Photo Credit

mixing modern and vintage decor

The number one thing to remember when mixing modern with vintage decor is everything doesn't have to match (In fact, that's a good rule to remember, period). You heard me, don't match everything! How boring is that? Rooms are much more interesting with contrasting materials, artwork, and styles.  

Photo Credit

Take the above pic. It doesn't get any more modern than the artwork on that wall. Now, look at the leather sofa and the trunk. Pretty old school and yet it all pulls together.  The key here is texture, contrast, and scale. The coldness of the gray, contemporary sofa is warmed up by the age and texture of its leather counterpart.  The industrial metal cabinet on the left side of the room is balanced by the weathered softness of the antique travel trunk opposite the room. An eclectic and interesting mix. This room definitely doesn't seem like it was all put together from the same decor superstore. It tells a story. It's interesting. Just looking at this room, I want to know where that trunk came from and where it's been. There is nothing mind-blowing here. It's all a rather simple concept it's just that most people don't think to combine modern with vintage.

there are no rules

O.K. That's a little simplistic. There are rules but they're super secret and you need a very rare, hard to find, interior designer decoder ring to decipher them. So let's just say for all intents and purposes, there are no rules

Photo Credit / House Beautiful

This photo by House Beautiful is a great example of mixing modern with vintage.  The fireplace is both contemporary and traditional. The art, crazy modern. The chandelier? Insanely awesome and definitely not traditional. The black in the fireplace is anchored by the dark wood floor. The white is anchored by the traditional furnishings. The colors, textures, and materials all speak to each other and balance out beautifully regardless of each piece's respective style. No rules. Mix what you like and what fits the space.

don't buy everything new

I can't tell you how many times I have gotten pushback against purchasing gently used, collector pieces. I grew up with a mother and grandmother who both owned antique stores and the concept of having everything new is alien to me. Maybe you don't already have vintage pieces.  Quality collectibles and curated (there's that word again!) pieces don't leap off a showroom assembly line.  Websites such as Chairish, 1st Dibs and Previously Owned By A Gay Man (my personal fave) all provide fabulously pre-owned treasures and one-of-a-kind pieces that don't scream assembly line boring. Also, you can...

be thrifty. (modern and vintage decor on a budget) 

Not only was I surrounded by antiques growing up, I basically lived in thrift stores. After all, that's where some of the REALLY good finds are to be had. A good friend of mine is always sending me pictures of the treasures she finds for pennies on the dollar. Look at these nesting tables she found for 40 bucks!

Nesting Tables

A little spit and polish and voila! Instant interest! But I digress...

Where was I going with that? Oh yes. Mixing modern with vintage. What are you waiting for? Get in that attic, garage, basement and mix it up. You will save money and maybe even have an interesting story to tell.

Have some family pieces you have been trying to figure out how to incorporate? Tag me on Instagram! Questions? Comment below. See you next week.