Antique Style: Mixing the Old and the New
Every successful interior should have one thing in common – a mix of the old and new. Unless you are going for a room that says the Palace of Versailles, not every budget can accommodate an “antiques only” museum look. Adding a touch of modern or transitional furniture provides a balance and a fresh touch while a treasured heirloom evokes an immediate “Old World” feel – it can be a happy marriage for both style, creating a seamless blend and something we like to call, antique style.
Here are 5 tips for creating an antique style:
- First, decide on what type of style. If it’s modern, then you can add a touch of chinoiserie or if you favor French interiors, add an ornate Louis XV mirror or gilt console and flank with Gabby’s modern Ruby Chair or add the Capri Mirror (a modern play on the popular sunburst mirror) over an antique chest.
- Think about contrast. Farmhouse interiors are trending these days and rustic and vintage make a great pairing. Constructed of distressed cream and natural cerused oak, the elegant yet casual Whitlock Dining Table would make the perfect accompaniment to French antique fauteuil chairs. And the graceful carvings of the Delano Console Table complement the French style of Gabby’s Shannon Chaise.
- It’s all in the mix and the unexpected. Try pairing Gabby’s streamlined contemporary Powell table lamp with a Swedish Gustavian console for an instant pedigree. And take your cues from New York-based interior designer, author of the popular design and lifestyle blog Nest by Tamara and creative director/co-owner of the fabric and wallpaper company root cellar designs who details, “Antiques in a room bring substance and history and give the eye something to settle on, something with either great detail and beautiful handwork or a little patina showing grace and telling a story. I almost always use antiques in my design projects, and I understand the importance of balancing old with new. While many of us don’t want to live with only older furniture, it is a lovely balance to have both modern furnishings and antiques together.”
- Add in color. The old adage “God is in the details” could be the mantra for the design profession. For a traditional interior, a well-placed pop of color can be found in a contemporary painting above the sofa while modern lamps such as the antique brass and acrylic Dante Table Lamp on an inlaid English commode or modern style pendant lighting (Grayson Pendant Chandelier) above a traditional table in a breakfast nook creates a unique contrast.
- Have a plan. As the internationally renowned Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines notes, “Just like in love, opposites attract. It’s all about juxtaposition. When you put old next to the new, for example, a Rococo chest of drawers next to abstract art, both pieces pop and look better together in contrast than they could ever look on their own individually.” And try to have a cohesiveness and a well thought out plan. Don’t throw a bunch of different styles together and expect them to play nice – it’s the quickest way to a design divorce!