We’re major proponents of mixing older vintage or antique pieces with newer furniture and decor finds at home. Having lived through a period of back-ordered inventory galore, going the secondhand route has become not just a fun way to treasure hunt but also a means of adding beautiful objects to our spaces without waiting weeks on end due to extended delivery times.
Keep with a Theme
The key to mixing old and new within one’s space is keeping a general aesthetic or theme in mind when decorating. For example, if you are drawn to boho style, you will want to ensure that both the newer and vintage pieces you select for your space fall within this realm. Try pairing a rattan chair dating back to the 1970s with a more contemporary ceramic vase from Anthropologie.
If your style leans eclectic, you have a bit more freedom when it comes to mixing and matching pieces, but you still don’t want to go too far out of bounds, or you’ll risk designing a home that resembles a flea market! If you love colorful, glam pieces, don’t feel the need to work a mid-century modern table into your space just because it’s an aesthetically pleasing piece. After all, you need to think about whether a vintage find will complement your setup or simply make it more complicated.
Focus on Accessories First
If it’s your first time mixing older and newer pieces in the same space, we suggest focusing on accessories first. Furniture purchases may be more permanent, but accents can easily be stored or even resold if your style changes. Some of our favorite smaller pieces to buy vintage include trinket trays, bar cart accessories (such as ice buckets and decorative wine openers), mirrors, and sculptural objects.
These more storied finds pair wonderfully with newer pieces such as simple glass candle holders, cloches, and vases. For an easy yet inspiring vignette, line up a row of glass candle holders on your mantel, then layer in a leaning piece of vintage artwork, a vase of flowers, and a small trinket box, which you can use to store matches and other candle accessories. In just a few steps, you’ve created a display with visual interest and charm.
Don’t Go Too Overboard
It can be tempting to scoop up everything that catches your eye when shopping secondhand, especially if prices are low. However, you don’t want your own space to resemble a garage sale by any means! Just as you thoughtfully curate pieces for your home when making investment purchases, you will want to be equally judicious about what you bring home from the antique store. Just because something is charming or a great deal doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the right fit based on your aesthetic. It can be helpful to visit a secondhand store with a list in mind to narrow your sights on what you truly need for your space.
Once you begin to mix old and new pieces around your home, you may not be able to stop. And the best part is that customizing your space little by little is what making a home is all about.