How To / June 24,2013
If you find antique pieces too traditional and modern furniture too cold, try a blend of the two. You can make any room look chic by blending modern accessories into vintage-inspired living spaces. The modern brings an element of fun and casual to a room that is full of history and lineage. So don't be afraid to mix different furniture styles, patterns and colour. This creates a multi-layered and stylish space that reflects your taste. Here's our step-by-step guide to this approach.
To create an interesting set up, you need to mix contrasts: hard materials with soft, square with round and so on. This breaks up the monotony and creates fun and engaging visuals. For instance, it's perfectly fine to place a traditional sofa next to modern chairs with simple lines or even next to wicker furniture. Even try adding a piece of outdoor furniture to add some warm, earthy and natural tones. Or you can re-upholster the sofa with modern fabrics to keep the room looking up-to-date. Make sure that you allow the pieces to relate by using a similar colour palette. Then throw a couple of modern pillows on to your antique piece to complete the look.
Break it up
If you've got an antique dining table with ornate carving, then add some contemporary chairs covered in bold, modern fabric to go with it. Let the matching antique chairs be put to use in another setting.
When you're sourcing modern pieces to go with your antiques, study the wood tone, the leg shape and the finish of your traditional furniture. Then pick new pieces that can echo a few elements. You're trying to boldly mix but also making sure that the two furnishings can relate to each other.
Brighten dark spaces
Use white or bright accessories to liven up dark furniture. For instance, if you've got a dark brown antique bed, then use bedspreads that add a pop of bright colour. You can further enhance the colour in the room by painting the walls white and adding another piece of furniture, such as a dresser, to match the bedspread.
If your antique furniture is made of ornately carved wood, it probably lends a heavy feel to the room. So skip the chandelier. Lighten up the room a bit with simple drapes and other accessories such as a paper hanging lamp. If you've got a heavy chandelier hanging in your dining room that captures every gaze, then you need to create a subtle base. Place a modern dining table that is simple and unassuming. You can even try one made of steel. If you travel, you can give antiques a more contemporary, lived-in feel by using items from your trips. A sofa pillow, photo frames, a modern art piece or a rug that speaks of your travel and adventures will do wonders for the room.
Change the knobs
Another great technique is to personalise the antique items you possess. Take an old lamp base and fit it on top with a modern lamp shade. Keep the antique dresser and side tables but switch the brass knobs with glass ones or brightly coloured ones.
Modern photo frames and artwork lend a less formal and dreary look to old furniture. Surround an old chest of drawers with a large mirror set in a simple frame or use photo frames to balance the viewer's gaze.