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The DIY Designer: Tips for mixing modern and vintage home décor items

I suppose if you were to ask me what my signature decorating style is, I would have to say it’s mixing modern with vintage pieces. I tend to lean toward both modern and bold styles, as well as vintage styles (mainly ’60s, ’70s and ’80s) in my home decorating. The tough part, though, is making those pieces all work together in one space. If you have too many modern pieces, your vintage sofa is going to look quite out of place, and vice versa. If you’re a fan of both modern and vintage styles, and love to frequent thrift and antique stores just as much as HomeGoods, these tips might help you bring the two styles together in your home more easily.

Stay in the same color scheme.
Within a room especially, it is important to stay in the same color scheme when mixing two different styles. This keeps everything cohesive.


In the living room at my previous home, my color scheme consisted mainly of black, brown, green, navy and a pop of red coral. The couch was a basic brown leather couch, a more modern style, but I had a stained vintage buffet to help balance that out in the room, too. I also had a vintage black chair in the space balanced by a modern black accent wall. Green and navy accents both new and modern were throughout the space.

Wood tones look great against dark colors.
If you have stained pieces of vintage furniture that are in really great condition, I advise you to keep it stained unless you just know you’re going to love it painted forever. Case in point: I once painted that buffet you see in the image above, then discovered that wood tones looked great against black and ended up stripping and restaining the buffet. If you have a stained piece that you just can’t figure out how to make it work anywhere, try it against a dark sofa or a dark wall. Personally, I don’t think you can ever go wrong with wood tones against black. They also work well against deep reds and greens.


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