on a design of 1910
Amidst your country clutter you also need to consider the mundane demands of practicality. Unless you want to be a slave to polish and blacking, you will have to forget authenticity and look for the least offensive of the essential modern conveniences. Nicely rounded refrigerators of the pink Chevrolet era can still be found, and have a great deal more charm than their crisp and surgical modern equivalents; but probably no sensible person would want a second-hand fridge. Dishwashers, too, will demand attention with their blinding whiteness; it is possible to mitigate the glossy aggression of these white appliances with stencil and car-spray, but hard and rectangular they will always be.