It can be a delicate dance when mixing vintage and new items together in a room, and if done right the room is transformed into something magical, collected, interesting, and historical. Whether you have family heirlooms or are great at finding pieces at antique stores, flea markets (my personal favorite), or estate sales, a room can feel dated with formality pretty quickly if there is not an element that feels current. To create this delicate balance, I would suggest some of the following guidelines:
If the piece is a vintage piece, make sure it is good quality or has a good story behind it, as well as staying in tune with the overall decorating theme of the house. You don’t want anything that feels as if it is from left field.
If the piece is new, it needs to be in the same genre of the vintage pieces. For instance, 60’s ranch style modern, industrial, traditional, transitional traditional, organic modern, contemporary, “cottage,” or modern farmhouse.
Make sure there is a balance between new and vintage in the room. I usually do my upholstery pieces as new items, and the “layers” in the room, such as textiles, books, tables, accessories, or other points of interest as the antiques and collectibles.
Pick a color theme and stick to it. By doing this, both your new and vintage pieces will blend together effortlessly, and will add sophistication to your overall look.
Creating “moments,” where the new and vintage can be experienced together will make the space seem inviting, and you and your guests won’t want to leave. To do this, try to upholster a new chair in linen, with a textured textile pillow that nods to the vintage feel, and a beautiful cashmere blanket; or on a tabletop, a lucite tray with crystal glasses, and beautiful bar books on mixing classic drinks; or a collection of shells and bottles that take up a whole shelf or an arrangement of vintage toys and trucks – all of these are your personal collections and will make a statement in a room.
Mixing new and vintage allows for the room to tell a story, but also helps recycle great pieces with a new life. It gives life to a room, and create great “design moments” for you and your friends to enjoy.