Cracking Antiques

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Cracking Antiques is a brand new series presented by antiques expert Mark Hill and vintage dealer and interior designer Kathryn Rayward.  They want to drag antiques off their pedestals and blow the dust off them to show how they can be more affordable, stylish and better made than much of what the high street has to offer.  Using their knowledge, skills and expertise they’ll be showing how antiques are for everyone and no longer the preserve of stately homes. 

Whether you want to know how to make money from buying investment pieces, or how to turn tatt into treasure with some clever handiwork or simply learn how to use antiques to create beautiful interiors that don’t blow the bank balance then this series is for you.

Episode 1. REBEKAH

Rebekah Prince from Essex longs for an opulent French bedroom with bags of ‘wow factor’. This rococo style, as it’s known, can cost thousands to buy new but Rebekah can’t afford it.

So antiques expert Mark Hill and interior designer Kathryn Rayward help her achieve that dream by hunting out French antiques and vintage items to create a glamorous, lavishly appointed boudoir for a lot less money.

Plus find out where to put your cash in vintage glassware and stylish Ercol furniture and how to transform a shabby standard lamp into one that’s as good as new.

Episode 2. JONES

Karen Jones lives in an all male household and she longs for a pretty shabby chic haven to call her own. The high street has lots to offer but new shabby chic comes at a price that is way beyond her means.

So interior designer Kathryn Rayward and antiques expert Mark Hill help Karen achieve an affordable, feminine, charming dining room using antiques and vintage items.

Plus find out where to put your cash in West German ceramics and antique decanters and how to create a stunning one-off dining table on a budget from a pile of old, salvaged floorboards.

Episode 3. BARKERS

Interior designer Kathryn Rayward and antiques expert Mark Hill step in to help Ellen and Dean Barker from Lincolnshire as they renovate their rural family home on a budget.

The luxurious country chic style they want doesn’t come cheap on the high street but Mark and Kathryn show them how to successfully source and spruce up antiques and vintage furniture culminating in a truly stunning contemporary country living room to rival those in glossy style magazines.

Also, where to invest in two upcoming areas – fifties coffee tables and stainless steel metal wear. Plus how to create a bespoke sofa for not very much money with some inspired reupholstering.


Jodie and Adrian Thurlbourne are doing up their first home. Inspired by films like Sherlock Holmes and The Golden Compass they want a quirky, unique sitting room, come dining room full of interesting stuff and bags of character

If money was no object this wouldn’t be a problem but with only a thousand pounds to furnish the entire room antiques expert Mark Hill and interior designer Kathryn Rayward have got their work cut out.

Plus, two areas to invest in where the antiques of the future could lie – Alessi home wares and studio glass – and how a patchwork cushion can transform an old family heirloom into a thing of style and beauty.

Episode 5. COUPLANDS

David and Charlotte have recently moved into the house of their dreams – a Georgian pile dating back to 1789. They’d like furniture in keeping with the period of the property but they don’t want it to be stuffy and they haven’t got a clue about antiques.

Expert Mark Hill and interior designer Kathryn Rayward guide them through the world of high-end antiques, mixing styles and eras to give David and Charlotte an impressive period dining room that’s still funky, fashionable and affordable.

Plus, where the smart money should be put in fifties home wares and seventies metal ware and how to give a fashion forward facelift to a traditional pair of antlers.

Episode 6. ALLAWAYS

Antiques expert Mark Hill and interior designer Kathryn Rayward assist Katie and Roy Allaway in their search for a retro interior to suit their 1950’s bungalow. Mid century modern style, as it’s known, features design classics by big names like Eames, You can spend a small fortune for this trendy, highly desirable look but Mark and Kathryn help Katie and Roy create a cool, contemporary living space with original vintage pieces for a lot less.

Also, why you should consider investing in two areas that have seriously fallen out of fashion – Edwardian furniture and period porcelain – and how to revive a flagging vintage sideboard.