5 Ways to Mix Old and New Decor

Leather seating is timeless and fits in with both modern and vintage decor.

Let Furniture Depict the Era

One of the most important elements of the eclectic puzzle is furniture. The furniture pieces you choose to put in every room will define the overarching feeling the room creates. Decide whether people want to cozy up on the couch or take their drinks on to the patio. With that in mind, your main furniture pieces should be timeless and able to support both the old and new decor elements.

For example, a living room that emphasizes the modern over the old-fashioned can thrive with the addition of leather couches because these furniture pieces bear a timeless charm that would work just as well if the room were more of a vintage setting than a contemporary one. Follow this mindset for the key decor elements so that you can emphasize the rest of the design with accents.


A vintage coffee table adds a welcome mix of history in an otherwise modern den.

Balance Vintage with Modern Accents

Accents are crucial in interior design, as they hold the power to tilt the scales in favor of both the new and the old. With a neutral foundation in place, you can go ahead and pick key accent pieces to bring a unique eclectic setting to life. This could be a vintage wooden coffee table in front of the leather sofa, but it could also be a modern glass one.

In the kitchen, you can accentuate a contemporary chef’s island with vintage bar stools, while a modern bedroom could be “toned down” with the introduction of a vintage powder table.

Consider using even smaller accents to further get your point across in every area. Add a vintage vase on a contemporary fireplace, or how about modern coned lighting on a retro brick wall? The possibilities are endless.


A mid-century lamp tucked in the corner works well with this living room’s exposed brick wall, along with its surrounding furniture and decor.

Use Lighting to Frame the Design

Lastly, lighting plays a vital role in shaping the final look and feel of your interior. You need to scale the lighting wisely to light every room just right to create that distinct inviting vibe. Opt for warm artificial lights and shift focus from a single overhead light source to two or more points in the room. Add a light dimmer to every room to control the luminosity and create the right ambiance at a moment’s notice.

Many homeowners opt for either a vintage or a modern look, but no law prohibits you from mixing vintage and modern elements together to create a unique setting imbued with positivity, creativity and comfort. Follow these five tips and you will have no problem blending the old with the new in a tasteful way!

Mike Johnston is a home improvement and business blogger based in Sydney, experienced in covering a variety of subjects on construction, real estate and interior design.

He’s a regular contributor to. Smooth Decorator

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