Your Ultimate Guide to Mixing Modern and Antique Furniture

Posted On March 7, 2023

Have you recently decided to decorate your home with an antique-inspired theme? Or perhaps you’re simply looking for a few pieces of antique furniture for your contemporary home?

Whatever the case, trying and mixing modern and antique furniture can be confusing. While both styles are beautiful, they’re also very different from each other. And sometimes, when put together in the same room, they clash rather than complement each other.

This article rounds up proven techniques for mixing antiques with modern furniture seamlessly.

Creating a fresh but ‘lived-in’ space

Antiques can be like a voice from the past. They can bring your home alive with stories and character. But some people fear decorating with antiques will make their homes look outdated.

While doing so can be tricky, it’s worth the effort to make it work.

The key is learning how to incorporate antiques with modern decor and other design elements. You need to know what pieces of antique furniture will fit into your decor and how to make them look good together.

Similarly, before embarking on this time-fusion style, make sure you choose pieces that are in good condition. Be ready to do some repair work on older pieces of furniture. Even if it’s not showing its age, an antique chair may need to be reupholstered or a dresser may need to be refinished to fit into your design plan. 

7 Ways to Mix Modern and Antique Furniture

Decorating with old and new furniture requires careful thought and planning. But don’t let that stop you from mixing and matching the two styles. Here are some tips for successfully creating a fusion between both styles:

Consider your color palette

If you’re new to mixing antiques with modern furniture, choosing pieces that share the same color palette is an easy way to create a cohesive look. Don’t worry, you don’t have to stick with neutrals, as you can experiment with any combination that your eyes adore. You can go bold with color or even try a monochromatic look like the classic black and white.

Another tip when mixing old and new is to use colors that flow throughout the space, showing the transition between time periods. You can also choose one or two colors such as blue and white, and use them throughout the room on walls, windows, pillows, and other accessories in the room.

Combine different textures

Antique furniture tends to have more texture than modern pieces. With this in mind, when you mix the two styles together, pay attention to how the textures complement each other. For example, a worn wood table can look great under a sleek glass lamp, or a smooth leather sofa will stand out next to an ornate wooden chair.

Play around with colors and textures

If you have difficulty choosing colors, you can go heavy on textures like wood, metal, fur, and silk instead. Try designing around a vintage mirror or piece of art with different colors in it to see what colors work best together in your space.

In other words, you don’t have to limit yourself by certain color schemes or textures. 

Choose a statement piece

One of the easiest ways to make a modern and antique furniture combination work is by choosing one statement piece around which to build your space. Choosing the right piece can work as a jumping-off point for the rest of your decorating adventures.

If you’re unsure how to choose your statement or accent piece, start small by adding a single antique piece of furniture as a focal point. 

This can be a bed, a chest of drawers in the bedroom, or an ornate buffet sideboard in the dining room. The piece should include classic textures such as lines and timeless details that will easily fit into your scheme.

Mix decorative accessories from different eras 

Mixing decorative accessories from different eras is another way to blend classic antiques with contemporary furnishings. For example, display classic porcelain tea sets on glass shelves and incorporate more modern pieces like geometric sculptures or art glass vases on a coffee table to create visual interest and contrast.

Be careful of your proportions and balance

When it comes to successful style, proportion is key. A room with too many small pieces from the same period can feel cluttered, and one dominated by large pieces can feel off. Instead of selecting all new or all antique furniture, have a mixture of both on hand to create a balanced effect.

Add an antique rug to the space

A well-chosen antique rug can bring together all the elements of your space and add elegance and sophistication to any room. For instance, to create an elegant look, you can use a modern rug with bold geometric patterns under the dining table, for example, and an elegant Persian rug underneath a tufted sofa.

Give your Space a Modern and Classic Appeal

Give your interior a unique character by mixing two time periods together. Embracing this type of combination can help create a distinct style between new and the old. For more interior design tips, check out the Cyrus Artisan Rugs blog.