Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Incorporating Vintage Finds Into Modern Interiors

 Whether you already have a modern interior and discover an antique in a thrift shop that you just cannot pass up, or you have a family heirloom that’s incongruent with your interior, a vintage piece can present decorative challenges for even top-tier decorators. However, it’s not an insurmountable issue.

Answering these questions and following the corresponding guidance will help you incorporate vintage pieces into more modern interiors.  

Is it a Principle Piece of Furniture?

As a rule, the larger the piece, the more difficult it will be to blend into the rest of your décor. For instance, it’s going to be really difficult to maintain the modern look of your bedroom if you’ve purchased a vintage chest of drawers or bedframe. If this is the case, and you don’t want to give up the vintage piece, you may want to rethink the rest of the room. 

For example, it would be extremely difficult — but not impossible — to merge the Coral Gables Sofa from Tommy Bahama Home's Ocean Breeze Collection in the first image with the vintage loveseat in the second image:

However, if you do decide to go down this road and you don’t want to completely do away with your modern décor, you could employ an eclectic look and perhaps bring in elements that are both modern and traditional. For the two pieces in question, place modern cushions with straight lines on the vintage piece and frilled or round throw pillows with a traditional print on the sectional.

Is It a Smaller Item?

For obvious reasons, smaller items are much easier to deal with. If you purchased a small antique piece that can sit on a shelf or table, you have many options. You can use the vintage item as a centerpiece on a dining table, place it on a shelf or atop a console, or put it in a curio cabinet with other collectible items. 

Not only is the Coastal Console Table from Hooker Furniture’s Surfrider Collection a really cool piece, but despite its modern leanings, it’s a suitable place to display vintage objets d’art like this antique jug, which might add a pop of color to this otherwise neutral space. 

Is There a Common Color or Pattern?

Colors, patterns, and other visual elements can create a powerful impression on the eye. Even if the shape and substance of your vintage piece don't mesh with your décor, matching the color to other pieces may make all of the difference. 

For example, if you purchased the tripod lamp in the first image, you would have no problem placing it in a Mid-Century Modern living room or bedroom, but what if you had a contemporary or minimalist setting? You could closely match the shade with the primary or secondary color of the room. The lamp would look amazing in the corner behind the Synergy Home Furnishings Three Piece Slipcover Sectional from the 1300 Collection

How to Avoid Buying the Wrong Vintage Piece 

Whether you’re antiquing, thrifting, attending auctions, or hitting yard sales, the impulse-buy vibe will be strong. If all goes well, you’ll find a truly interesting and unique piece that cinches your home décor. If it goes wrong, you could end up with a little less space in your garage. These tips will keep you on track and improve the chance of a successful purchase. 

  • Remember Your Color Palette – one way to eliminate 90% of vintage impulse buys is to rule them out by color. If you have a room full of pastels and neutrals, a jewel-toned Tiffany lamp is not going to fit easily. If you keep paint chips and material swatches, you can make a small kit to compare vintage items with the colors of your space. 
  • Keep Pictures of Your Rooms – Use your phone or tablet to take multiple photos of the interior of your home. If you’re hunting for a particular type of item — a driftwood storage trunk or an amber vase, etc. — take photos of the area where you want to display it. Put the photos in an album so you can readily access them whenever you find a piece of interest. 
  • Follow the Zero-Gain Principle – If you’re an avid collector, you can easily overdo it. The zero-gain principle requires you to get rid of an item when you buy a new one — usually one of the same type. So, if you purchase a new lamp, it has to replace a lamp that you already own. 

While Baer’s Furniture is Florida’s number-one retailer for new pieces, we understand the appeal of vintage items. Stop in at a Baer’s Furniture showroom with pictures of your vintage item. We’re happy to discuss ideas with you. 

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