Blending Modern with Antique Furniture


If you have decided to include a few select antique items into your modern décor setting, you certainly wouldn’t be alone. UK homeowners who appreciate the finer things in life acquire antique accessories to add some character and colour to the room, and with a keen eye for a bargain, many source pieces from online antique dealers. Adding a few antique items gives a room balance, and with the clever use of texture and colour, blending the old with the new certainly works.


With the main focus on modern furniture, you can add texture to a room with an antique Persian rug, or perhaps leather footstools, which adds depth to a glossy room, and earthy colours in shades of red and brown preferred. A pair of antique chairs, for example, would contrast well with sleek, modern office furniture, with a little fabric on display, introducing textures to an otherwise bland ambience.

The 80/20 Rule

Many interior designers stick the ratio of 80/20 when mixing new and old furniture, with the modern look taking the lion’s share, gracefully supported by a few well-chosen antique items. If you absolutely love antiques, there’s no reason why you can’t add a few modern items of furniture to your collection, although for most it is primarily a modern setting. A grandfather clock would look stunning in a modern study, and with a few accessories such as a framed antique map, or perhaps some leather clad books and an antique inkpot and quill. There is an informative article on how best to mix antique and modern furniture, which is recommended reading.

Explore Colour Combinations

Trial and error is always a great way to achieve a balance, so don’t be afraid to experiment, even to the point of printing the target colour onto A4 paper and placing it in different locations. A bold contrast might be just what the room needs, and if you always keep the antique accessories to a small number, the desired effect is achieved.


Antique lamps offer an ideal way to illuminate a modern office, with desk and standing lamps that ooze character, while providing essential task lighting. A Victorian paraffin lantern or two would look stunning in any setting, especially in a modern office, even if they are only for show, while a French chandelier would make a stunning feature in any boardroom.

Don’t Overdo Things

It is very tempting to add a small item here and there, yet once the balance has been achieved, resist the temptation to add items. A modern living room, for example, would be best suited for a pair of antique pieces, with perhaps one or two small accessories to add depth and colour to the room.

If you are lacking in inspiration, a Google image search will bring up many fine examples of blending antique pieces in a modern setting, which might give you a few ideas. You are advised to forge an alliance with an online antique dealer, who would have extensive connections within the industry and can therefore source any items you required.

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