Mixing Decor Styles: Modern and Antique


Out with the old and in with the new is an expression we use often, especially when it comes to home décor. What would happen if we could keep both and create a perfect harmony of modern and antique in our home? The contrast of antique pieces and modern furniture can, if done right, reflect depth and warmth, while in the same time creating fresh and contemporary appearance. Though the matchy-matchy look can have its advantages (simple, streamlined, etc.), the eclectic décor can elevate the appearance of some room and turn it to a piece of art. Still, it is not easy to pull off. Here are some things you have to consider when mixing décor styles in your home.

Create a Cohesive Design

Eclectic style does not mean that you will just throw everything you have in some room and that will work. This kind of thinking is the reason behind many décor failures. You need to decide which style will prevail and which pieces will be the focal points and which just “the supporting roles”. To create an ideal combination of modern and antique, you will also need to have a few transitional pieces which will bridge the gap between the two styles.

Know what You Can Mix

Let us be clear, you can mix basically anything in an ideal rate of 80:20, but if you are thinking about creating a more balanced scale of two styles you have to know that some decors you simply cannot mix. Take for instance Victorian style. Its reflection is ornate excess. On the other side, Arts and Crafts are all about simplicity. Therefore, Victorian style goes well with Asian, Edwardian, French and formal English furniture, while Arts and Crafts marries well with contemporary pieces or country styles.

Harmonize Rather than Match

When mixing materials, textures, colors and basically anything else, you need to know that the key is not in matching, but in harmonizing. A modern Zado rug does not require a modern club table. On the contrary, it will be a lot more effective to place an antique wooden table on top of it. Harmonize textures or colors of different décor styles to achieve cohesiveness.

Add Pops of Liveliness

To make the whole space work, you will probably have to paint the walls in neutral colors. Do not allow that neutral shades to swallow the room up. Instead, use a single accent color which you will arrange throughout the room with pillows, lamps, tablecloths, and other accessories. Also, try to combine various light sources (antique chandeliers and neon overheads, for instance).

Do Not Overspend

Décor projects such as this can lead you to spend more money than you have intended to. So, try to minimize your expenses, by purchasing only the modern furniture and decorative elements in conventional shops. For antique pieces, visit the local flea market and surely you will find some amazing items for a bargain.

Use Your Hands

Now it is the time to use your DIY skills and make your own pieces by repurposing some furniture you already have or to refresh the appearance of the old items you have bought in a flea market. You can for instance, make bookshelves out of old ladders, wooden pallets, etc. Two chairs you are no longer using can be redone and turned into French bench, which can amplify the vintage feel. Old cabinets can be refreshed with a new coat of paint, or you can even sandpaper them, for a more rustic feel.

In the end, the most important advice we can give you is to be creative and follow your instinct. After all, you are the one who will live in that space – it should be appealing first to you and then to everyone else.

  • lovely tips… I really like mixing styles 🙂

  • Great tips… love mixing styles. 🙂

  • These are unique ideas. Thanks!

  • Chaitali Bhattacharjee

    A balanced idea

    • Balance is one step towards perfection.

  • Purba Chakraborty

    Very cool tips 🙂

  • Hmm! Interesting. Thanks for the nice tips.