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How to Mix Modern & Vintage Home Decor

Whether your home decorating style is modern, minimalist, farmhouse, or boho, there are plenty of ways you can mix your favorite antiques and vintage home decor into your existing design. Learn more about how to mix modern and vintage decor in your home below!

Follow Rules of Proportion & Scale

Especially if you’re mixing loud patterns and funky vintage pieces, make sure the layout of the room, furniture, and wall art are all proportional and create flow. As many antique items are made from materials like wood, wicker, wrought iron, or leather, you can lighten up a room with soft colors, sleek metals, and sharp lines.

Unify Styles with Color

Pink and gold vintage items in living room. Photo by Instagram user @xcuseme.nl

Photo via @xcuseme.nl

Mixing old furniture with new? Cultivate unity with your color palette! One of the best ways to foster cohesive interior design, regardless of design era, is by uniting styles with similar colors. Whether you’re picking a color family that matches your new antique chest or trying to match a modern couch to a vintage rug, streamlining colors works!

Balance the Room with Neutrals

If you’re attempting to blend vintage wall decor, modern furniture, and accessories with other styles in your home, make sure you create room to breathe. While multiple patterns, bold accents, and bright colors are trendy, you can offset them with neutrals to keep the room from seeming cramped or cluttered.

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Group Similar Items

Vintage knick-knacks on shelves. Photo by Instagram user @thepaintedhive

Photo via @thepaintedhive

One simple way to combine multiple home decor styles is by grouping similar items together. Dedicate a hanging shelf for antique decor or pick a few vintage knick-knacks to put on a larger bookshelf. A fireplace mantel, desk, and end table are other great places to display antique home decor items. Once you have a solid grouping, you can add in pops of other design styles for visual interest.

Make Antiques the Focal Point

Not sure how your large mirror and ornate sconces fit with your minimalist living room? Let your vintage home decor shine! Direct eyes to the chandelier in your dining room, the wardrobe in your bedroom, or the black-and-white photos in your office. Play up your antique decor and one-of-a-kind items by putting them front and center!

Experiment with Art

Combining vintage and modern decorations is easy with artwork! Have an antique headboard? Place modern or contemporary art pieces above your bed. Is your living room home to a chaise lounge? Try adding funky and minimalistic art to the walls around it. Conversely, displaying antique or vintage art, vignettes, and maps in a modern room is a good way to spice up the design.

Mix & Match Seating

Vintage furniture mixed with modern furniture. Photo by Instagram user @agi_at_59

Photo via @agi_at_59

Furniture styles from different regions and decades can pair well together! Especially as many current design trends are bringing back retro and Mid-Century Modern styles, mixing modern and antique furniture is easier than before. Pair two plush vintage chairs with an angular modern couch, or match a broad leather couch with light minimalist chairs with exposed legs.

Intermix Tables & Chairs

Modern chair with antique desk. Photo by Instagram user @bellybaila

Photo via @bellybaila

Whether it’s in your living room, kitchen, or home office, try putting modern chairs at a vintage table. Balance a dense pedestal table with clear or aluminum chairs. Lighten up a hulking mahogany desk by coupling it with an angular office chair. Or add luxury to a minimalist dining room table by pairing it with plush vintage chairs. Mixing furniture styles is a great way to create cohesion in any room!

Play with Lighting

Lighting is one of the best ways to mix interior design styles! Place a vintage lamp on a modern or rustic table for a visual spark. Hang antique sconces or Edison bulbs in a minimalist, eclectic, or industrial space to add drama and warmth. Or place a chandelier in a coastal bathroom, Scandinavian-style nursery, or Bohemian bedroom to mix things up.

Add Antique Seating

Antique bar stools in kitchen. Photo by Instagram user @thelunthouse

Photo via @thelunthouse

If you have a contemporary kitchen, including antique seating can give the entire room a vintage flair. Play with contrast by putting vintage stools at a granite, cement, or marble countertop. Vintage seating can easily add character without overpowering the space if your kitchen cabinets and appliances are ultra-modern.

Create Contrast on Walls & Shelving

Looking for antique home decor ideas that can be used in any room? Having your wall decor and shelving create visual interest is a pro design trick! Add vintage shelving to subway tiles or a trendy backsplash in the kitchen or bathroom. Or if your walls are covered in vintage wallpaper, hang modern shelves to mix the old with the new.

Incorporate Vintage Rugs

Living room with vintage and modern furniture. Photo by Instagram user @circa_1880

Photo via @circa_1880

If you don’t know how to mix antique and modern styles, one of the easiest ways is by adding a vintage rug. Use a Persian carpet to anchor an antique chest in an otherwise modern room. Add a Turkish rug to contrast boho plants and contemporary furniture. Decorating with a rug from a different design era is a simple and effective way to freshen up your modern decor!

Get Funky in Bathrooms

Modern bathroom with vintage rug. Photo by Instagram user @inside_78

Photo via @inside_78

Use your bathroom as a place to incorporate modern and vintage design elements! Balance the cool colors and metal elements of modern bathroom design with vintage Bohemian touches like rattan rugs and woven plant holders. Match a clawfoot tub with a modern sink. Or hang an antique chandelier or vintage mirror to give a makeover to an industrial bathroom.

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Warm Up Coastal Design

A well-placed antique chair, desk, armoire, or end table can provide some warmth and depth to otherwise cool and airy rooms. Including vintage decor is especially important in coastal design styles if you’re hoping to add more structure and prestige in relaxed rooms.

Blend Vintage & Shabby Chic

Mix antique decor and vintage furniture with modern items you’ve distressed yourself! Shabby chic home decor is an awesome way to experiment if you don’t have the budget or patience to completely fill your home with antiques. This fusion of old and “new made to look old” is a great way to test out your DIY skills and take on a home improvement project or two.

Use Antiques to Enhance Rustic Elements

Searching for vintage farmhouse decorating ideas? This style mixes classic antique elements into popular rustic design. Make a statement with a historic coffee table in a modern living room. Or add antique wall decor to your already rustic-themed nursery.

Still in the process of hunting down antiques and cool vintage items to incorporate into your home? Find helpful tips in this antique and vintage shopping guide!

Add a Statement Piece

Want to make a statement with your antique decor? Look for vintage pieces that are rich in history to stand out from the rest of the items in your home. An antique grandfather clock mixed with a velvet sofa can balance your vintage design. Or you can add a gold serving tray on a vintage wooden coffee table.


Need to store furniture and decor to make room for your vintage and antique finds? Extra Space Storage has self storage facilities conveniently located across the U.S. that can help. Find cheap storage near you!

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