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Combining modern with antique: how to make it work

The biggest dilemma of decorating your home may be something as basic as what style of décor to choose. Do you go for the old-world, old-money, antique look? Or do you choose a more classy and contemporary, modern look? The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to choose anymore. New trends in inteiors are veering more and more towards a more personalised and mix-and-match kind of look. What you can easily, and successfully do, is to marry an antique look with a modern style, leading to a unique and visually pleasing effect.

One of the easiest ways you can do this is by choosing individual pieces from different eras. Be careful though…don’t overdo things. Try and keep the mixing down to maybe two styles. Don’t just rush out and buy one antique piece and one farmhouse item and one contemporary and one western homestead.  That will only lead to confusion, and make your rooms look like a storehouse gone mad. It is best to stick to a mix of any two chosen styles, keeping one as the background or blanket style, and adding individual pieces in the other.

Another very popular trick these days, is to choose modern materials but combine them with old world designs. So you can choose a supeer sleek material like powder coated wrought iron, and have it crafted into an old fashioned love-seat or armchair. Make antique pattern beds or armoires from cool materials like fiberglass or add a nice antique touch to your wall art by giving them heavy ornate frames. Again, remember that less is more. Where a few items from another era can become points of focus, and conversation starters. Too much mixing will confuse the eye. Combine a sleek modern look with heavy antique looking upholstery, or lighten a heavy antique room with cushions in modern designs. Add sleek modern sculpture or fixtures to accentuate an old world room.

Always consult your own sense of style. Remember that a good piece will always go very well with other good pieces, regardless of era. If you still cannot decide, try to balance out your own opinion, with some help from a design professional.