The Magic Trick to Mixing Modern and Traditional |
The Trick to Mixing Modern and Traditional Furniture

The Trick to Mixing Modern and Traditional Furniture

How do you make it look more 'vintage' than 'old and outdated'?

Written by –
Emma B. Joyce
on April 13th 2018
Emma B. Joyce is blogger based in Australia. She is a true home decor and DIY fanatic. Emma is also a mother who likes to spend her free time with her daughter. Finding new designs and patterns is her daily task. She is an editor-in-chief at Smooth Decorator.

Finding a signature style for your home decor is harder than most people realize. It’s not just about finding the perfect furniture, but also combining it with all the other things in your living space. Luckily, there are lots of different styles you can opt for and everyone can find the one that suits them best.


If you find that a single style isn’t enough, you’ll need to combine a few of them. For those unsure whether you feel better surrounded by modern or traditional furniture, simply use both of these styles at the same time!


Here’s how you can achieve the perfect balance between mixing modern and traditional.

Make a Plan

Mixing vintage and traditional furniture |

Mixing two very different styles – and keep in mind that modern and traditional are as different as it gets – can’t be done spontaneously and without thinking everything through beforehand. What you need to do is make a plan: picture your perfect layout, visualize what you want everything to look like, and then try to turn your ideas into reality.


Give each of these styles a chance to shine, but leave enough maneuvering space, especially in the living room and bedroom. Learn all you can about a particular style – 1970s furniture, for instance, is all about floral prints, macramé, big chairs and other interesting details you need to know about – and find a way to make the most of it in your own home.  

Focus on a Single Room

Open plan living room of a snug attic apartment with mustard yellow sofa |

Trying to apply a certain style in every room of your home at the same time is practically impossible. So it’s much better to limit yourself to just one space and see whether you’ll like these ideas at all or not. Since the living room is the focal point of every home, start there: add just one modern piece of furniture to an all-traditional layout – or vice versa – and it will automatically stand out. Alternatively, play with colors and bring in a vibrant sofa into a room full of pastel colors and traditional white walls.

Find an Amazing Centerpiece You Love

Modern ocean-inspired living room |

No matter which style you prefer, you should always have a couple of furniture pieces that go well with all styles. A classic white sofa, a wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling bookcase and some decorative and cozy round rugs can look too simple at first, but are actually the best ways to create effective centerpieces in every room.


What’s more, these pieces won’t just elevate the entire aesthetic appeal of your living space, but also bring a new dose of elegance to your mixture of modern and traditional. Since they’re so adaptable and easy to combine, these centerpieces are going to help your two different styles connect into one.

Co-ordinate and Contrast

Contrast or co-ordinate? |

There are basically two methods of combining these two styles, and whichever you decide to go with, you won’t be wrong. You can co-ordinate them and blend their colors, tones, shapes and patterns, or go a different way and contrast each of these features.


If you opt for a harmonizing effect, pick furniture that goes well together and is made from the same material – unusual wooden chairs and a more traditional wooden coffee table, for example. If you wish to juxtapose and contrast your two styles, pick whatever you want and combine it freely without thinking about the final outcome because you’re striving towards eclecticism and disbalance anyways.

Work Together

Blue living room with fireplace and glass chandelier |

Working with another person is the best way to combine modern and traditional style: your spouse, fiancé, partner, sibling or roommate should be responsible for one, while you should focus on the other. This way, both of you are going to pick your favorite pieces and try to use your own style as much as you can, but you’re still going to give the other person a chance to represent their own wishes and desires.


This tactic could also be beneficial on another level, especially with married couples who are learning how to be more tolerant and open to someone else’s ideas. All you need to do is learn how to communicate with one another when decorating and express your wishes freely, and you’ll surely end up with an appealing and interesting space that combines modern and traditional furniture – not to mention a better and healthier relationship!

Don’t Overload

Apartment H+M by destilat: Open plan living area with tall ceilings and white walls |

When mixing these styles, try not to add too much furniture, because you’ll just end up with a cluttered space nobody is going to enjoy. Moreover, it’s going to prevent your visitors from seeing just how well you’ve combined modern and traditional elements in your home. Another thing you should avoid is too many colors on the walls, so limit your painting skills to a handful of tones and stick to those that work well with both traditional and modern furniture and decor.

Was this article useful? Leave us a comment below to let us know your favorite tips for mixing traditional and modern style elements together.


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