If you are looking for an exciting yet balanced approach to interior design, then mixing contemporary and antique furniture is a timeless solution that will add visual interest and contrast to any home. Marrying different styles in a design scheme allows you to showcase your individuality and for each space to express its own personality without being constrained to one particular era or trend. 

“Modern spaces can especially benefit from incorporating antique and vintage pieces. They add real warmth and character, and the look can be as eclectic as you like.” – Jacqui Moskovitz 

Mix & match does not equal ‘mishmash’

Eclectic, however, is still a decor look that follows certain design principles and so just mixing any antique pieces with any contemporary items is not going to work. Juxtaposing too many different period pieces will create confusion rather than cohesion. But embracing a considered design plan with regard to layout, proportions and materials (and incorporating old and new) will always result in a well-put-together look that makes sense. 

Mixing contemporary and antique furniture

Decide upfront what the overall look is that you are hoping to achieve. Is it a contemporary look with some antique touches, or an antique look with some modern touches? When mixing modern with vintage or antique, follow the 80/20 design rule – i.e. keep 80% contemporary and let the remaining 20%  be vintage or antique accents. This will help you buy wisely and create a successful space.

Mix & match involves repetition

The simplest way of creating a coherent look when pairing contemporary and antique furniture is using repetition. Bring your look together with a common colour scheme, a repeated pattern or similar materials. There must be a mutual attribute that connects the modern and the antique to achieve intrigue and layered sophistication that will make you want to linger in a space and just enjoy the richness of the design story. 

Mixing contemporary and antique furniture

Mix & match adds depth and story

The minute you add a vintage accessory or an antique piece of furniture to a contemporary space you add originality, contrast, history and timelessness. This is the easiest way of avoiding a cookie-cutter or generic ‘showroom’ look. Bear in mind that this will take time as well-designed spaces evolve over time.

Consider the following inspirational ideas:

  • A modern, minimalist kitchen will immediately gain character by adding an antique dresser. A kitchen island will become a focal point with hanging antique pendants – creating story, harmony and interest without being distracting.
  • Transform a basic guest bathroom by hanging an ornate gilded antique mirror or a crystal chandelier for a touch of glamour. (Lighting fixtures are one of the easiest ways of combining the old with the new).
  • Adding contemporary ghost chairs to an antique dining table or partnering upholstered antique chairs with a modern wooden table will create balance and charm without being too heavy and imposing. 
  • Upholster occasional antique chairs with modern fabrics. 
  • Add a modern chair or lamp to an antique desk. 

Mixing contemporary and antique furniture

Mix & match at The Crown Collection

The Crown Collection is SA’s largest collection of antique, vintage, French, and contemporary furniture and accessories, allowing you to choose something old and something new that will add form and function to your home. Whether it is a contemporary piece of furniture or an antique piece of furniture, it needs to resonate with your style and personality. 

With over 5000 pieces of handpicked contemporary and antique furniture, our showroom is just the place to find pieces that you will fall in love with. 

If you are new to the world of antiquing, read our most recent blog highlighting 3 reasons you should be buying antique furniture. 

Find your perfect mix and match pieces by shopping online or visiting our studio at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston.