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How to Mix Traditional and Antique Room Décor

How to Mix Traditional and Antique Room Décor

How is it that many interior designers can mix elements from differing periods so successfully? In design, occasionally the struggle in how to balance a room or home with beautiful antiques and contemporary, modern elements becomes a challenge. Yet, some homes have uniquely tied proportions, shapes, colors, and similar concept designs into a seamless room that is both warm and welcoming yet fresh and new.

To achieve a more textured, appealing look to any room or home, the mixing of traditional and antique room décor can achieve exactly that with an understanding of a few basic design concepts.

The rules are…there are no rules.

When it comes to interior design, designers often have difficulty answers the question about what rules to follow when mixing traditional and antique. They will often tell you that there are no hard and fast tricks of the trade, nor are there any written rules on what to do. Design is often a mix of what feels and what looks good together to both the homeowner and the critical eye of the designer to ensure those concepts are married fully in a room or entire home.

For those not as experienced as interior décor experts are, that may be a bit frustrating when you may wish to redo a room or your entire home. There are, however, a few tricks and tips of the trade that can help you pull a room together with both elegance and the perfect balance of tradition and old-world charm. Here is what several experts recommend.


The first part of any successful room is to have a plan on what you envision it to look like. Filling an entire room with too many eclectic elements can make it look busy and messy. Before you begin filling the room with your antiques, antique reproductions, and traditional furniture, it is a fantastic idea to know what you will be trying to achieve.

Color Scheme – A color scheme will always enhance the overall mood and ambiance you are attempting to portray. Knowing what color scheme you intend to use will help you pick out furniture and art pieces that match.

The dominant color of any antique or traditional furniture’s wood should also be taken into consideration. Not all your wooden furniture needs match perfectly in a room either. Take most hues found in your wooden pieces, then decide on a color scheme around them if you so desire.

You can use contrast to bring attention to your wonderful pieces of wooden furniture by choosing the right color scheme. • Dark finishes or darker woods such as mahogany, walnut, or cherry stand out breathtakingly well against light colors. • In the same way, lighter woods show up boldly with dark or strong colors on a wall. • For medium-toned finishes or wood, keep the tone of your walls soft, airy, and light. • Should your antiques or wood furniture hold many red tones and hues, green color on the walls or in your color scheme will enhance the wood’s hue. • Golden-yellow woods look especially handsome against warm-toned reds, earthy greens, teals, and eggplant. • Brown wood with golden undertones can be paired with buttery walls.

Pick a Dominant Style

Before you begin ordering customized furniture or accents, ensure that you have picked the dominant style for the room. For example, will the living room be featuring mostly antiques or traditional furniture styles? If you decided to feature traditional furniture in the living room, you could mix a set of traditional armchairs with an antique settee and a wooden chest for a coffee table.

What is the Key Piece?

Which piece of furniture will be the key piece for each room? For example, a bed and a dresser are often key pieces for a bedroom, sofas and tables for living rooms, dining room chairs with tables for dining rooms, etc. Once you know which piece will become your key for each room as well as the general color scheme the process of picking out the rest of the décor should become more simplified as you now have practical considerations to influence your choices. At this stage, you more than likely will begin looking through various design websites, books, catalogs, collections as well as furniture and accessories to tie your antique and traditionally furnished room together.

Décor Ideas

  • Antique dining table paired with modern aluminum chairs.
  • A modern, streamlined bench paired with an ornate Queen Anne Secretary desk or Queen Anne Secretary writing desk.
  • Meld more modern traditional art in a room with antiques for a pop of color.
  • Pair modern lamps on a Chippendale oval end table or a delicate Napoleon side table.
  • Pair modern, comfortable chairs in your living room with a gorgeous Mahogany blanket chest with drawers as a coffee table.
  • Choose sleek, traditional lighting fixtures in a room with antiques.
  • Create a reading nook with a beautiful Louis XVI Bergere Armchair and a traditional end table.

Once you have created your concept of traditional and modern, found a color scheme you enjoy, and the accessories and art, you will no doubt find the marriage of traditional and antique blended happily in no time. Creating a unique, yet eye-catching décor that you as well as guests or family will be charmed by daily.

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