7 Tips for Mixing Modern and Antique Furniture

Mixing modern and antique furniture is an aesthetic many of us love. Including one-off antique pieces provides character so your home feels warm and personalised. At first glance this look might appear effortless, even thrown together. However, mixing these two different styles so the final effect is current takes know-how.

We are here to help! These seven vital tips will help you layer your home and nail this aesthetic. Discover the styling know-how to assist you confidently mixing modern and antique furniture right.

Photo: Hunter House Design, Brentabuck, Mr_Sturman

>> Want to learn how to choose a classic furniture pieces you’ll love forever? Read this guide first.


What’s the best way of mixing modern and antique furniture?

“Mixing modern and antique furniture is about creating a personal aesthetic that reflects your individual taste. Experiment with contrasting colours, shapes and texture, but ultimately trusting your instincts is the best way to mix modern and antique furniture,” says DOMO design consultant Tamara King.

“Be eager to experiment, move items around, or even remove them from the space. Go with what feels right to you,” Tamara advises. Here are seven tips to combine furniture from different eras.


1. When mixing modern and antique furniture, have a unifying feature.

When mixing furniture and decor from different eras, create a sense of cohesion. “Do this by having a common theme running between your items – whether it’s colour, material or shape.”

Here, the unifying feature is the plum colour found in the armchair, footstool and artwork.

2. Choose a hero piece of furniture piece

Every room needs a hero feature – that eye-catching piece of furniture, light fixture or artwork that instantly draws the eye. But, do you want an antique or modern furniture item?

“If you lean towards antique furniture as the hero, keep other elements in the room low-key. Make sure they ‘support’ rather than ‘compete’ with your hero furniture. What we don’t want is a cluttered look.”

The classic bed is the hero feature of this bedroom with complementary bedside tables and modern accessories.

3. Go contemporary furniture for your base, then add in antiques

When mixing different furniture styles, one era tends to be dominant. Not sure which era to choose? “Choose contemporary furniture as a base because of its clean lines. This will give your room a fresh current vibe. Then add antique furniture accents.”

In your living room, for example, start with a contemporary base of sofas and armchairs. Then sprinkle in traditional accent pieces, such as side tables, accent chairs and rugs.

In this study, the fresh white walls, contemporary lamp and mesh seat are balanced with an antique desk.

4. Soften your modern room with antique curves

Contemporary furniture is often defined by its sleek, minimalist lines. Add a few interesting curves and shapes to your room scheme with antique furniture. This gives softness and a sense of comfort to your space.

“This could be from the addition of an antique armchair with a curved form, a round coffee table or lamp, through to a structural antique feature like an arched doorway or fireplace – where space allows.”

The arched doorway, curved DOMO Alabaster Lamp and glass cloches soften the straight lines in this hallway.

5. Keep undertones across antique and modern furniture the same

For your room to look current, the undertones across your modern and antique furniture selections need to be the same. “With wood, fabric, or finishes, choose décor pieces with either warm OR cool undertones.”

“Light toned woods – like maple, ash and white oak – tend to be cooler with beige undertones. While dark woods – such as walnut and mahogany – have warm undertones with a reddish or yellow hue.”

And if you have time, “refer to a colour wheel and revise complementary and contrasting colours so you can perfectly capture the mood of the space you’re creating.”

Matching warm undertones found in the floor rug, walnut table and flowers, fruit and napkins on display.

6. Less is more when it comes to home décor styling

Whether its antique or modern furniture, striking shapes make a strong focal point. “Start with a piece you love, something that embodies the vibe you hope to create – and build around it.”

“For a beginner, take everything out of the room except that key focal piece. Then ask yourself, ‘What does this room need?‘ instead of ‘What do I have and where can it go?‘ Only bring decor back into the room IF it fits a specific need.”

“And remember, keep your room styling simple and keep clutter to a minimum.”

Keep interiors simple with a modern floor rug and vase, plus fresh wall paint. The traditional table and chairs make a strong focal point.

7. Look for traditional furniture pieces with a modern twist

A great way to blend classic and contemporary themes in a room is to add a statement furniture piece that combines both!

For example, a traditional sofa upholstered in a bold, contemporary fabric in the living room. Or a classic bedhead upholstered with a modern pattern or in a contemporary colour in the bedroom.

These traditional sofas have been upholstered in patterned fabric for a contemporary twist.


Looking for old school furniture designs or antique-inspired furniture?

DOMO’s design experts help you to choose timeless foundation furniture you’ll love for decades to come.

DOMO is home to an impressive range of heirloom furniture pieces and decades old designs. As the leading Australian retailer of European classic furniture and lighting, our team will help guide you.


Visit DOMO for ideas to mix modern and antique furniture into your home.

Whether it’s a simple room refresh, or a full home makeover, DOMO’s design experts will help develop your ideas and advise on furniture selections for your space.

DOMO Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane stock contemporary and antique inspired dining tables, consoles, dining chairs, lamps and more.

For more information, please contact your closest DOMO showroom and speak to one of our sales consultants.

Find your closest DOMO showroom here.