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3 Design Principles for Mixing Old & New Furniture

That heirloom chair from your grandmother looks great (in a retro way) in her living room, but what happens when you add it to your own space? Our tips for effectively combining antique or older furniture pieces into your existing 21st century room will help keep your design streamlined.

Modern living room with antique chair

1. Balance

Too much of one historic style, and your home will begin to look like a period movie set or an antique shop. An easy way to achieve balance in any room is to focus on one antique piece in a room of contemporary (or vice versa!). Balance also applies to your furniture sizes. If your heirloom piece is a dainty Louis XIV-style chair, pair it with more substantial items. Traditional Victorian furniture in particular works very well with the sharper angles, cushier couches, and bolder lines of modern furniture.

2. Juxtaposition

Think of it this way: you don’t want to add too many competing styles (more than two), or use two contrasting styles that aren’t contrasting enough (Victorian isn’t Georgian, but if they’re paired, you’d have quite the opulent hodge podge of furniture in your living room).

One piece of art or one chair of a certain era from the past, whether Victorian, Midcentury, or Art Deco, mixed with your 2019-era furniture creates a nice design contrast.

3. Spotlight One Color

Sticking with a harmonious color palette is always wise, but one way to effectively mix in old and new furniture is to focus on a stricter scheme. Keep your room classy with all light neutrals or all dark neutrals, leaving you plenty of visual room to make your pop of color your antique piece.

Or, if you have multiple pieces from a set, confine the rest of the room to a single complimentary color. And if your showcase piece is neutral colored, stick with that same neutral for the rest of your furniture and add in art or plants for your color accent.Victorian, Midcentury, or Art Deco,

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