5 ways to mix modern and vintage interior styles
PUBLISHED: 17:06 29 May 2015 | UPDATED: 17:06 29 May 2015
The latest trend in interior design effortlessly blends the old with the new. Hampshire Furniture’s Frauke Golding shows us how.
If you love art deco treasures, go mad for mid-century or just enjoy the flair (and flares) of the 1970s you’ll really like this interiors trend. It takes all the best bits of vintage design and makes it work for modern life. Because let’s face it, vintage may be fashionable but it’s not always practical.
Mixing two opposing styles like modern and vintage is no easy feat, but the results are more than worth it. If you’re ready to try this trend, here are five ways to work it into your home:
1 - New furniture with a vintage look
Buying genuine vintage furniture can be a risk – you can’t always guarantee the quality and you may have to invest time and more money on making repairs and reupholstering. To ensure peace of mind, buy new and buy well. It’s possible to buy brand new, solid wood, handmade furniture that has that charming vintage vibe.
2 - Opt for a neutral colour palette...
...At least on the walls and floors. A neutral palette will act as a foundation for the furniture and accessories, rather than competing against them. Neutral colours like grey, cream and white are perfect – they’re visually appealing but won’t steal the show and will help unify the space. If you must add colour, go bold. Anything less will get lost. An accent wall in a bright hue (that complements any other colours in the room) will stand out for all the right reasons.
3 - Follow the 80/20 rule
Mixing vintage and modern design is a delicate unbalancing act. You don’t want a 50/50 share between the two styles as it will just look messy and uncoordinated. Instead choose one to be the dominant style and accentuate with the other. For example, a predominantly modern room can be given a retro twist with accessories like vintage lamps, art and even small pieces of furniture.
4 - Embrace upcycling
Upcycling is a great way to breathe new life into items that are more old-fashioned than stylishly vintage. Give worn furniture and accessories a facelift with contemporary colours and fabric. That classic wing-back armchair in putrid green will look fantastic re-upholstered in a bright geometric print. Or that scratched 70s sideboard can be renovated with a bit of sandpaper and a lick of white paint. By upcycling you can bring both styles together in one piece, which in turn will help unify the rest of the room.
5 - Refine the look
When you’ve finished decorating and styling the room, take a step back and scrutinise it. Is it working? If it’s not quite right, it might feel like the obvious solution is to add more to the space; more colour, more furniture, more accessories. But you should actually do the opposite. Remove items one by one to see if it’s a specific item (or items) affecting the overall look. In the words of Coco Chanel, “Less is always more”.