How many of you have inherited a beautiful antique, or perhaps a mid-century modern piece of furniture? Blending traditional and contemporary styles can be difficult; but whether your look is clean and modern or a rustic farmhouse chic, embracing those different styles can make your home more interesting. 

A room that is filled with matchy-matchy furniture and accessories is nothing short of boring. Create a cohesive look while mastering the mix of new and old by following these simple guidelines. 

Breakfast room/dining room

In a formal space with an inherited antique dining table, swap out the matching dining chairs for a cleaner, more updated look. Fully upholstered chairs in an updated fabric are a simple, cost effective solution to mixing vintage and new. Or add a more modern chandelier over your antique table. If the table has clean lines and is more modern, scale down the minimal design by placing a vintage rug underneath. Then, add casual bistro chairs to complete the look.

Family room/living room:

For a traditional living area, hang a contemporary painting or piece of art above an English arm sofa to create a nice contrast. The juxtaposition of an antique table between modern chairs brings balance to both the chairs and the table, and also creates an interesting vignette. You can never go wrong in a traditional living area by adding a contemporary cocktail table. Swapping out a traditional ceramic lamp with a sleek alabaster or acrylic lamp is another cost-effective trick to merge two styles and give your space more personality.

By carefully mixing modern and antique furniture and accessories, you can create a balance in your home that will be timeless for years to come. Be creative and start a new chapter. Each antique piece has a story to tell.

As an Interior Designer and Owner of j. gray design & interiors, Inc., Tracy Harkness creates spaces that are chic, timeless, and comfortable. Every space should be functional and livable with attention to detail. Connect with her at

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