How to Mix Modern and Vintage Furniture

Designing your home is a very thoughtful process, and it may take some time to figure out how to arrange all of the different styles you own. You might be aiming for a modern aesthetic but don’t know where your favorite vintage pieces will fit. 

Many of us have those special items we never want to let go of, like the antique secretary desk that has been in your family for generations or the french decor pieces you discovered at an estate sale! 

The good news is that you don’t have to say goodbye to these meaningful antiques or even hide them in your storage closet. Follow these tips to help you incorporate your vintage designs with your modern furniture for a stylish, cohesive look.

#1 Unite Styles With Similar Elements

It may seem like your antique items have nothing in common with your modern designs, but it’s highly likely that you can find similar attributes. Consider the materials used in one of your vintage pieces and try to identify them in your more contemporary furniture.

For example, the Piper Fluted Natural Wood Round Dining Table is a modern favorite that can pair beautifully with classic chairs like the Wishbone Chair or CH36 Chair with a matching wood finish.

#2 Make A Statement With Large Antiques

Don’t get overwhelmed by an oversized vintage design. It may feel too big to blend in with your modern interiors, so make it stand out! Use these statement antiques to create a focal point in the room, then build around it with your other furniture pieces.

Here, you can see our ​​Pierre Jeanneret Floating Back Armchairs, and more modern interiors used to complement a large, lovely vintage mirror. Mirrors can help a space look larger than it is, and you can also emulate both modern and vintage charm with unique pieces like the Ettore Sottsass Mirror.

#3 Find The Right Balance

Mixing modern and vintage styles is a balancing act. Many designers suggest using the “80/20” method, which would allow you to decorate 80% of the room with modish furniture, leaving the last 20% for antiques. You can maintain a grounded style while still incorporating designs with a different aesthetic. It’s better to avoid a 50/50 balance of both techniques, as it can become confusing rather than cohesive.

In this photo, the space has a majority of modern styles, including a modern sofa (we love the Mario Bellini Sofa), with a subtle balance of vintage designs– and it looks stunning!

#4 Use Accent Pieces to Add Character

To give your living space a unique touch, use some antique decor items in your design. If your room has an entirely modern look, it can benefit from some older accents. Adding small vintage pieces like candelabras, art, or ceramics will give it a boost of character and warmth.

As you can see, the modern furniture in this space (including the Womb Chair and Ottoman) looks excellent paired with a vintage painting and smaller antiques.

#5 Look For Vintage Pieces With Modern Appeal

One of the benefits of mid-century modern furniture is its timeless appeal. Many MCM designs are replicas of vintage designs. These pieces help you maintain a modern vibe while using old-fashioned models.

The Borge Mogensen Spanish Armchair is a wonderful example. The design was inspired by traditional Spanish furniture and made with a modernized shape to create something timeless. Mogensen’s design marries the charm of vintage leather along with a simple geometric frame.

At Eternity Modern, you can find furniture with the perfect mix of modern and vintage appeal
that will never go out of style.