When Old Meets New: Combining Vintage & Modern Without Fear


There is certainly an argument to be made that modern is vintage and vice versa. Interior design is a unique beast that draws inspiration from the past and combines it with a more contemporary appeal. And, it must be said, it works. What's more, it makes the ever changing landscape of interior design much easier to bear. While trends come and go more quickly than you can keep up with, they're often subtle differences. Little nuances that can be easily switched around to create an entirely new aura in any room.

It's refreshing. You should never allow your home to become too complacent. Taking pride in your interiors is what every homeowner should strive for. There are other considerations, of course, like sustainability and ethical design. But the most important factor to always keep in mind is to look constantly for ways to refresh your decor. A common misconception is that keeping up appearances is an expensive affair, but it doesn't need to be. Dramatic overhauls, by and large, aren't really necessary. Instead, focusing on subtle changes can be relatively painless but can result in a profound transformation.

You can never go far wrong by embracing vintage furnishings. The way interior design works is very much in peaks and troughs. Trends will come and go and come again. Trying to latch onto every shift in momentum will only result in an ongoing uphill battle, and you'll never quite reach the top. There always has - and always will - be a place for vintage in design, though. And there is an abundance of ways you can utilize it. Here are our top tips for using vintage sporadically throughout your home.

The First Rule of Vintage Club


It's not what you think it is. Okay, so vintage vibes aren't all that easy to pull off. If you go overboard, you risk making your home look a little outdated, antiquated and out of touch. So, what's the best way to incorporate hints of vintage throughout your home? By combining them with more modern stylings. The idea of mixing up traditional and contemporary elements together isn't a new revelation. Nor is it unique to the interior design world.

The best way to achieve a perfect balance is by creating a modern environment that contains more traditional elements. Sort of a juxtaposition of stylings from then and now. That, in essence, is exactly what interior design is all about. Taking older elements and giving them a new lease of life. Nothing is new. Every idea, concept and design is borrowed; harking back to a time gone by. Every single piece of design can be traced back to an older origin. The trick is finding a way to work in harmony, and giving it a modern spin.

Furniture designers like Ian Snow understand this concept well. They take organic elements - even bound by imperfection - and give them a spin to make them work in a modern setting. It is, however, easier said than done. Designers all around the world are striving for a perfect balance, and may go some way to explaining why trends evolve so frequently.

Opposites Attract


One of the biggest fears for designers is clashing. It has been a significant problem at the forefront of design thinking for as long as I can remember. Some designers have come to fear taking chances while their more successful counterparts embrace it. That's the secret to a successful design plan - taking risks. You may well come across a couple of duds, but you can make it work with some smart thinking.

Of course, it helps immeasurably if you have an understanding of what will work together already. Which colours will offset other tones and shades? What furniture will highlight a room? How natural light can enhance certain feelings? The likelihood is that, by frequenting this blog, you already have an interest in interior design. Think about things that you already know. Look at your previous patterns to see what worked, and what didn't work so well.

There is no doubt in my mind that one of the most successful design styles is to combine old and new. This kind of hybrid is where you'll find the most success; provided you know when and how to use it. Remember - the second rule of vintage club is not to create chaos, but to look considered and measured.


Draw Inspiration From Foreign Design


Taking cues from more exotic locations is one of the more tried and tested methods of design. And what is one constant fixture in, for example, Eastern European design? They embrace their old stylings in combination with more modern trends. Think about big and bold patterns. Rustic furnishings. You don't need to go down the route of an exotic theme to make it work, but looking how they contrast is a good jumping off point.

There's a certain braveness in foreign design that is far too lacking amongst western designers. How do they achieve that? Well, to put it simply, they just aren't afraid to try new combinations. Who would have thought that gold ornaments could complement patterned red wallpaper so well? In theory, it sounds like a design disaster. In practice, it works. You won't find out until you try - that's a key point to remember.

Don't Fear Eccentricity


When did 'eccentric' become such a bad word, anyway? The bohemians of yesteryear were once heralded as visionaries. Now, any kind of fashion faux pas is quickly shot down before it even gets out of the starting blocks. There is far too much of a fixation on the tried and tested today. Every design style that ever came to existence was once considered a calculated gamble.

One of the most successful combinations, as far as I can tell, is to combine vintage furniture with a modern setting. What is your current bathroom style? If you've been keeping up with trends, you'll likely have embraced a more contemporary appeal. What would happen if you threw a vintage bath tub in there? Would it all fall apart? Or would you create a distinct character that enhances your entire room?

Try it out, mix it up, and - above all - don't be afraid to experiment.
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