12 Ideas on Mixing Antique and Modern Furniture Together
The clash between the past and the future is a tale as old as time. You probably often find yourself torn between good memories and plans for the future. This can also project on your home’s interior design. You want that high-end fashion and technology in your living space, but you don’t want to get rid of the warm spirit of your grandma’s childhood house? It’s not impossible. However, you need to follow specific guidelines to mix modern and antique furniture and keep the fashion on a high level.
First – know the difference between antique, vintage, and modern
Many people often misuse the terms antique, vintage, and modern design. Here’s the difference:
- A piece of furniture that is more than 100 years old is considered an antique.
- Vintage is often defined as anything more than 20 years old but less than 100 years old.
- Modern design may refer to midcentury modern architecture and design from the twentieth century. It can also be used as a synonym for current and contemporary design (which refers to anything less than 20 years old or brand spanking new, depending on the context).
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Interior design should be harmonious
The most important thing to remember when combining antiques with contemporary furniture is to keep balance and proportion in mind. The golden rule of interior design is to maintain harmony and proportion in your work. Style, color, form, and texture are all included. The ability to apply this guiding idea to your work is essential to achieving clever design. If you have trouble figuring out where to begin, start by envisioning the final result before you start decorating a space.
Choosing a dominant style is often the first step in developing a contemporary vintage décor. It gives a feeling of harmony and minimizes unneeded rivalry between elements. If you want your modern furniture to take the lead, combine enough old pieces. For example, a single antique chair in a contemporary space seems out of place. In the same way, a modern dresser in a downright historic setting might be confusing to the viewer’s eyes.
Incorporate a subtly evocative homage to the past
An excellent way of figuring out how to blend old and modern furniture is to concentrate on an area that is otherwise entirely contemporary in design. If you want to breathe in some romantic-novel vibe to your living room, install a cozy fireplace. Adding an antique cabinet to a modern, minimalist kitchen infuses it with character while also providing more storage space. It will not detract from the overall modernism of the interior design concept but will instead create a harmonic balance. Use our antique restoration recommendations to put a previously old-chic item into harmony with the surrounding style.
Take advantage of layers and textures when you mix modern and antique furniture
Pairing old with newly found textures can be exciting, but you need to be careful there. Too many worn and old items might give the impression of a junk store rather than the beautiful image you’re going for. Oldies should be paired with smooth and silky surfaces and textures. Replace the worn-out wooden coffee table’s cushion with a new silk one, or add a new mirror tray to the table’s surface.
Vintage-style furniture may be brought back to life using powerful and symmetrical displays like framed photographs on modernly-colored walls. You may create a more relaxed atmosphere by incorporating natural textures into the design. To create a cozy atmosphere and bring the appearance to life, use a variety of lighting and plush blankets and pillows.
A great way to mix modern and antique furniture is by color
Sometimes, the quickest and most straightforward method to bring various pieces together is to use the same color palette. When it comes to old chic interiors, painting thrift store treasures like nightstands, dining room chairs, tables, and dressers in a creamy white color and adding white overstuffed armchairs and couches may help bring the look together. Focusing on the form will make it much easier to put together different genres and periods.
Combining modern and antique furniture types is all about contrasts. Don’t be afraid to use a vibrant color palette in your design scheme. While it’s still preferable to keep to a set color scheme in your décor, you may select two intense colors that compete for supremacy, such as forest green and slate blue, to add some excitement to your space. Alternatively, choose a single dominating color that may be riffed on using a variety of tones.
Make use of large antiques in tight places to create an optic illusion
It is possible to make a small living room seem considerably bigger by using an expansive English oak writing desk or a luxurious mid-century saucer-shaped couch. In a modest modern area, play with ancient proportions to create a feeling of grandeur and opulence.
Begin with a dignified antique focal point, such as a stripped-down dining table, and then add contemporary accent pieces to complete the look. A 17th-century French gilt mirror, on the other hand, instantly adds charm and depth to a room while also elegantly reflecting the light.
Experiment with different lighting
Lighting fixtures are one of the most straightforward ways to bring old and modern together. Instead of figuring out how to combine old and modern furnishings, you can use salvaged pendant lighting or an extravagant glass chandelier in an otherwise contemporary environment. Also, you can play with natural lighting to bring up the best in your vintage queen-sized bed.
Let the pieces make a statement
For the most dramatic effect in a contemporary room with an antique object, choose a large-scale statement piece such as:
- an antique armoire,
- an old piano
- a Baroque-style or Art Deco headboard,
- or a giant vintage farm table in a vivid color scheme.
By painting, refinishing, or restoring the interiors of these items, you can make them more useful and fit for modern lives. You can also add upholstered headboards to an antique bed frame or armchair. It will give it a feeling of modern comfort. It is especially effective in a neutral area that requires a focal point or a feeling of drama.
You can create it by providing a sense of contrast and juxtaposition to the design. The same approach may be used for large-scale decorative elements, such as a gigantic French gilt mirror or your grandma’s old piano to anchor an otherwise modern living room.
Pieces de rigueur can be exeptional
Not everyone has the desire or financial means to stage a grand-scale drama around a flamboyant antique focal point. It’s understandable. If you have a passion for antiques but the prospect of purchasing antique furniture overwhelms you, there’s a solution.
Start with modest furniture items such as end tables and wooden stools or decorative pieces such as antique French gilt mirrors, lighting fixtures, and carpets. As expert designers point out, a huge antique/vintage rug instantly sets the tone. So, you can add and layer around it to create a refreshing look that is uniquely yours.
Play with your designs over and over again
On the other hand, if you have too many antique furnishings at your disposal, it’s impossible to use them all at once in your design and keep the necessary balance. In that case, it’s best to choose some pieces to put away until you find the right place for them.
By storing your antiques, you have the chance of reusing and recycling your interior design in more ways. When you get bored of old candelabras, you can replace them with your grandma’s vases to keep the old but fashionable vibe. Don’t be afraid to play with your design and redecorate whenever you like!
Don’t forget to harmonize form and function
When deciding whether to maintain or incorporate an antique item into a contemporary design, it’s crucial to evaluate both the form and function of the object in question. Even though some items are highly functional, such as antique cabinets, some pieces’ functionality (such as decorative bar carts) depends primarily on their form.
Antiques often exhibit outstanding artistry that is difficult to get nowadays.
They may have elaborate wood carving, marquetry, or ornamental flourishes that you will not find in your average piece of contemporary furniture. But also, there are exceptions to this rule. Shaker-style furniture has remained the same clean lines for decades and continues to appear stylish in even the most minimalist modern environments.
Embrace your perfect mix
So, these are some basic concepts and guidelines in terms of interior design fashion. However, it’s up to you to customize the basic rules to your situation. Tailor the design to your liking. Don’t be afraid to mix modern and antique furniture. Play with it. Let your designer muses loose and embrace your perfect mix of past and the future.