Home Decor How-To: Combining Traditional and Modern
By mixing traditional and modern decor you can create an individualized, multilayered living space that’s very appealing. Furnishing your home should be more about developing your own personal style rather than adhering to any single style. That being considered, combining modern furniture and accessories with traditional ones can result in a huge miss if you don’t put some planning and thought into it. Here are some helpful tips and suggestions on mixing modern and traditional styles:
Interior design is all about creating balance and harmony, but that doesn’t mean achieving a 50/50 ratio for both design styles. Representing both styles equally will simply result in an interior that looks confused and poorly designed. Pick one as the dominant style and incorporate the second style with smaller furniture pieces or decorative accessories. It can be a modern space with antique accents or a traditional space with contemporary accents. Letting one style dominate is crucial, because you don’t want to create a space where everything is fighting for equal attention.
Keep it simple
Nothing turns a room from chic to cheap quicker than clutter, so take it easy on the accessories. If you want your antique table lamp to pop on your sleek modern end table, don’t clutter up the surface with other accessories like decorative vases or picture frames. Grouping too many accessories of opposing design styles together can leave your living room looking like a yard sale. A good rule of thumb in transitional spaces is to count each design style as its own item in a grouping, then find a decorative accessory that ties together elements from each.
Harmony or Contrast?
It’s important to determine what kind of a look you’re going for before you begin. If you want to create harmony and a relaxing look, select furniture pieces that are more alike, or just a few degrees apart. For instance, for a harmonized look you may want to pair Hans Wegner chairs with a more traditional wood table. Although these chairs have a very modern sensibility, they are made of wood, which can harmonize with the table. To create contrast and excitement, juxtapose colors and textures, such as Eames molded plywood chairs in different colorful stains, or the Tolix chaise in steel or colored metal with your traditional table.
Unexpected color & bold upholstery
The simplest way to incorporate a traditional vintage piece into a modern décor is by updating it. But don’t simply refurbish antique furniture to its original condition. That fresh coat of paint and brand-new upholstery need to give the piece a contemporary feel. Give old-fashioned accessories a modern look with bright, unconventional colors and funky patterned fabric. On the fabric note, many are made more modern simply by a change of scale. A traditional pattern, scaled larger and bolder, becomes new and modern.