How to Integrate Antique and Vintage Items into a Modern Home

Tuesday 20th September 2022 - Cara Bentham


How to Integrate Antique and Vintage Items into a Modern Home

Get some tips on adding an old piece to a new home.

Combining old and new items in your home décor is a great way to create a unique and personal look. Getting the right balance is vital when bringing antique or vintage pieces into a contemporary home. In this post, we provide top tips for successfully integrating antique and vintage pieces into your modern décor. 


Find the Right Balance

Mixing antiques with modern pieces allows you to merge things you love or find meaningful into your space rather than creating a home filled only with perfectly coordinated furniture. However, a little thought is required to ensure the finished result is fresh and appealing rather than looking cluttered and shabby. 

Consider scale when placing furniture in a room. Antique and vintage pieces were made to fit different spaces and lifestyles. Antique furniture that is heavy and dark, with intricate design details, is often best placed on or near a wall as these pieces don’t float comfortably in modern spaces. Light items are best placed close to heavier items to avoid a finish that looks uncomfortable.

Balancing proportion across your space will give you leeway to be adventurous with different styles, colours, prints and finishes. 


Restore, repurpose and recycle

Not all antique and vintage pieces are valuable. Whilst valuable pieces should be preserved in their original state, and if damaged, you should consider getting them professionally restored by an expert. In contrast, other, less valuable items can be repurposed or upcycled to make them a better fit for your room. 

Perhaps you have inherited a piece of antique furniture that you want to incorporate into your room, but the colour isn’t quite right. Consider stripping, refinishing or repainting so it combines better with your existing furniture. Sometimes, fresh upholstery can give shabby-looking pieces a new lease of life and contemporary comfort without sacrificing the vintage charm. 

Depending on your creativity, you may want to repurpose antique and vintage items, to make something entirely new and functional from something old. This can be a great hobby if you have the skill and patience. Check out sites like Pinterest for inspiration. 


Coordinate with colour

One of the simplest ways to integrate contrasting elements, such as old and new pieces, is to unify them using the same colour palette. Different styles and different periods can be combined well when colour coordinated. 

Providing your antique or vintage items do not have great value, there’s no reason you can’t follow the above tip and paint or reupholster pieces to fit the colour theme you’re going for. 


Use statement pieces as a focal point

Antique or vintage items can make a great statement piece or focal point, especially in an otherwise neutral room. Large decorative elements such as a massive vintage rug, gilded mirror, Art Deco headboard or a large table or dresser can create a significant impact when used as the focal point. 

Statement pieces are intended to give the wow factor to your room, so make sure they dominate the space through thoughtful placement. Avoid overshadowing a large-scale decorative item by bringing too many other colours, prints and styles into the room. 


Experiment with accent pieces

If you don’t have the budget or taste for large decorative antique pieces or prefer to start small, accent pieces can be a great way to begin adding the character and charm of antiques into your home. 

Start with small items of furniture, such as a wooden stool or end table, or decorative pieces like smaller antique rugs, mirrors, light fixtures or vintage art. Adding smaller pieces can be fun, allowing you to play around and layer with colours, prints and different styles more subtly. 

Auctions are a great place to source antique and vintage items for your home. You can often snap up beautiful, unique and interesting pieces at bargain prices. Check out our upcoming auctions for inspiration.