Blend Antique and Contemporary Looks

Do you have a couple of lovely older pieces of furniture you inherited from a great grandmother or received from a great aunt? Or maybe you enjoy hunting down a few unusual antique elements at shops or antique fairs. Here are a few suggestions for integrating them with your more standard pieces so that they add interest while still fitting well in your home.

Look for points of commonality. Do you have newer pieces in the same type of wood? What about the metal finishes? If an old chest has handles in antique brass, look for accessories in the same tones, or art or a mirror framed in a similar finish. Place the art above the piece, and scatter a few of the accessories on nearby pieces of furniture.

The other important factor is proportion. Make sure your antiques and contemporary furniture pieces have a similar scale wherever you place them in your home.

In this photo, the unusual antique table is paired with a very contemporary mirror. This works because it plays on several elements of commonality. The antique brass/bronze finish on the mirror coordinates well with the old brass lions heads on each corner of the table and the eagle claws clutching balls that make up its feet.

The accessories also link pieces together. The pitcher’s dry grasses create a vertical link between the table and the mirror. The turned wood bowls have a contemporary look while the three small bronze birds bring back an older feeling. Notice that the quilt, a classic older accessory, has a more contemporary feel, working well with the long glass dish sitting on it.

Another important feature is the handmade aspect of many of the accessories. The pottery pitcher, wood bowls and quilt all have an artisan feel, which complements the fine detailing on the table.

Don’t hesitate to connect your antiques with other newer pieces in your home. With just a little effort, you can create an interesting, eclectic look.