How to Decorate with Antiques in a Modern Style

Whether you’re an avid collector or you’ve simply inherited a few bits and pieces of antique furnishings from a loved one, it’s hard to know how to decorate with antiques in a modern style. You don’t want your home to look like a museum, but there is something so appealing in the beauty of antiques that’s difficult to deny.

Today, we’re covering the bases for some ways that you can decorate with antiques despite your interior’s modern style.

How to Decorate with Antiques in a Modern Style
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Can You Put Antiques in a Modern Home?

This is a question that puts lots of people off from even beginning to try bringing antiques into the home. Don’t let concerns about the rules of decorating ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ stop you from blending the old and new together. You’d be surprised at how sleek and stunning a home can look even with a few antique pieces.

If the aesthetic you hold nearest to your heart is that of the pristine minimalist palette, antique silverware might be a surprising friend to you. Pieces like serving trays, candlesticks, and picture frames are perfect companions to any marble countertop or glass coffee table. In fact, the reflective purity of silver makes it highly complimentary to clean, clear spaces like those found today in modern and minimalist homes.

Image courtesy of kaboompicsCC0 license

While the mixture of antiques and hyper-modern décor is surprisingly easy, some might want a little advice on how to find the middle ground. How do you bring antique and vintage pieces into your modern home without upsetting the feng shui, so to speak?

How to Mix Vintage Décor with Modern Décor

The beauty of many antique and vintage pieces, such as armoires, silver tea sets, and mirrors can bring a certain uniqueness and edge to your interior décor without holding it back in a bygone time. Contrast is key when mixing antiques and contemporary pieces. For example, if you have a modern dining table, adding some antique chairs can make the room look classy and stylish without unintentionally becoming old fashioned or outdated.

silver tea set
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Adding a focal antique piece is a great way of bringing a sense of tradition to your home without detracting from the progressive design and beauty of modern furnishings. Elements like your colour scheme can help to create a cohesion within your home, for example maintaining certain warm or cool tones in your paints, textiles, and woods. Repeated textures in a room – for example on couch cushions and curtains – enhance the theme and tie the space together, whilst still allowing room for both antique and modern décor items to breathe.

The sweet spot for mixing and matching is in the proportions. Aim for 80% modern furniture and 20% antique or vintage to maintain a predominantly modern interior. Ideally, you’ll either use a smattering of smaller pieces like antique boxes or bowls to make up your 20%, or you’ll opt for a single statement furniture item like a vintage sofa or a restored table. Mix and match in any way which brings you the most joy.

How Do You Make an Antique Look Modern?

Maybe you like the idea of antiques in and of themselves, but you want to spruce them up a little before bringing them into your home so they don’t stick out too much. One of the best ways to do this with antique furnishings is to reupholster them with modern fabrics. Antique dining chairs, for example, get revitalised with the inclusion of a vibrant new fabric – perhaps one with a bold textile pattern or bright colours.

antique dining room
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Wooden furnishings can easily be revamped with some varnishing and even a new coat of paint – it’s become a very popular style of refurbishment recently to bring colourful paint into the mix. Something about the contrast between a traditional style of furniture and a modern paint job makes for a stunning piece of statement furniture. Use a colour that already features in your home to bring about the necessary cohesion.

Mixing Classic and Modern

Think about where you want your eye to go when examining your home. Perhaps an antique light fixture like a chandelier or vintage sconces can add a textural element to an otherwise modern space. Art and other purely decorative pieces are also ideal for bringing antique and vintage aesthetics into your home without overwhelming the space or being too much. Delicate accents like antique napkin rings at your dining table or a vintage coffee pot on your kitchen counter top sit so naturally alongside modern dining sets and an electric kettle.

silver napkin rings
Image courtesy of RitaECC0 license

Taking bold steps in your interior style is sometimes what’s necessary when you want to know how to decorate with antiques in a modern style. Although it can – understandably – seem intimidating, it’s important not to get too in your head about it. Use your intuition and judge by what you think looks best for your own environment.

The author’s views are entirely their own and may not always reflect the views of AC Silver.

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