Mixing old and new furniture can seem like a complicated art. So many of us have furniture and well loved pieces that we can’t bare to say goodbye to. But sometimes getting it to sit right with newer pieces of furniture it doesn’t quite work. A lot of us are opting for a more sustainable route by shopping charity shops and searching marketplaces online for some great finds.
One of the great things about mixing old and new furniture is that your home looks and feels interesting. Contrasting new and old furniture together adds character, uniqueness and gives a curated style to the space. And best of all you can guarantee that no one else will have the same set up you will. Whether that’s your living room or bedroom space, it’s sure to be one of a kind. Comfortable, personal and intriguing!
Mixing Old And New Furniture Tips
1. Make Unique Pieces A Focal
It’s usually the vintage or antique piece that is more difficult to integrate. Because of its material, features etc. This is why you shouldn’t put it in the corner. If you put in the corner it will look like it’s not supposed to be there. And it’s a bit of a mistake. It was made to stand out and it should! So use it as a focal piece. A place where it can’t be hidden and is sure to be seen!
With vintage and antiques make sure its a good quality piece. There maybe some things that might need looking at and fixing. An older piece of furniture tends to have a few knocks and scratches. But that’s part of the beauty of it. The story it tells deserves to be put in a prime location.
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2. A Definite Contrast
To make mixing old and new furniture look intentional, make the contrast definite. A big wooden vintage dining table surrounded by modern chairs like a ghost chair would be a definite contrast. Finding chairs to match a vintage or antique table is a lot harder than choosing a complete opposite. And it sounds totally contradictory but that’s why mixing two opposing styles work!
3. Pairing and Layering
With smaller vintage pieces like a sideboard or dresser, pair it with a mirror or a piece of artwork of a modern style. Make sure that whatever wall decor you choose it’s hung at the right height. Too far up the wall and the pieces are disconnected from each other. Or create a gallery wall with a mixture of modern art prints with vintage frames and posters.
Layering works the same as pairing modern items together with older pieces. Just with different pieces. You can layer a patterned vintage rug on top of a modern rug. And play around with other soft furnishings and accessories too. Play round with different cushion styles like graphic prints against a traditional fabric on a chair or a sofa. And vice versa.
4. Modernize Elements
If you’re having trouble fitting in an old furniture piece, you can modernize it a little. You can apply a light wash or paint the piece. Swapping out the hardware can also make a big difference. When it comes to chairs you can change up the upholstery or paint the edge trim. You can do this professionally or you can take a course that takes you through it step by step.
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5. A Common Element
When it comes to mixing and matching furniture, the key to getting it to work is a common element. There should be something that ties some of the furniture pieces together. This could be the colour, the material, texture or the finish of the hardware detailing. The common elements will balance out the different furniture styles.
Mixing Old and New: Interiors
Here are some great interior design examples of how to mix old and new furniture.
This amazing dining room has perfectly blended together the old and the new. The dining table is rustic and the dining chairs are a modern style. The chairs and match the wood colour from the dining table which are a great match. The contemporary white and gold light pendant contrasts the dark wood beneath.
The gold finish is carried through the walls in the modern wall sconces and the ornate frames. With the grey textured wall covering being a finish contrast to the old style gallery wall and a lighter colour contrast to the dining area.
Another option would be to swap out the chairs for another modern chair design of a totally different material. Something like a ghost chair or an upholstered with gold legs. That way to it would carry through the gold from the light pendant, the wall sconces and the vintage picture frames.
You could also mix in some modern art prints to the gallery wall. To play about the old and new even more, add a modern decor piece to the dining table.
When it comes to mixing and matching bedroom furniture it can be a bit of a challenge. This bedroom is mixing and old and new with ease. A beautiful dresser in a warm wood tone is a focal point in the bedroom. And a sleek plinth in sits between a modern bed and the antique dresser. Two pieces opposite in style, colour and finish.
The candelabra wall sconce mimics the old style dresser and picks on the brass hardware on the dresser. The large monochrome print leans across the back of the dresser providing contrast in style and colour. It also helps that the bedroom is a neutral colour with the walls, rugs and the bed in white. With a neutral background its easier to mix in different styles.
Using art is a friendlier way of mixing the old and the new together. By using different styles of artwork, modern or traditional along with different frames you can get add lots of character to the room. And you can easily change and swap out frames and the artwork.
If a gallery wall isn’t your style, contrast a large piece of artwork above a focal piece of furniture. So if you have an antique piece hang a modern piece of artwork above.
I hope these tips on mixing old and new furniture help clarify your design plans if you’re struggling with where to place your furniture!
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