Real life is not as perfectly curated according to trends as Instagram or Pinterest would make us believe, and most spaces that people live in combine elements from multiple periods, styles, places and influences. 

As time goes on our taste also evolves, new pieces are purchased according to the latest trend (Kinsfolk anyone?!) or inherited, and most often this becomes all a bit overwhelming on how to combine all these elements and bring it all together.

So here are a few tips on navigating mixing old and new furniture and decor pieces for your home.

  1. Limit your colour palette

The easiest way to ensure your space will look coherent, even if it features a variety of styles, is to limit the colour palette.

This image shows how the rose gold/ pink hue is repeated from the flooring to server to chair and how the interior looks cohesive even tho the items are completely contrasting.
  1. Add contemporary art

Or vice versa. One of the easiest ways to start is to add contemporary art where classical furniture prevails, or a traditional artwork in a mostly contemporary space. This clash between 2 styles is easy to achieve and it always makes a striking statement.

period detailing with very contemporary art completely contrast
a mainly contemporary interior with a very traditional art piece creating total drama! love it!
  1. The power of repetition

Repetition works wonders in design. Even if your interior has a mix of different styles, it will always look more polished if similar patterns, textures or items are repeated.  

This interior shows a mix of styles – Boho, natural and mid-century yet the plants repeated 3 times create unity within the interior. Note the colour brown is also repeated which also creates cohesiveness.

4. Chose a stand out feature.  

It always helps to build  a space around a key feature, for example a wow light fitting. Take direction from that key item or element and build the rest of the space around it. Whether it is using similar materials or colour or shapes.

The room is decorated around the light fitting. round shapes are repeated in the table, the rug and ceiling rose, and even tho these are all elements from different design eras it works.

5. Do your research

Lastly educate yourself. Its easy to throw bits and pieces of furniture together but the space really does become curated and thoughtful when you know the style of the item and time in design history. ie. using an art deco styled table with a velvet sofa. Knowing how the items co-exist in terms of design history will help tie in other elements and colours and textures. Google will be your friend :)

In this image the wallpaper is very deco, and the mirror is gold – a colour associated with deco. That creates unity despite the mix and match of other styles and elements

At the moment there is a huge trend towards “mid-century modern style” with light fittings particulary nodding to this period. This style dates back to the 1950’s and yet it is complementing contemporary minimalist interiors of today. 

Don’t be afraid or overwhelmed of mixing styles, it definitely tells a story and makes a home unique and unequivocally yours.