Furnishing a modern house with antique decor

  • 07 May 2019 | Tumelo Buthelezi

A lot of people have precious items that have been in the family for generations. Old framed paintings, vintage wall clocks or antique furniture may have sentimental value, but what happens when they become outdated?

Well, if a museum curator can’t be called in to add these possessions to a historic collection, here’s what you need to consider if you want to give them a place in your home’s contemporary decor.

Repurpose old pieces

An antique piece can come out of the attic and find its space in a modern home if you can get it to function outside its intended use.

You could take an old wooden door and dabble in a little DIY to turn it into new coffee table, for instance. Or why not take those unused gardening tools out of the storage shed and repurpose them as decorative items? For example, you can hang a rake upside down and see how it makes an unusual wine glass holder.

Make sure that you choose items that will ensure balance, harmony and consistency between the older and newer pieces.

Position your antiques properly

When making a decision on the placement of antique or vintage items in a room, make sure that you bring out their eye-catching maturity without turning the space they occupy into a display window for a pawn shop.

This will be a lot easier in rooms with classic white walls that stare back at you like a blank canvas begging for antique cabinets, vintage couches or retro tables that can really add character and personality to the space.

Creatively mix the old with the new

When dealing with antique decor, the issue of compatibility can sometimes solve itself because many items of modern furniture were actually influenced by traditional designs, thus making accepting vintage pieces into their midst a breeze. You mostly have to concern yourself with balancing colours when adding olde-worlde decor to a particular space.

Start creating symbiotic relationships between old and new items with simple pairings, like putting your new LCD TV on an antique stand. Take a creative step further by introducing old phones, cameras, typewriters and all kinds of outdated tech gadgets to give a room a vintage spin. There's literally countless ways of doing it.