Real Estate

Mixing Modern and Vintage – Finding the Perfect Balance

Feb 2022 | By Jo-Ann Capelaci

A Timeless Approach to Home Decor

Are you thinking of buying a new home, and worried you’ll need to buy all new furniture? Maybe you’re downsizing. Perhaps you’ve inherited some family furniture from an estate, or are just looking for an unpredictable approach to design.

If you own furniture between 20 and 100 years old chances are it is vintage. A true vintage will be over 50 years. 

How do we take some of these time honored, pass-down pieces that we still love and mix them with some new pieces?

The good news is that it does work, and often looks even better than everything from the same era. A new build can be enhanced with the addition of some history, making it a timeless trend to mix vintage with modern.

Below find a room by room examples of blending modern and vintage together successfully.

Foyer and Hallways

An antique ornate mirror above a contemporary console will be a focal point as you enter, and set the tone for a mix of two eras.

Vintage pieces of art and artifacts look terrific in new interiors too if they are balanced with a few other vintage items. Add vintage art with modern furniture for an interesting blend. Hallways are also a good place to display vintage artwork.


Take your vintage table and add some contemporary chairs. Or if you love your vintage chairs pair them with a new clean lined, modern table. 

Either of these looks mixed with your new contemporary kitchen will look fab!

Living/Family Room

It is likely best to invest in a new sofa for style and comfort. Unless you really love your sofa and the style is perfect or unique, it usually costs as much to recover. 

Add your vintage occasional chairs to that new sofa. If you really want to upcycle have a unique vintage chair reupholstered in a new modern print. 

Dining Room

Can’t part with Grandma’s dishes? Add your vintage dishes on a modern dining table. They don’t even need to match! This kitschy look will have your friends envious they didn’t think of it!


An unusual pair of vintage nightstands or dresser can be a fabulous addition to your bedroom. Create a special look by mixing with a modern bed and a few other modern elements. You can paint the furniture if not happy with the finish. And there are so many options for cabinet hardware if that needs updating.

Home Office

A retro desk could be the focal point you need to create a space you want to work in. Add your contemporary office chair for a great blend. Or pair a painted vintage desk and wood chair together and put it in your contemporary space.


A bathroom is the perfect location for the addition of a vintage chandelier or mirror. 

You can also repurpose those vintage vases and dishes in the bathroom to put a plant in or as holders for soaps or jewelry   

Sum Up

Repeat the mixing of elements throughout your home to create balance and harmony – if the new space is new think about using 20% of vintage and keeping 80% modern to balance the look

Consider making a vintage piece the focal point of the room

Your colour palette can remain simple keeping colour combinations to a minimum – follow the 60/30/10 rule, meaning 60% is dominate colour, 30% secondary colour and 10% is the accent colour.

Or do a completely neutral, monochromatic décor!

Sometimes the answer is repurposing a vintage piece. 

Contrasts or juxtaposition create interest so have fun blending the old with new!

If you are inspired to mix modern and vintage and don’t have any vintage furniture you can scour second-hand stores or purchase new that looks vintage.