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Modern Decorating with Vintage Furnishings

Modern Decorating with Vintage Furnishings

A home decorating style is not always clearly defined. Modern, minimalist, farmhouse, boho, or contemporary for example can all be mixed with your heirloom or antique reproduction heirloom furniture.

When you incorporate antique furniture with modern design, this often means that your first step will be to parse together the objects that match their general aesthetic with modern décor that is similar. Pieces from the past should create a movement of the eye and have design aspects that are mirrored in whichever modern décor you may have or may be planning to have in a room.

We have gathered some of the top tips and advice on modern decorating with vintage furniture to help you achieve the look you desire in the décor choices of your home or any room within your home.

The Basics

The first step to choosing how to use modern decorations with your vintage furniture is understanding the top styles and the general idea behind them. Understanding the basics is an excellent first step to an important interior design goal: to plan. Planning helps you bring it all together, to create, and then envision the room or home that is perfectly suited to both your vision and goals.

Some of the basic style trends and their concepts of 2020 are

  • Modern - Modern like most design and style terms, is a singular name for a broad concept. Though the concept of modern design can be whittled down to a singular idea: the celebration of technology in material, composition as well as function and efficiency. Modern décor style features clean, crisp lines and a simple color palette. Materials often include metal, glass, and steel with a sense of simplicity in every element, including the furniture. A word often associated with modern style is sleek, as there is not much clutter and any accessories in a room are often clean and simple too.
  • Mid-Century Modern - A throwback to design styles of the mid-1900s, usually of the 1950s and 1960s. This look favors as retro nostalgia, with a few elements of minimalism. Emphasis was on wide-open spaces featuring a canvas of personal and social ideologies. This generous, open planned interior decorating style has an emphasis on the common, shared areas with a color palette that often floats in the hues of orange, yellow, green, or brown. But deviations of color are not at all uncommon either.
  • Minimalist - Sparked by the art movements in the 1960s and 70s, as well as being heavily influenced and inspired by the traditional Japanese design and art of philosophy, minimalist decors express the concepts of modernism with as much of a puritanical palette as possible. Every piece of furniture, accessory, or even art pieces are often stripped to their bare basics, offering an aesthetic that heavily relies on the functional design of furniture. Storage is often concealed, and items are arranged so the eye is drawn to the boldest, visual impact in a room. Natural light plays an important part in lighting these interiors as well as keeping them dynamic. Colors of palettes used are either very hushed and subdued or neutral and natural.
  • Scandinavian - This design also pays homage to the simplicity of life, with heavy Nordic country influences. Simple and understated furniture that still feels and looks like works of art with sculptural influences are commonly seen. All white or bright, airy color palettes are often the usual with touches of natural elements such as wood, bright plastics, enameled aluminum, steel, and wide floor plans with pops of color from plants, natural fiber throws, furs or a single piece of outstanding furniture or art.
  • Transitional - One of the many design styles that vintage and antique, or antique reproductions are flawless for. Transitional celebrates the modern look of steel, metals, or glass while borrowing from traditional with elements such as ornately carved, or richly hued mahogany furnishings, such as a plush Victorian chair. Calming palettes are often used, to bring the worlds of sleek and warm and inviting together.
  • French Country - This design style is stunningly warm. Rich, deep natural woods, earthy colors, and soft tones of red, yellow, or gold. Worn and ornamental wooden furniture is a key element in this design, with splashes of natural materials such as stone and brick. Ornate porcelain accessories in a room or heavy linens in a bedroom are common key points for this look.
  • Rustic - Farmhouse inspired or that atmosphere of a favorite cabin in the woods. Outdoor elements are strong visual points in rustic, vaulted ceilings adorned with richly finished beams and reclaimed wood floors are often a part of this atmosphere. Vintage furniture with gorgeous patinas grown over time makes the perfect furniture additions as well. A rustic home or room is often filled with hand-made furniture that emphasizes the natural material, which becomes the focal point of the room. The color palette is unsurprisingly natural, yet there is room for splashes of bold earthy tones such as greens, browns, and grays.

Tips and Tricks of Interior Decorating

Now that you have found your design style that matches either the vintage furniture you have or your modern décor and your ideas for adding vintage furniture, it should become much easier for you to begin the process of design.

  1. Proportion and Scale Most interior decorations would not pair a sleek, modern loveseat with a large, plush and overstuffed lounge chair because to the eye, it appears disproportionate. When planning your modern room with vintage furniture, your items should scale and proportion well together. A cohesiveness should be felt within the room. If you note something that feels off, it most likely does not follow the rest of the proportion and scale of the room of décor. A great place to begin if you are unfamiliar with proportion and scale is to study The Rule of Thirds and The Golden Ratio.

  2. Unify your furniture styles with color. Mixing the vintage with the modern can be pulled together as easily as choosing a color palette that they both share. This fosters a cohesive design regardless of the furniture era by uniting the style elements or colors. For example, pick a color that matches your antique Louis XV armchair for visual elements, or match a modern couch with your Empire glass coffee table.

  3. Make your vintage furniture the focal point. If you are unsure what to do with your Rococo Revival Rocaille Wall Mirror in a living room with a minimalist look, for instance, let it shine. Direct the eyes immediately toward it—or any vintage piece, such as an antique coffee table, a curio cabinet, and so on. Play up your vintage furniture by making them the centerpiece for the room.

And the last, but most important tip for modern decorating with vintage furniture, and for interior design, in general, is to never sacrifice the items you love to follow any of the above rules. Your home and your décor must appeal and look good to you, using the vintage and antique furniture that you truly love. There will always be a place in any design for that item that you adore.

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