This is How You Mix Antique And Modern Decor In The Living Room

Have you heard? Traditional, antique decor is making a huge comeback in the 2020s. Gone are the days of minimalist, modern art decor. Instead, more and more people are starting to experiment with a fusion of antique and contemporary decor styles.

If you think about it, your living room is arguably the most prominent space in your house. It’s the first (and usually only) thing that guests see. More importantly, it’s where you spend most of your productive time.

It’s also the only space where you can express your creativity without any limitations.

But with so many possibilities, where do you even start?

If you’re lost for inspiration, keep reading for some valuable insight on combining vintage and modern decor in your living room.

Get Inspired

First thing’s first: empty out all your online shopping carts and give yourself a clean slate. Yes, it’s fun to go on a shopping spree for modern art decor and thrifting for antique furniture.

But remember: this random, haphazard assortment of ideas will only limit your productivity.

 Modern Home decor

Decorating your living space is a very methodical process. Therefore, the first thing you need to do is get inspired. The goal here is not to have a clear vision of exactly what goes where. But it’d be useful to have some sort of inspiration to keep you on track throughout this process.

The most obvious way to do this is by skimming through catalogues and browsing Pinterest.

But guess what? You can find inspiration within your own home as well.

Try it out: walk around your house and familiarize yourself with the layout. Identify the kind of light sources that your house uses.

Most importantly, go through your existing furniture and stocked-away decor items. Try to reuse as many items already in your possession as you can.

Use Lights to Play With Dimensions

Lighting is extremely tricky to figure out. Usually, people will shy away from experimenting with lighting too much.

According to Charlie & Co architect Charlie Simmons: “The best way to screw up good architecture is bad lighting.”

 Good lighting at livingroom

But the thing is, lighting adds a lot of personality to your space. The right light source can completely change the look of your entire living room, especially when you’re mixing vintage and modern art decor.

That’s because artificial lighting such as chandeliers and table lamps were often the focal point of late 19th century Victorian architecture.

But before you install more lighting, you need to figure out the light sources that your living room already has; it’s important that your light sources aren’t competing with each other.

For instance, hanging lights are a hot item when it comes to vintage decor. However, if your living room already has a chandelier, then adding more hanging lights will lead to unnecessary clustering.

Instead, you should stick with table lamps for some dimensional variation. Generally, small accent lamps with ambient lighting will do the trick.

One fool-proof way to incorporate vintage lighting into your living room is by using a statement piece. And it doesn’t always have to be something as grandiose as a chandelier.

 Volta Light Bulb

Instead, you can make a big statement using a small, yet distinctive artefact. Volta by Floatley is a unique and innovative lamp that combines modern floating technology with the retro aesthetic of a filament bulb.

Follow the 80/20 Rule

Whether you’re trying to incorporate antique decor into your modern home decor, or you want to add a touch of modern art decor into your vintage-themed decoration, stick with the 80/20 rule.

Basically, the rule dictates that the ideal ratio of modern to vintage, or vintage to modern, is 80:20. So, if you want to keep most of your decor modern, then allot 20% of the space for antique furniture.

The best way to do this is by keeping the large furniture, such as sofas and chairs, mostly contemporary. Then, use small antiquities such as leather-bound vintage books, or an antique picture frame to add detail.

This is a great way to use heirlooms or other furniture that’s been in your family for generations. If you have a small wooden trunk or some vintage china, use it in your living room!

Mix and Match

Hardcore decor enthusiasts know that there’s nothing better than creating your own unique furniture.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to build furniture from scratch. Instead, you could easily mix and match various pieces from different furniture to create something new and one of a kind. 

For example, if you have an antique counter height table, then keep that as the statement piece. Then, surround it with modern sitting chairs for that perfect contrast of contemporary and vintage. Add the final touches with some modern art decor, and you’ll be good to go!

Trust us; you’ll find yourself doing this more often than you’d think. Thrifting is the most easy and cost-effective way to find antique furniture. But it’s often difficult to find complete furniture sets when you’re thrifting.

Instead, you’ll have to get one part from here, another from there, until you have one full unit.

So, make the most of it and combine pieces from old and contemporary furniture to create something novel.

 Bed with vintage head bed


Play Around With Bold, Complementary Colours

When it comes to mixing vintage and modern art decor, you’ll find it best to let loose with some standard rules of colour palettes and textures.

While modern decor is all about neutral and cool tones, vintage decor was more about warm and complementary colours. Additionally, vintage decor styles also incorporated a lot of complementary textures instead of a single, thematic texture.

Therefore, don’t let unexpected colour and texture combinations scare you. Instead, try to play around with bold colours, even if you don’t usually enjoy them.

Vintage house with brick wall 

The thing is, since most modern art decor has neutral colour schemes, vibrant colours will provide the perfect contrast to make sure that your decor stands out.

What’s more; the complementary colour palettes will end up cancelling out anyway, leaving behind a harmonious colour scheme.

Layer the Textures

As you did with colours, throw caution to the wind when combining various textures. Your instincts might tell you to keep it minimalistic. But now is the time to step outside your comfort zone and experiment with unorthodox textures.

After all, wacky textures and numerous textiles are characteristic of vintage-style home decor.

The most tried and tested way to add texture is by using a vintage rug such as animal prints or hand-knotted carpeting. If you’re using a room rug, stick with earthy tones such as green, brown, or copper-red.

Another great way to incorporate more texture is by using small plants. Unlike large plants, small potted plants add layers of texture to your living room, so it doesn’t minimize the space.

Not sure what plants to buy? You can never go wrong with bonsai plants. These miniature decorative trees can blend seamlessly with any decor style. Check out this floating bonsai plant to literally add another dimension to your plant game.


Use Modern, Functional Versions of Antique Decor

No one can deny that vintage artefacts are simply timeless. Grandfather clocks, rotary dials, showcases, and wooden trunks are perfect examples of how old decor items can never go out of vogue.

But they can certainly stop being functional.

Things like rotary dials and gramophones sure look cool as a decoration item, but they have virtually no functionality.

For example, record players are the epitome of vintage aesthetics. However, it’s almost impossible to come across a good quality vinyl, let alone one that can still work with old record players.

Instead, search the market for modern record players, such as this futuristic floating MagLev turntable.

Floating Record Player 

You could also scratch the record player all together and opt for a completely modern audio system to complement your otherwise antique aesthetic. In that case, try out Floatley’s floating Bluetooth speakers for a stark contrast between antique decor and modern technology.


Let the Decor Reflect Your Life

It might be tempting to recreate all the beautiful arrangements you see on Pinterest and home depot magazines. But among so many ideas and possibilities, it’s easy to lose your personal decorating style.

After all, you don’t want to feel like you’re living in someone else’s house, do you?

When it comes to marrying modern art decor with antique pieces, it’s all about letting your personality and life experiences shine through.

We know; finding your own style can be a very daunting process. And that’s what it is- a process. You’ll notice that as you change and grow, so will your taste and preferences. And that’s perfectly okay.

In fact, the perfect amalgamation of modern and antique decor style reflects a sort of dynamic growth. It appears as if your house has been evolving with you, hence the combination of old and contemporary decor.

So, try to incorporate elements from your own life as much as you can. Don’t just replace artefacts representing fond memories with new purchases from the thrift shop.

And remember: if you don’t love it, don’t buy it. Since it’s so hard to come across high-quality vintage furniture and trinkets, you might be tempted to buy whatever you can find.


Recently, vintage and traditional decor has gained a lot of popularity. More and more people are starting to appreciate and embrace the vintage aesthetic that defined the 20th century.

That being said, you don’t have to completely refurbish your living room and turn it into something straight out of the victorian age.

Instead, follow our design tips to perfectly combine vintage and modern art decor to make your living room stand out.