Are you looking for a way to distinguish your apartment from all the others in Canary Wharf?

East London’s trading history means it has a rich seam of antiques ready to be tapped.

And furniture and furnishings from the past can be a good way to introduce your personality and fill your home with quality items that will add to its perceived value and appeal.

Hundreds of items will be available for perusal at the first ever AFE London Art Antiques Interiors Fair , which is coming to Excel from Friday, January 13-15.

Here its panel of expert speakers give their tips on how to pick the best antiques for your home.

Mark Hill, author and BBC Antiques Roadshow expert.

Mark Hill

“Do you want to be dictated to by a Scandinavian billionaire’s identikit chain of retail park stores?

“Mixing and matching, and discovering your own style, is way more fun and rewarding. Antiques have been loved and collected for centuries and, in these worrying and unstable times, they offer the perfect antidote to the saturation of mass-production.

“Fill your home with the fascinating, the unique, and the gorgeous to behold.”

Judith Miller, author and BBC Antiques Roadshow expert

Judith Miller

“Buy something you love. And if you love something and can nearly afford it – buy it because you will only regret it if you don’t. Buy something that makes you smile – that you want to stroke

in the morning.”

Susie Rumbold, president of the British Institute of Interior Design and creative director of interior design company Tessuto

Susie Rumbold

“Antique pieces can offer great value for money because the passage of time acts as a quality filter.

“Work out what you love and train yourself to constantly be on the look-out. Be patient and the item you seek will eventually appear at a price you can afford.

“Also beware of buying multiple tiny pieces just because they are cheaper. They will just end up looking like junk and will be a chore to dust. One larger piece, or better still a group of three, will have

far more visual impact in any room.”

Lennox Cato, antiques dealer and regular on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow.

Lennox Cato

“Don’t buy because it is high value - you’ve got to like and fall in love with that item. Follow your heart.

“And don’t buy because it’s cheap. Why buy something broken when you can buy something perfect? Essentially, buy the best you can afford and love the piece for as long as you can.”

Grant Pierrus, editor of award winning London based lifestyle blog Interior Style Hunter

Grant Pierrus

“Sometimes when you move into a new home you might feel a little lost and not too sure what to buy for your space. I always suggest starting by looking at both the period style of the property as well as the locality. Take inspiration from the style and geometry of the property and its surroundings and use these elements as inspiration when buying furniture or selecting patterns for fabric etc.”

Rachel Laxer, interior designer

Rachel Laxer

“Start online, I head to all my favourite interiors blogs to give me ideas and help me form the design direction.

“Best thing about vintage is that it’s ready now, there’s no lead time, you just get it now, so you can take it home immediately and it instantly changes your space.”

AFE London Art Antiques Interiors Fair, January 13-15, £15 on the door and £12 in advance, Excel

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