Create Unique and Powerful Looks by Juxtaposing Antique and Contemporary Furniture

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Create Unique and Powerful Looks by Juxtaposing Antique and Contemporary Furniture

10 February 2016
 Categories: Home & Garden, Articles

Juxtaposition is a powerful concept in interior design that can be used in a variety of ways. For example, you might combine differently sized objects, contrasting colors or dissimilar materials to produce a unique look. Putting pieces of furniture from different eras next to each other can also create singular decors. Here are some tips you can use to juxtapose antique and contemporary furniture with each other to give your home's rooms truly one-of-a-kind looks.

Keep the Decor Simple

You should keep any interior design simple, but it's especially important to avoid complexity when juxtaposing antique and contemporary furniture so that the contrast is emphasized. If a room is too cluttered, it will look more like a garage sale than a finely curated collection of unalike pieces. You want people to notice the contrast, and, therefore, should make sure it's front and center.

For example, if you have an antique lamp and a contemporary end table that look good together, you can put the lamp on top of the end table. If you then crowd the end table with photos, a notepad and books, however, the lamp will get lost in the clutter. At most, you could include one other piece that draws the lamp and end table together.

Use White for Background Walls and Pieces

White is an excellent color for any furniture or walls that aren't central to a room's look for three reasons:

  • White is a neutral color and goes with any other color
  • White matches many contemporary furniture pieces
  • White will showcase the main pieces in a room

In short, white is a simple color, which makes it perfect for anything that isn't the central feature of a room. People's eyes' will be drawn to the more colorful and visually complex features of a room.

Cover Antique Furniture with Slipcovers

By placing modern slipcovers over antique furniture, you can give old pieces a contemporary look. Look for fabrics that feature bold colors and clean lines, which will contrast with the curves and intricate shapes that many antiques have. Just make sure to choose fabrics that are dark enough to prevent underlying patterns from showing through.

You won't be able to see an antique's painted or stained patterns once you place a slipcover over them. You still, however, will see the silhouette of the piece. Thus, this idea is particularly effective with unusually shaped antique pieces, such as the following:

  • High-backed dining chairs
  • Sofas with oversized armrests
  • Benches with intricately carved legs

Use Antiques to Accent Rooms

When combining antique and contemporary furniture, you must strike a balance between the two styles. Finding a balance, however, doesn't mean you need an equal number of pieces in each style. In fact. your home's rooms will look better if you accent one of the styles with the other.

Because antiques are usually more intricate than contemporary pieces, you should use antique pieces, rather than contemporary ones, as accents. They'll draw people's eyes more than plainer modern pieces.

Unify Rooms with Common Colors

When juxtaposing any decor, there needs to be a common element that draws all pieces together. Color is easy to use, because you can find both antique and contemporary furniture in every color. Just as you would combine articles of clothing that have the same color in them, look for pieces furniture from the past and present that share a specific color. Even just a splash of color can bring an entire room together if that color is in multiple pieces.

Juxtaposing antique and contemporary furniture can create unique and powerful looks. As you look for pieces to put together in rooms, keep these tips in mind so you end up with a contrast that works well.