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In With the Old and In With the New: Mixing Traditional and Modern Styles in Your Home

In With the Old and In With the New: Mixing Traditional and Modern Styles in Your Home

When it comes to home decor, many people feel like they need to maintain one, stable style throughout their entire interior. Think about it: when you enter a home, you can usually get an idea of the owner pretty quickly. Older, family homes may tend to have original features, such as beams and exposed brick walls, matched with grand furniture and an old fashioned kitchen complete with Aga oven. A young adult’s inner city apartment, however, is more likely to have sleek designs and more contemporary fittings. But if you feel like you’d appreciate the best of both worlds, then do it! Why choose when you can have it all? Here are a few ways to mix old and new without things looking chaotic and mismatched.


There are so many benefits to mixing and matching your styles. First and foremost, your home will be unique. There will be a much lower chance of someone walking in and exclaiming that they have the same print on their wall or rug on their floor. Your home should reflect you as an individual, so don’t let it disappear into the crowd of safe, neutral tones and ten a penny flat pack furniture. Now is the time to start getting creative.

home and interiors


When you’re mixing styles, it’s more important than ever to ensure there is a sense of continuity in your home. This can be achieved in a couple of different ways. The first is combining antique or vintage accessories with what would otherwise be considered a relatively modern design. This means neutral walls, modern light fittings and plush carpets paired with Windsor chairs, four-poster beds, and antique bookshelves. Alternatively, you could pair old fashioned interior design with contemporary furniture. This could mean walls painted deep and regal tones with decorative coving matched up with sleek pendant light fittings, polished coffee tables, and high gloss wardrobes. Allow one style to dominate the look of your room and use the other as accents.

Harmony versus Contrast

Once you have decided whether to have a traditional interior with modern furnishings, or vice versa, it’s time to work out whether you want to create a sense of harmony or contrast within your home. For harmony, a room needs to run smoothly and in sync. This means looking for similar lines (the shape of furniture) and materials. Numerous different vintage pieces can also look mismatched. But when buying antique furniture, it’s unlikely that you will find a matching set of drawers, shelves, storage units and bedside tables like you would with mass produced flat pack furniture stores like IKEA. To resolve this, look out for pieces where you can match colours or textures. This could be similar types or colours of wood, for example. If you prefer contrast, however, your room will be harmonious but with bold, stand out pieces that catch the eye as soon as you enter the space. Choose a single striking colour that stands out from the rest of your decor.