The beauty of contemporary interior design is its inherent freedom and flexibility. You can choose to improve the look of your home any way you see fit, and there is really no need to conform to a single design approach such as fully rustic or completely sleek and modern.

You can create a unique, inviting space imbued with a distinct feeling of days past mixed with the subtle nuances of functionality and vivaciousness of modern design. You can build a cozy living environment that invites family members to huddle together and spend quality time making lifelong memories.

Let’s explore this creative design approach and help you blend the old with the new.

To set the tone of the space, start with painting the walls, and then work your way in to designing the rest of the room.

Start with the Color Scheme

When mixing vintage and modern design elements, start with the foundation of the room (the color scheme) before you shop around for furniture pieces and accents. Doing this will allow you to set the tone of the space and work your way in from the walls in an organized way instead of moving from one area to the other on a whim.

This will bring order and consistency to the setting — something that’s imperative in an eclectic environment.

With that in mind, there’s no need for walls to bear an overzealous color scheme. Something simple and neutral will make a big impact. You can choose a clear white color or any off-white hue, or even opt for a more intimate shade such as deep forest green. These color choices will allow you to bring in a beautiful hardwood floor, for example, but also bring other elements of the room to life.

Architectural elements (like these beams overhead) break up a room’s monotony.

Introduce an Architectural Element

The color scheme on the walls doesn’t need to encompass the entire room. Depending on the overall approach, you can choose to add an interesting architectural solution that will break any monotony and emphasize the era you want the room to focus on.

Keep in mind that mixing old and new doesn’t mean splitting the design down the middle; instead, it means letting one dominate over the other just a tad. This creates that homey vibe and makes it seem like everything just fell into place on its own.

To achieve this eclectic look, consider adding an architectural solution such as an exposed brick wall. This is your statement foundation, and it can emphasize a more retro feeling while complementing the overarching color scheme. Because everything goes with exposed brick!

You can also go in a different direction and hang contemporary artwork on a vintage wall to emphasize your love of the modern.

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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