I have a confession to make, I am not a natural modernist. I love modern design, and the constant striving for something that is purely original, clean and new. But I also realize that what I am more natrurally drawn to warm, referential modernism. I love the textile designs of the fifties, the modern furniture of the 30's and 40's, and innovation of the swinging 60's. But let's face it, that is now historic design. Historical items, or vintage items, have a resonance and meaning, beyond the purely visual, when added to an interior arrangement. They add a layer of complexity to a design. Perhaps the vintage bar cart reminds you of the chic cocktail hours at your grandmother's, perhaps the greek urn reminds you of a honeymoon trip. In any case older items have an association that adds richness to a room.
I am lucky to live in an area with world class arts, and am looking forward to my visit to King Tut, at the De Young Museum. They have many of the richest pieces from the Tombs of Tutankhamun, items 3000 years old, and many that were not part of the original tour 30 years ago. (Yes, I must admit I was old enough to go to that exhibit.) It should be a visual treat.
Although most of us cannot collect artifacts from early history, most of us have some region of the earth, or some period in history (either recent or ancient) that resonates with us. Why not let these interests show in our homes. It is one of the things that can make a home unique to you!