Something borrowed, something new: How to mix and match vintage and modern

One of the latest interior design trends is to mix and match the old with the new in a tasteful way. For example, vintage oak tables are being used in dining rooms, but rather than using the matching carved oak chairs, designers are replacing them with contemporary white leather chairs with stainless steel legs and arms.

Here, we take a look at what makes this trending style so special, and how you can master mixing and matching for your own home's decor. 

Value of attracting opposites

The vintage-and-modern look, rather than being jarring, in fact makes for quite a striking style that brings to mind the magic of something borrowed kept next to something new. The beauty of this mix-and-match trend is that you end up showcasing the best qualities of both vintage and modern styles.

In an interview with Houzz, American interior designer Leanne Ford said this style is a great way to give a home some personality "by mixing old and new, modern and rustic – and bringing in a healthy dose of flea market finds."

With that in mind, here are some tips for you to mix-and-match to your heart's content.

Making the most of this trend

Ms Ford recommends using "the imperfect as an opportunity" when it comes to choosing which pieces you want to display in this style. 

Browse your local goodwill stores and antique shops for vintage trays and vases, especially bronzed ones that have gone patina with age. Other trademark vintage looks are etchings and carvings of floral patterns, or examples with handles that are ornately shaped and curved. Place these trays and vases as decorative items on a contemporary glass and steel coffee table. 

To have the reverse effect, find a rustic wooden trunk that you can use as your lounge's coffee table. Stain it to the exact shade of wood that will suit your home using the dark and light varieties offered in the Resene Colorwood range.

Next, find abstract ceramic or blown glass vases from a local art gallery or homeware store, and use these modern, edgy ornaments to contrast to the antique trunk. Instead of using store-bought coasters, find slabs of marble cut-off pieces from a factory outlet and use these square tiles as contemporary coasters. 

Think along the same lines when setting up other rooms, so that the look of your lounge is echoed throughout the home's decor. In a bedroom, modern bedside tables and headboards would contrast nicely to a broad vintage armchair embroidered in patterns, with a soft cushion propped on top. 

Think beyond furniture

Although the most obvious way of using this trend is in your selection and arrangement of furniture and ornaments, you can be creative with how you mix-and-match. For example, choosing a vintage wallpaper for a feature wall would look interesting next to neutral toned paint colours. Some combinations for you to try are the Carillon Z1801 wallpaper, which comes in a textured antique gold tone with lace patterns, matched with neutral paint shades such as Resene Gin Fizz, Resene Coffee BreakResene Alcatraz or Resene Moscato.

The direct contrast to this would be to opt for a sleek, modern patterned wallpaper set against weathered wood. Coat on some Resene Colorwood Whitewash to your wooden floors and paper the walls with Alta Gamma Home 14931, Chicago 93469-1 or Black & White 3 25672 for a chic contemporary contrast. 

Once you set the mood on the walls, it's easier to pair furniture with the look. 

Finally, don't be afraid to mix and match what you already have – tables that seem old may only be looking that way because of what is placed around them. Simply remove the current chairs and store them away, replacing them with more industrial seats made of steel or leather and you have an instant revamp! 

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