There are those who will tell you if you are going to have some antique furniture, you have to go all the way and create an antique setting, yet with some careful placement, it is possible to blend a few distinguished antique pieces into a modern or contemporary setting. There are no hard and fast rules regarding mixing antique items with more modern pieces and it’s more a question of trial and error; if you are stuck for some inspiration, there are many fine examples of mix and match images on the Internet.
Forge an Alliance with an Online Antique Dealer
This will give you access to a wide range of antique items and whether you are looking for antiques in Sydney or Melbourne, an online search will help you to locate a local dealer. That way, you can browse the pieces the dealer already has, plus you can have him search for specific items that you feel will work in your home setting.
If you are unsure how a particular antique piece looks in your chosen setting, take a few pictures and post them on an interior design forum. You will at least get an honest opinion from a few experts. Of course, there are those who will say you do not need a second opinion, as you are the one living in the environment and if it works for you, why worry? On the other hand, no one wants to throw a party and end up as the object of ridicule due to their sense of style.
Texture and Depth
A single antique item can add both texture and depth to an otherwise overbalanced room, perhaps an upholstered dresser or a single chair. This gives the modern room a hint of the old without confusing the ambience. Too much of anything is a little overbearing, especially if you are only using two base colours, and with a little creativity and some trial and error, you should be able to place a few pieces into a modern setting and achieve a balance.
Shades of Timber
One can effectively add an antique wooden piece and contrast nicely with hardwood flooring. It is never a good idea to have all your timber grain of similar colours, and by adding something a little darker, you give the room some balance. Rosewood and walnut are the ideal choice for a modern timber-based setting, just make sure you don’t overdo it, as this will lead to visual confusion.
The Focal Point
In a modern room, you can always make the single antique item the focal point – which kind of works – especially in a light coloured room. An antique chair beside a modern writing desk certainly says something and if the colours are not too conflicting, why not?
If you view this as an exercise in creative thinking and make good use of available technology to find some inspiration, there’s no reason why your fusion of old and new won’t look stunning.