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5 Tips to Mixing Modern and Vintage Design

With clean lines, timeless shapes and free-flowing curves, modern design mixes well with classic and traditional furniture. Mixing modern and vintage design in your home may seem intimidating at first – especially if your taste is more traditional – but with a few design tips from Copenhagen’s Director of Interior design, Maurice Brantley, you’ll find it’s a fun, artistic endeavor that yields beautiful results.

If you’re looking to strike a balance in your home that is comfortable, texturally-interesting, and totally unique, consider our 5 tips to mixing modern and vintage design. As the mid-century design aesthetic has recently surged in popularity and complements small spaces with a clutter-free look, we’ll also introduce you to several timeless pieces that go with any vintage or traditional items.

1. Take into consideration the pieces you already have.

Maurice Brantley, an ASID affiliated designer, says that the first step is to consider the pieces that you already have in your home. “As an interior designer, my job is to weave contemporary design into the already-established design,” he said. “A lot of people think that contemporary pieces may not go with antique pieces. However, it can be a lot more interesting when you mix items from different eras. They can actually relate to each other in many ways—through form, function, and materials.”

Brantley also pointed out that not everything that is contemporary is made out of chrome and glass—they’re also made out of wood and other organic elements.

2. Go for a collected look.

In today’s view of interior design, going for a multi-layered, collected look—a harmonious balance of furniture with varying design styles—is more desirable than buying an entire room of furniture and décor with the same color, style, or theme. Classic, iconic designs can really liven up a room, even if the other pieces present are modern.

3. Pair a traditional table with modern chairs.

A vintage table is the perfect partner to modern chairs because it adds unexpected contrasts of shape and a unique twist. In production since 1949, the Kasper dining table is a very basic, super classic refectory dining table that fits eight people comfortably. “Kasper is very true to Danish design, form, and function,” said Brantley. “It’s a classic, strong, and simple table that fits seamlessly into any home environment.” Pair the Kasper table with some modern chairs, such as this Jakob dining chair. The natural walnut frame adds warmth and color, while the ergonomic, curved frame brings subtle grace.

4. Choose one or two iconic pieces of furniture.

You can’t go wrong with adding at least one classic piece to your current furniture collection. A great choice is the Siesta Chair – its design was inspired by Norwegian Architect and designer Ingmar Relling’s work. From every angle, Siesta’s curved wood frame and distinctive cushions present striking lines that represent the best of minimalist furniture design. A truly modern classic.

5. Incorporate accessories that bring a color, texture, or style accent.

If your space still seems like it’s missing something after you’ve arranged your furniture, try incorporating an accessory like a vase, pillow, table sculpture, or piece of wall art. This accessory can bring together a specific color or finish shared by both your modern and vintage furniture pieces to help to unify the aesthetics in the room. Experiment with different pieces until you find one that brings texture and a feeling of balance or unity to your space.

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