When Old Charm and Modern Contemporary Collide: Tips for Arranging Mixed Styles of Furniture


There are certain styles and traditional looks that have been present in many of our homes over many years, but more homeowners these days, want to stamp their own unique style on their property by going for a more eclectic feel.

Old charm and modern contemporary furniture are more than able to co-exist with each other, you just have to be prepared to take up the design challenge and find the right combination that works for you in your home.

Out with the old and in with the new?

Wholesale changes are not necessary and the trick to getting the right look and feel in your room is to embrace what you already have and then find some contemporary items that will happily live alongside them.

You can draw some inspiration for the type of contemporary furniture that might be suitable for your style of home, by checking out sites like fci London, which is considered to be the capital city’s largest contemporary furniture showroom.

Mixing up the styles

The type of contemporary furniture that you will be looking for will vary according to your personal taste and also to a certain extent, be influenced by the style of home that you live in.

If you live in a cottage-style property for example, you might want to mix styles up a bit by keeping your existing dresser and maybe getting a modern bed to provide a great contrast in styles that will create a big impression every time you walk into the room.

You can certainly mix things up in the living room as well by combining some traditional dark wood pieces and a formal sofa with a modern rug and some lamps that are right on-trend, for a real eclectic feel that actually works a lot better than you might think.

Combining modern with rustic

Consider creating a contrast that works the other way round too, by introducing rustic and vintage objects to contrast with the modern furniture that you might have in your home.

If your home has a modern feel to it with the furniture and décor that you have already, take a trip to some antique and flea markets to pick up some items that you love and use them to create a great mix of styles that will instantly transform your room.

Work the room

Aim to combine contemporary furniture with any architectural features that you have in your home, so that you can emphasise the two contrasting styles in a positive way that gives your room some instant visual appeal.

If you have high ceilings, consider using an uber-cool sleek low modern sofa, which will help to accentuate the tall space that you have and compliment the character in a very positive way.

Avoid style clichés

Another very good reason for wanting to combine different periods is that if you stick to antiques and vintage furniture, your home is in danger of becoming a style cliché.

You can avoid that scenario by mixing up antique pieces with contemporary furniture so that you end up with a room that looks like it has been carefully put together and created by the owner, rather than an advert for a particular period.

Blank canvas

When it comes to combining vintage with contemporary and decorating with style, you have to remember that the only rule to stick to, is that there are no rules.

Having said that, one of the best ways of achieving a great mix of styles is to start with white. Painting your walls white allows you the opportunity to display bright colours and patterns against a plain background and vintage and contemporary furniture both work well when you use white for setting the scene.

Country blend

If you have quite a traditional kitchen which has a definite rustic look and feel to it, you can easily add a contemporary twist to liven things up.

Think about using a modern lighting piece as the focal point of the room above your kitchen table and you might also want to consider some chrome chairs with cowhide upholstery to provide a real country blend that combines the old with the new to perfection.

Try to be spontaneous

The best advice of all when trying to combine old charm and modern contemporary furniture or items, is to be spontaneous.

Dare yourself to make an unexpected furniture purchase that definitely defies tradition and you will be rewarded with a look and vibe in your home that is truly unique and will be a pleasure to enjoy at your leisure.

Firdaus Nagree has been involved in contemporary furniture and interior design since the age of 12. fci is a family business, set up by his father in 1970, which he took over in 2003. Firdaus is passionate about the process that takes a blank or mediocre space and transforms it into something completely different and more valuable. Working with some of the sexiest international contemporary furniture brands, Firdaus & fci are well known in the UK for being one of the most important design boutiques for residential and commercial projects.