The Completely Doable And “I Love It!” Look Of Pairing Antiques With Modern Furniture Styles

Pairing antiques with modern furniture styles, art and accessories is a completely doable decor style in home decor and interior decorating terms.  Contemporary, urban and traditional styles also love a good antiques piece thrown into the mix for very good and stylish measure.

antique credenza modern artMark Ashby Design ~ Houzz

If you don’t already know, I am an antiques dealer.  I appreciate, admire and generally love antique furnishings and most periods of furniture.

Do I have antique furniture in my own home?  Yes!

Only antique furniture?  No!

All traditional, antiques, modern, contemporary, urban, farmhouse, coastal, or boho makes the decor style of the Jack or Jill decorista a tad too tedious.  Where’s the fun in that?

Sela Ward Bel Air homeSela Ward’s Bel Air Home 

I like, suggest, encourage and admire the look created when furniture styles and periods mix and mingle in complementing harmony.  My aha moment came one afternoon at the shop when Dave the Builder was hurrying me to kick it in gear.  I asked him to move a formal set of Regency period dining chairs.

7-kitchen-lighting-VictorHouse-Nov2015Designer Sam Sacks~ House & Home

Trying to hurry up the process, he placed the chairs in the first place he came to.  I turned around to see the chairs placed around a primitive Cypress farm table we recently brought in.  The styles could not be further apart on the style spectrum, but the accidental pairing created a stunning look!

regency dining chairs1stdibs

One piece of antique furniture in a space will often become the focal point. A vintage chest incorporated into a kitchen island makes a stunning and unique focal point.  Strictly opting for antique accessories is often a better fit for some.  Antique accessories can achieve the desired effect on a smaller scale.  This option can give the homeowner an adjustment period and time to take the look in.  I discourage my clients from over thinking the process.  Never underestimated the power and accuracy of your own eye.

vintage chest islandBetter Homes and Gardens

A 19th c. Russian chair with gold frame beautifully accentuates the custom sofa in Belgian linen in the home of Houstonian Renea Abbott.  The balance is anchored through color and furniture placement.



Thie Gauthier-Stacy designed foyer with traditional architectural details demonstrates the perfect relationship between the new and the old.  An antique walnut secretary desk and chair stand out against designer white walls while accents colors of deep teal and regal blue complement the modern light fixture and table lamp.


Gauthier~Stacy Inc.

Charles Faudree brings a modern twist to this traditional living room.  The combination of classic elements, styles, colors and a thoroughly modern Lucite table creates visual flow.  A space with a sense of personal style personality is the result of thinking outside of the box of standard decor rules.  Shake things up!


Charles Faudree

Take a moment to take in the neutral beauty of this Darryl Carter space. The antique and architecturally inspired decor enhances the use of modern tables and accessories.

darryl carter4

Darryl Carter

Jeff Andrews interpretation of new traditional style is an easy decor format to follow.  When asked in an interview with Apartment Therapy what the major defining elements of the style are, five words summed it up.  He equates new traditional with originality, confidence, risk, commitment, and comfort.  Bravo, Jeff Andrews!

end table HGTV

Jeff Andrews Design

Antiques and vintage items find a welcomed place in new traditional styling.  Vintage items are popular with homeowners and designers alike for two reasons- affordability and accessibility.  Hit your local antiques shops, flea markets, thrift stores, garage sales or a curb side boutique for inspiration.

I Know It When I See It-1

Most of the time I have no idea what I’m looking for until I actually see it in the store, market, yard or on the curb.  Inexpensive is good, but free is great!  A couple of coats of paint and new hardware works DIY miracles on vintage pieces.

transitional office vintage chairs

Luxe. ~ Photography: James Schroder Photography

This eclectic space pulls from several styles.  A contemporary drum pendant chandelier is uniquely paired with a formal ceiling medallion. The gold gilt mirror pops the white mantle, and the contrast does not confuse the eye.


 Canadian House and Home

Texture, finish, and color defines the style of this space.  A custom console flanked by an antique stool in a Dedar fabric anchor the native and modern artwork.

antiques mixed modern foyer


Pairing antiques with modern furniture styles is an natural trend for some, and a step out of the “everything must match” comfort zone for others. The first time I suggested pairing an antique drum table with a contemporary accent chair Dave the Builder thought I had lost my mind. He strongly protested at first.  When the wow factor created delivered its one-two punch all doubts were laid to rest.  Your home decor should reflect your tastes and your individuality.  Consider trying out the concept of mixing an antique piece with modern styles.  Don’t be surprised if you love the look!  Let me know what you think.

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