Here’s how to marry vintage with modern to create your signature home style.
In the world of interior design, combining old and new pieces together is one of the secrets to making a home unique. Blending vintage with contemporary can make a space feel fresh and modern, but still lovingly curated – especially if you build it steadily over the years.
But how do you achieve this laid-back, lived-in yet stylish look for your home?
Here’s what you should consider when creating a scheme that mixes modern trends with antique or vintage pieces for a look that is uniquely your own.
What happens in the room?
When designing the look of any room, the best place to start is its function, and how you would like it to feel when you are using it.
In your bedroom, you might need to consider both comfort and layout, while also keeping it uncluttered and peaceful. Your living room may have more space to be creative with both furniture and colours. Whatever the space you’re designing, decide on what is going to happen there and the vibe you want, and then take it from there.
Choose your colours
Once you’ve pinned down the feel and function of your space, the next step is to select a colour palette that fits with it and unifies the scheme.
Since a mix of old and new pieces in the room will create interest by themselves, you may not need dark or dramatic paint colours, and so can stick with a neutral palette. If you do plan on adding colour via a feature wall, carpets, curtains or rugs, however, then bold is better to make it the best backdrop for your space.
Use your unique architecture
Before you start adding to your space, ask yourself this: what does it already have to offer me in terms of design? High ceilings, original features, fireplaces, exposed stonework, original wooden beams, wood flooring, or anything architecturally interesting will bring its own story and warmth. If a room is more of a blank canvas, then instead it is sometimes possible to add in these eye-catching features.
In larger rooms you may be able to enhance the light and space with industrially-inspired elements, while smaller areas might benefit from a more traditional or shabby chic finish that makes the most of its cosy yet elegant origins.
Think outside the box (or table)
When it comes to furnishing your space, it pays to be creative when selecting each item. An eclectic scheme of old and new items allows you to repurpose favourite pieces to have another function, such as turning a vintage suitcase into a chic, one-of-a-kind coffee table (with handy hidden storage inside).
This is the moment to revisit any pieces that you may have collected over the years – can they be upcycled with contemporary fabrics or paint colours to fit your scheme?
Find your style balance
Although combining the old with the new in your interiors might result in an eclectic feel, it’s important that you find the balance between all the elements in the space.
Firstly, make sure you have a similar number of pieces used from a specific era or style. Having a single cabinet in the Victorian style in an otherwise contemporary-styled room, for example, is going to look out of place. You can get round this problem by looking at the vintage furniture or elements that you already own and finding other pieces that will complement them and help them fit into the space.
If you are on the hunt for older pieces of furniture in Malta, there are lots of places you can find inspiration – such as the Birgu market, house sales, Maltapark and Facebook Marketplace. The good news is you’ll often find them at a great price, meaning you can furnish your home without breaking the bank. Of course, antiques shops and auction houses can also be a treasure trove of options.
Love every piece
The beauty of designing a room with a combination of old and new pieces is that you have an opportunity to carefully curate every single piece that you add. Every element you can hand-pick, ensuring that it is of good quality, fits the scale of the space, and is beautiful both by itself and as part of the overall scheme.
Combine and group pieces to allow the natural beauty of each to shine, while ensuring your room stays stylish instead of chaotic. A good tip here is to imagine you are taking photographs of your room for a home-design magazine. Are there exquisite pieces that work in close-up by themselves as well as part of the bigger picture?
Vintage antiques lend an aged, worn look to the space, but in order to keep things elegant it is better to contrast them with smooth, modern surfaces and glamorous fabrics.
Mirrors are a classic addition, joining a shiny and sleek surface with a shabby chic frame, for example, while a silk cushion could elevate a distressed leather armchair. Smooth, cool marble ornaments or surfaces can also be used sparingly to offset vintage-inspired rustic wooden furniture.
A cosy, inviting room might also introduce soft, tactile textures such as wool, faux-fur or silk, to give a hint of luxury and comfort.
When mixing and matching old and new elements in any space, you are creating a home that reflects your personality, your style and your own unique history.
Speak to a member of the RE/MAX team today to help you find the living space of your dreams.