Are you looking to create an eclectic look at home? One way to achieve this is by mixing modern and antique furniture. In this post, Interior Stylist Maxine Brady shares 5 expert tips to show you how combining antiques with modern furniture for an effortlessly cool look.
How do you miX Modern decor with antique furniture?
If you want to create an chic look in your home, one way is to style mix antiques with modern furniture into your home. If everything in your home is old, it can start to look a little dated. That’s why you need to decorate your home with furniture from all eras to make your home look on chic.
I’ve styled my own space with furniture picked up from Brighton’s many antique markets which I’ve mixed in with newer items from independent shops to keep my home looking visually interesting.
1. DISCOVER Your Favourite era of furniture
If want to start buying older furniture for your home, then you want to narrow down which design eras that you are most attracted to. My advice is to create a Pinterest board BEFORE you start vintage shopping so that you can hone down what type of antiques you want to buy.
When creating your Pinterest board, consider what it is you like about the old pieces you’re pinning. For example, are you attracted to ornate Victorian furniture? Do you love rustic woods in Farmhouse decor? Maybe you are drawn to the simplicity of 1950s Scandinavian design? Or do you get excited by the playful colours in 1970s pieces? Every era of design offers an array of colours, materials and patterns that can be creatively styled into your home.
Knowing what type of era you love most will help you when snooping around junk shops or at car boots sales. It help you narrow down your shopping choices, but it will also stop your buying items that won’t work with your home style.
And don’t be afraid to fill your home with items from different eras. Look out for colours, textures, and styles that will complement items you already own. This will help you make sure that all the piece you buy will enhance your home – rather than clash with it.
2. Choose the right antiqueS for your lifestyle
Antique furniture and decor is often made by craftsmen in good quality materials that will stand the test of time. You’ll find lots of older pieces have little details like dove tail joints, brass hinges or wooden carving which you just won’t find in modern furniture. But most antiques were originally made for larger homes and can be built in materials that might not suit a modern home.
Although it can be tempting to buy beautiful antiques for every corner of your home, really think about how practical they might be for your lifestyle before you splash your cash.
Also consider how the antique will fit into your space. Measure your room and the intended spot for the piece to ensure it fits well. Take a floor plan of your home with you when you go vintage shopping to help you work out if the antique furniture you have your eye on will fit.
3. juxtapose modern pieces with vintage
One of the most exciting things about learning how to mix antique and modern furniture is finding ways to mix antiques to make them shine within a modern interior. One tip is to create a juxtaposition between old and new. That can be a simple as:
> placing an antique coffee table in your living room which you can paired with a contemporary sofa upholstered in a bold shade > styling the top of a brand-new console table with lots of retro vases from 1960s and 70s.
> decorating your walls in unique wallpapers and create a contrast by hanging modern prints in vintage ornate frames.
Mixing eras of furniture will make sure your home looks cohesive.
CHECK OUT THESE INTERIOR DESIGNERS WHO USE ANTIQUE FURNITURE IN THEIR DESIGNS:
Johnathan Adler is famous for mixing 1950s, 70s and 80s design
Penny Morrison the queen of fabrics, her designs would immediately upscale furniture
2Lg Studio are a London design duo who are experts in using retro colours in their interiors
Mikel Welch is Netflix’s expert interior designer and he uses antiques that have a natural texture in his rooms
4. Update Old Furniture for a new look
Not all antiques have been carefully looked after over time. This is where the DIY-er can step in to transform a piece of furniture with a makeover! If you inherit a scratched dining table, or stumble across a tatty chest of drawers at the flea market or find a thrift store chair with stained upholstery – then this is your chance to breathe new life into them.
There are 1000s of ideas on Instagram and TikTok that will show you how to update furniture from painting furniture, to using decorate vinyl wrap plastic or even turning your hand to upholstery – the options are endless. And don’t forget that upcycling vintage décor is sustainable because you are reusing a piece item that may have ended up in landfill. A little bit of creativity can turn that unloved item into a stand out piece in your home.
5. Reflect your personality WITH eclectic pieces
Your home should reflect who you are, learning how to mix furniture styles is a perfect way to create a unique space that is packed with personality.
Think of it as telling your story through your interior design choices, making your home a place where every piece has a meaning and a connection. The freedom to experiment with styling your furniture in different combinations will make this so rewarding.
STYLING IDEAS ON HOW TO USE ANTIQUES TO TELL A STORY:
> Display accessories picked up from trips abroad over the years that will bring that holiday feeling to your home
> Style sentimental childhood items on your shelves
> Swap out your stereo for a record player – and start shopping for vintage vinyl records of your favourite tunes
> Start collecting coloured glass vases from junk shops to use in floral displays
> Vintage dinner sets can be picked up for pennies, and look so chic when paired with modern cutlery and glasses
> Old, pattered curtains can be sewn into scatter cushions to brighten up a plain sofa
> Frame up vintage prints in modern frames for an edgy look
DO YOU NOW HAVE THE CONFIDENCE TO MIX MODERN AND ANTIQUE FURNITURE INTO YOUR HOME?
With some imagination and simple styling ideas, I want you to feel inspired to create a cool, eclectic interior that reflects your personality . Mixing old pieces with new designs, add layers of visual interest, tell a story, and become conversation starter in your home.
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