Combining Antiques with Modern Decor - Our Guide

18 July 2019

How To Combine Antiques With Modern Decor


We all have sentimental heirlooms and antiques we don’t want to part with, but why should we? Mixing modern and antique furniture will help you achieve a harmonious look in your home as well as adding contrast and depth to any room.

Conventional thinking is “out with the old and in with the new”, but we don’t believe that to be the case anymore. Combining antiques with modern decor can create a unique sense of balance and identity to your home.

If you’re interested in introducing antiques into modern decor, here are a few tips to get you started:

Size and perspective


Two major factors on whether a piece of furniture will look good in your home are size and perspective. Placing large antiques in smaller rooms (and vice versa) can help to create contrast and character in your rooms - perfect for an unusual or quirky look.

If you’re interested in playing with perspective and you want to bring antique grandeur to a small space, place an oversized antique piece in a small contemporary space. This will create the illusion that the room is bigger than it actually is!

Making an oversized antique table - for instance one of our own Victorian dining tables - the focal point of a small dining room can drastically affect its personality. Complementing the room with modern accent pieces and furniture will then provide a refreshing balance of antique and contemporary that is sure to impress.

Combining small antiques and modern decor provides a unique identity to any room. Whether it’s your own heirlooms or one of our many antique sculptures and carvings, displaying small antiques can result in an unexpected contrast - or even an interesting conversation starter when you have guests over.



Mixing textures, styles and shapes when combining antiques with modern decor seems like a sure-fire way to create an interesting variation in your interior design.

However, juxtaposing too many differing styles may create a confusing (rather than harmonious) aesthetic. To make your design more cohesive, be sure to unite your traditional antique pieces and furnishings under a shared theme, for example their colour scheme.

Colour-coordinating old ornaments and contemporary pieces also creates an interesting display with lots of depth.

While the array of choice may seem intimidating at first, there are several simple approaches to making sure your colour scheme is well-matched.

Neutral colours, for instance, can complement several different eras. Colours such as beige, grey, white or light pastel shades will be able to mix well with both antique pieces and modern decor.

Alternatively, try being bold by choosing vibrant colours such as emerald green or royal blue - these will complement antique wooden furniture and modern decor.

Touchable textiles

When redecorating and trying to combine antiques with modern decor, it’s important to ensure you combine textiles and styles to bring the look to life.

Introducing natural textures such as fur, wool or alternatively carved wooden furniture helps build character to any room. Incorporating antique ceiling lights, stylish cushions and luxurious throws over contemporary sofas, for instance, will help you create a cosy ambience.

Alternatively, displaying framed pictures on a contemporary-coloured wall can create the perfect contrast to weathered, traditional-style furniture.

It’s all about the lighting

Lighting is an easy way to mix the old with the new when combining antiques with modern decor. Adding antique lighting to any room in your home will produce a simple yet beautiful style.

Hanging a pendant lighting or an art nouveau Tiffany style ceiling light in a contemporary space will create an impressive dazzle that will light up any room.

Combining grand antique lighting with a stylish contemporary coffee table in your sitting room produces a similarly stunning, if slightly more refined, result.

Alternatively, if your home is full of rustic antiques try hanging modern lighting to the room to create a powerful contrast. Layered lighting schemes are also essential in providing general and mood lighting with the right brightness and positioning.

Similarly, hanging one of our beautifully framed antique mirrors in your home will gracefully reflect the light and add character to any room.

If you’re looking to add antique lighting or mirrors, why not explore our lighting section and find some hidden treasures?

Having the right balance

As we’ve mentioned, combining antiques and modern decor creates a unique contrast, however, mixing different styles in the same scheme only works if the right balance is created.

Creating this balance is less difficult than it seems. For maximum effect, we recommend that you concentrate your antiques to a single area rather than scattering your antiques around the house.

When you’ve bought some stunning antiques your first instinct is to show them off everywhere and anywhere, but concentrating your antiques in a particular location will make that area the focal point of the room.

So to really draw attention, why not move your antiques to a room they can really be appreciated in - the living room or dining room are both likely to get a lot of footfall. If you’ve bought a beautiful antique, be proud and be sure to show off your style.

If you’d like to know more about anything in our collection please do get in touch.