How to Mix Antique and Modern Decor Styles

How to Mix Antique and Modern Decor Styles

When you love both antique and modern decor, why settle for one or the other? In fact, by combining these styles, you can actually use their key differences to your advantage. Going a little too far, however, might steer you a little too far off the track. So, in order to keep your space balanced, you might want to keep a few of the following design principles in mind along the way. 

Alternate items and their accessories accordingly 

Mixing new and old is a wonderful way to create pops of contrast. When it comes to your furniture, in particular, be sure to either accessorise modern pieces with antiques, or antiques with modern accessories. Some examples include showcasing modern artworks upon an antique cabinet, placing modern lamps on antique side tables and using antique kitchenware or accessories in a modern kitchen. 

Group small and large items

Smaller items are much more likely to make a statement when they are grouped together, especially when placed alongside larger decor or in large spaces. For example, instead of placing one small piece of artwork on a wall, try grouping numerous small photos or artworks to create a focal point in the room. To create contrast, use antique frames with modern artworks, or place antique artwork upon a bold, contemporary accent wall. 

The living room and dining room are great areas to focus on when it comes to grouping larger items, like an antique dining table surrounded by modern dining chairs, or vice versa. When it comes to the living room, the same can be done with your lounge set and coffee tables. Alternatively, switch it up within your lounge set itself, like using an antique accent chair alongside a modern sofa. 

Keep the 80/20 design rule in mind throughout the process

Mixing antique and modern decor styles can be a recipe for success or failure. However, it’s tough to go wrong if you stick to an 80/20 design approach. Essentially, this just means that whichever direction you decide to go in, you should try to stick to either using 80 per cent antique decor with 20 per cent modern, or the other way around. For example, a large antique fireplace that takes up 20 per cent of an otherwise modern room, quickly turns into a strong focal point, enchanting the entire space.

Anchor your design with a common theme 

Another way to bring your design together is by incorporating one or two commonalities into your pieces. You can easily achieve this by having totally different pieces in a room, tied together by one thing. If you can’t tie your piece into the room this way, consider doing this by placing more than one of the very same items into the room. For example, matching accent chairs on opposite ends of the room.   

If your piece is completely unique to the rest of the room, it pays to make it seem intentional. By no means do you have to match everything in a room, but you should try and repeat certain aspects within the room to bring your decor together. You can do this by carrying out a particular theme throughout the room which contains one common element of the unique piece, like a common texture, tone, colour or style. 

If you stick to one element only, this won’t take anything away from any pieces being used as focal pieces, especially the larger ones. For example, you might choose a striking, modern accent chair with dark wooden feet and pair it with dark wooden accessories. 

Get your proportions right

Lastly, when it comes to arranging your antiques and modern pieces according to their size or weight, try to place heavier, chunkier items next to lighter, thinner framed ones. Similarly, it’s often a good idea to match smaller items with bigger ones. Doing this helps to create a sense of balance and harmony, whilst keeping the room visually interesting and pleasing to the eye. 


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