(Houston, Texas, USA)
Sticking to a single style can provide the kind of balance and proportion that interior decorators recommend but it tends to get boring after a while!.
Experienced do-it-yourself decorators have learned from the pros that combining different looks helps create the unique home space that represents the owner’s personality.
Whether you go ga-ga over Shabby Chic or Country French, the key to mixing antiques and modern pieces effectively is to remember the basics of interior decorating: style, texture, shape and color.
Veer too far in any one of these directions and your room will be a disorienting jumble instead of the exciting and unexpected look you’re trying to achieve.
Consider some of these ideas for mixing new and old.
* Set a quality Victorian club chair on top of a colorful modern area rug. Add a sleek Mission table and a floor lamp with a Tiffany style shade and the reading nook is complete.
* Place a modern glass dining table on top of a black area rug and then hang a crystal chandelier above it for a striking contrast. For even more contrast, add an ornate French mirror on one wall to reflect the chandelier.
* Upholster an antique chair in an ultra contemporary fabric.
* Decorate a contemporary room with a single piece of antique china on a shelf, table or fireplace mantel. Treat the antique as the work of art it is.
* Fill out a round English or French wooden pedestal table with modern-style chairs.
These examples are probably firing up your imagination, but don’t rush out to buy household items just to make a certain look. The key to this type of decorating mix is to choose items that make the room look as if it evolved over generations, whether it’s a classic floral rug under casual contemporary furniture or a set of china figurines on a glass-topped table.
Creating the combination that will best express your lifestyle and interest requires patience and persistence in finding the right additions.
Some of the best places to find home decorating items can be local used furniture stores, thrift shops and secondhand stores. To shop these places effectively, the decorator has to do his or her homework.
This means determining what styles you’ll look for and what kinds of construction constitute quality for these pieces. This doesn’t mean you can’t buy an adorable copper weather vane in the shape of a rooster if you find it.
It simply means you must be selective in choosing the major pieces that will make up your eclectic style. Form and function should be the watchwords for any purchase.
Finally, know when it’s right to break the rules of balance, scale and proportion. Never pass up the opportunity to purchase and use items that truly speak to your heart.
After all, you’re creating your own home, not a show house that will be dismantled once the show is over. Creating a home means expressing yourself, and an eclectic mix of antique and modern is a beautiful way to do just that.