Mixing Modern And Antique Furniture
Mixing Modern And Antique Furniture
Combining modern and antique furniture can make an impressive statement of style if you achieve the right balance and tone. Knowing exactly how much to keep simple and where to introduce the drama is the key to success.
6 Things to Consider When Mixing Modern & Antique Furniture
Some of the most appealing interiors can’t be pinned to a specific decade or era but instead combine the various elements from the broad spectrum of home design. Below are some tips to guide you when mixing modern and antique furniture.
Find the Right Balance
A home should not be a catalogue of coordinated furniture but rather a collection of things you love and find meaningful. As such, when mixing modern and antique furniture, anything goes. That said, it helps to spread styles around the room so that the contrast between new and old feels surprising and fresh rather than shabby. Consider scale when placing furniture, particularly antique. Most heavy and dark wood pieces are best placed on or near a wall, while leggy and light pieces should be placed next to items with more mass. Finding a balance in proportions across the room allows you to run wild with prints, finishes, colours, and styles.
Form Versus Function
Antique furniture often displays fine craftsmanship that is harder to come by today, featuring intricate wood carving, decorative flourishes, or marquetry. In this case, mixing modern and antique furniture requires you to consider both function and form. The key to success is playing with your lines, making sure to have a healthy mix of curves and streamlined pieces. You can also add a few metal finishes to help enhance the design.
The 80/20 Rule
The best way to mix two styles is to follow the 80/20 rule. That is, to go with predominantly one style and then add accents of the other. For example, you might go with 80% modern furnishings and then add a stunning crystal chandelier or vice versa.
Unify with Colour
Most people often struggle with maintaining cohesion as they mix old and new styles. After all, even the most eclectic interiors need harmony and balance. In this regard, most people have found that the easiest way to integrate different elements is to unite them using the same colour palette. This makes it easier to marry periods and styles by keeping the focus on them.
If you want to achieve maximum impact in a modern room with antique furniture, go large and bold with statement pieces like a vintage farm table, an antique armoire or an Art Déco or Baroque-style headboard. You can then modify these pieces to make them more functional and give them a sense of modern comfort. This is a particularly excellent strategy for neutral space that needs a focal point or a sense of drama, juxtaposition, or contrast. This strategy also works for large-scale decorative pieces like a massive vintage rug or giant French gilded mirror while anchoring an otherwise contemporary living room.
Not everyone wants to or can create large-scale contrast with striking statement pieces. There is also the option of starting with small antique furniture pieces like wooden stools and end tables or decorative antique pieces like lighting fixtures, décor items, and rugs. You don’t have to feel intimidated when buying antique furniture.
Here are some simple tips to keep in mind:
- Avoid the clichéd look: Gone are the days when everything had to match. Combining antiques with contemporary elements not only breaks up the monotony but also helps personalize the décor and style. So avoid putting all that family furniture you inherited into just one room.
- Consider the overall look of the room: Plan your décor keeping in mind the architecture, lighting and size of your room. Dark wooden furniture in a small room that has poor lighting will give it a sombre appearance. You might consider brightening it up with lighter colours or patterned upholstery. Consider adding antique mirrors. This will give your room depth and brightness while also functioning as an elegant piece of art.
- Choose one or two items to give your décor that extra pop: Place a decorative Queen Anne’s arm chair or a Victorian settee in your living room, a Chippendale hutch in the dining area or a Georgian chest of drawers in your bedroom. Don’t overdo it or it will look like a chaotic mismatch of styles.
- Pick styles that relate or complement each other: Modern furniture typically has clean lines. An ornate antique piece becomes the focal point of attention and adds drama to an otherwise simplistic décor. But it is important to keep size and scale in mind so that it doesn’t look out of place.
- Furniture reupholstery for a bright and fresh look: Sometimes all it takes is new upholstery and a touch of polish to give your family heirlooms a new lease on life. It can also help you fine tune the look to achieve a perfect balance of your antique and modern furniture.
If you’re looking to acquire vintage furniture or accessories it is always best to choose a reputable furniture store. Carrocel will also be able to provide advice on how best to combine modern and antique furniture.