Being able to put together elements of traditional and modern is something everyone finds challenging. Even designers have a hard time finding that perfect balance between classic and contemporary home décor, which is why there are so many different tips and tricks to help others out. It doesn’t matter if you want to fill your small apartment with a mixture of Swedish minimalist pieces and opulent Victorian elements or you’d prefer your house to have both rustic and modern pieces, here’s what you need to know about mixing modern with the traditional.
Keep it light
Old homes can be real chameleons, especially if you live in an old Victorian house. If you have big rooms with high ceilings to work with as well as large windows, you should use as much of the natural light as you can. Fortunately, such walls can “hold” pretty much any shade in the world with finesse, yet you could also try implementing some of the more modern color schemes to get that sleek contemporary look. Painting your old home white will give you a great head start if you’re a fan of brightly colored accessories such as tall lamps, colorful cushions, and big wall art. You could also add dark details: black blankets, photos in black frames, and perhaps even black carpets without making the room seem claustrophobic.
Showing off old features
Older houses have that special charm that just can’t be copied, and no matter how much designers are trying to mimic it, it’s unattainable. This one-of-a-kind charm includes those exquisite high ceilings, decorated fireplaces, crown molding as well as stained glass windows. If your house has these features, instead of trying to replace them, you should work around them. Leave them intact and make them focal points of your period house, but try to balance out the rest of the room against them. If you have a beautiful porch, install external timber sliding doors that will give you an unobstructed view of both the porch and the garden. Get modern furniture, keep the floors bare or use small throw rugs, and have simple sheer curtains instead of heavy embroidered ones.
Play with the floors
If you’re fortunate enough to have hardwood flooring in your home, it would be a real shame to cover it with cheap rugs and hide it. Peel back old carpets and take a good look under them to see what you’re working with. Even if they’re not in pristine condition, hardwood floors can be restored, or you might even find some ornate parquetry designs if you’re lucky. Classic wooden flooring is the perfect way to connect the old with the new because it goes well with both the antique features of old homes as well as with modern furniture. Some old homes have tiles in their hallways, bathrooms and kitchens and you should keep the original if it’s in good condition. Still, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t replace the old tiles with sleek and modern ones, especially since geometric designs are very sought-after at the moment.
Mix period with modern pieces
If you’d like to keep the character of your period home while still adding a dash of contemporary design and style, you can always scatter pieces that originate from the same time as your home. This means going to a number of antique shops, garage and estate sales, as well as visiting some auction houses in search of statement pieces from the right era. Of course, you don’t have to do it according to the book, and you can mix antique pieces from different periods and not go wrong. Place a metallic vase on your antique coffee table, throw a faux fur blanket over your velvet sofa, hang modern art over your fireplace or swap your old armchair for a modern one.
How to successfully mix two seemingly opposing styles is a classic conundrum, but if you take small steps and aren’t afraid to improvise and think outside the box, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results you are going to get. There are so many different ways to mix styles that you will probably get a headache when you start doing research. The key is to plan ahead and experiment until you’re happy with the way your home looks.