A home should be a reflection of what you love and find meaningful. Whether your decorating style is modern, coastal, minimalist, boho or farmhouse, there are ways you can add your favorite antique and vintage pieces to your newly constructed home.
An antique is typically defined as a piece that’s more than 100 years old, while vintage items are more than 20 years old but less than 100 years old. A new-construction home provides a blank canvas for decorating, and while there’s nothing wrong with purchasing new furniture and décor to decorate your new Dakan home, the tips below can help you strike a balance between old and new items and showcase some of your favorite vintage possessions.
- A thoughtfully placed antique end table, chair, desk or armoire can inject warmth and depth to an otherwise cool coastal room at the shore.
- Use color to make a mix of periods and styles work together. Whether you’re picking a color family that matches your new antique chest or trying to match a modern couch with a vintage rug, use color to pull the pieces together.
- Not all antiques are valuable or need to be preserved in their original state. If you inherit your grandmother’s dining table or fall in love with an antique bed frame at the town-wide yard sale, imagine how the piece would look stripped down to its bones, refinished or transformed with a brand new coat of paint.
- Fresh upholstery can give antiques a modern feel without sacrificing vintage charm. Look at the piece’s shape and decide whether to play with or against the form. For example, stripes on a curved settee will highlight its shape, while a floral pattern on a straight-back chair might soften its look.
- Try grouping similar old and new items together. For example, add a shelve to showcase antique perfume bottles or integrate a few vintage knick-knacks into a large bookcase. Other great places to feature antique items include a fireplace mantel, desk or end table.
- Use your wall decor and shelving to create visual interest. Add vintage shelving to sleek subway tiles or trendy backsplash in the kitchen or bathroom or combine vintage wallpaper with modern shelves.
- Use neutrals to help offset vintage wall decor, modern furniture and accessories in other styles.
While bold accents, multiple patterns and bright colors are trendy, neutral colors can keep the room from seeming cramped or cluttered.
- Current design trends are embracing retro and mid-century modern styles, making mixing modern and antique furniture easier than ever. For example, pair a modern angular couch with two plush vintage chairs, or match a substantial leather couch with light minimalist chairs with exposed legs.
- Look for vintage pieces that are rich in history and stand out from the rest of the items in your home. For example, an antique grandfather clock or a vintage wooden coffee table. Another option is to go bold with a large-scale statement piece like an antique armoire, a Baroque-style or Art Deco headboard, a giant French gilded mirror, large vintage rug or a massive vintage farm table. These work particularly well in a neutral space that needs a focal point or a sense of drama.
- Be sure to spread the vintage patina throughout a space so that the juxtaposition between old and new feels fresh and surprising rather than shabby. Since many antique items are made of organic materials like wood, wicker, wrought iron or leather, you can lighten up a room with these elements with soft colors, sleek metals and sharp lines.
- Many dark, heavy wood pieces don’t float in a space comfortably, so consider placing them on or near a wall. Conversely, light and thin-legged pieces should be placed next to things with more mass. Strive to balance proportion.
- Adding a vintage rug is one of the easiest ways to incorporate something old in a new space. Use a Persian carpet to anchor an antique chest in a modern room, or add a Turkish rug to contrast bohemian plants and contemporary furniture. Decorating with a rug from a different design era is a simple way to add depth to your modern décor.
- Vintage seating can add character without overpowering the space, even if your kitchen cabinets and appliances are ultra-modern. Try putting modern chairs at a vintage table in your living room, kitchen or home office. For example, if you have a contemporary kitchen, adding antique seating can give the room a vintage flair. Play with contrast by pairing vintage stools with a granite, cement or marble countertop.
- If you love antiques but feel intimidated by buying antique furniture, design experts say to start with small furniture pieces such as end tables or wooden stools or decorative pieces like antique French gilded mirrors, lighting fixtures and rugs.