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Decorating a Modern Space with Vintage Furniture

Mix Retro and Art Deco Pieces Such as Vintage Mirrors with Contemporary Items for a Unique Look

© 2010 by Alyssa Davis; all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission,

Antique crow foot bathtub, courtesy Kraemarie

A popular interior design trend nowadays is to have vintage furniture incorporated into a modern room. Modern design is characterized by clean, sleek lines and neutral colors.

Its minimalist look is ideal for drawing attention to a unique piece of vintage furniture, adding character and some charm to your home.

You may have inherited an old buffet or sewing machine table from past generations and want to showcase the family heirloom. Or, you may have a taste for scouting flea markets and antique stores in search for one-of-a-kind pieces.

In any case, there is a place for vintage furniture in modern décor. These following tips will help you decorate the space and make the most of your vintage pieces.

Look for Classics

Keep an eye out for vintage pieces that have been designed in decades past and have been imitated and replicated over the years. Pieces like the Eames lounge chair and Le Corbusier sofa have a distinctive style and quality that make them timeless classics.

They add an elegance that complements both old and new décor. In your modern room, the classic simplicity will be a welcome addition.

Use them Practically

Vintage furniture can be used for both aesthetic and practical purposes. Turn a vintage sewing machine table into a writing desk, or use a vintage credenza as a console for your television set.

Store odds and ends in an art deco lacquered cabinet. Combine different chairs from the past, each with their own character and style, and use them with a modern dining table.

Select Focal Pieces Such as Vintage Mirrors

Mirror from NĂ©cessaire de la Princesse de Deux-Ponts; photo courtesy Gryffindor In a modern-styled living room or bedroom, a dramatic piece of art or decorative mirror is often hung on the wall as a focal point of the room. Vintage mirrors are ideal for serving this purpose.

In a minimalist, neutral-toned space, mirrors with bold, stylized frames are particularly eye-catching.

You can also have vintage focal pieces in other rooms of your home. For instance, a vintage bathtub makes a plain bathroom look charming and luxurious.

Vintage kitchen appliances like an avocado green toaster or a mustard yellow blender can be employed as accents in the kitchen. Display them on the kitchen counter and make them pop against a contrasting modern wall color.

Retro Can be Modern

Bean bag chairs are economical and stylish; photo courtesy Daveybot Furniture of the 50s and 60s, like a bean bag chair, is clean and sleek, a perfect fit with today’s modern design. Bright and colorful pieces were popular at the time, together with the use of chrome, laminate, and molded plastic.

Placed in a modern space, they complement the décor with their fun and interesting design. Use modern colors like taupe, sage, aqua, and orange to tie the room together as a whole.

Combine with Vintage Accessories

Consider decorating your modern space with vintage accessories to go with the vintage furniture. Try framing vintage posters in modern frames, or add a vintage table lamp to the table besides your vintage seating.

Items like records, clothing, and small appliances from the past can be good conversation starters when displayed in an interesting way.

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About the author:

Author, Alyssa Davis, is’s number one design specialist on decorating with coffee cup metal wall art and turtles metal wall sculptures.

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