How to Mix Modern and Antique Furniture

By KRISTIN HOHENADEL

https://www.thespruce.com

 The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto

The most livable interiors are those that can’t be pinned to a specific era or decade, but integrate elements from the history of home design. The desire to mix old and new can be sparked by the architecture (or lack thereof) of your home, an heirloom, or a thrift store crush. Here are some tips that will help you mix old and new furniture to create a layered interior that transcends time. 

What is Vintage vs. Antique?

The common definition of an antique is a piece that is more than 100 years old. Anything more than 20 years old but less than 100 is usually considered vintage. Modern may refer to midcentury modern design from the 20th century, or be used as a synonym for current and contemporary, which generally refers to anything that is less than 20 years old up to brand spanking new.

Find the Right Balance

“When it comes to mixing antiques with modern pieces, almost anything goes,” says interior designer Erin Williamson of Erin Williamson Design. “A home should be a collection of things you love and find meaningful, not a catalog of coordinated furniture. That said, it helps to spread the patina throughout a space so that the juxtaposition between old and new feels fresh and surprising rather than shabby.”

Williamson emphasizes the importance of considering scale when placing furniture. “Especially antiques,” she says, “since they were made to fit different spaces and lifestyles. Many dark, heavy wood pieces don’t float comfortably and would be happiest on or near a wall. Conversely, very light and leggy pieces should be placed next to items with more mass so that the room doesn’t feel nervy and uncomfortable. A balance of proportion across space offers a lot of leeway to run wild with prints, colors, finishes, and styles.”

Form Versus Function

When considering whether to keep or integrate an older piece into a modern design, it’s important to think about both form and function. Antiques often display fine craftsmanship that is harder to come by today and feature intricate wood carving, marquetry, or decorative flourishes that you won’t find in run-of-the-mill modern-day furniture. (One exception to this is Shaker-style furniture, which has been embracing the same clean lines for centuries and still looks current in even the most minimalist modern interiors. )

For interior designer Lisa Gilmore of Lisa Gilmore Design, successfully mixing modern and antiques is “all about playing with your lines, making sure you have a healthy mix of streamlined and curves.” Gilmore says she mixes metal finishes “to give the design legs” and keep it from looking dated. 

Repurpose and Refinish

While nothing beats the rich patina of a quality antique or vintage piece in terms of aesthetics and value, the truth is that not all antiques are valuable or need to be preserved in their original state. If you inherit your grandparents’ old dining table, stumble on an antique bed frame at the flea market, or find a thrift store armoire with great bones but a dated finish, take a step back and imagine how it would look stripped to its bones, refinished, or transformed with a brand new coat of paint.

“Fresh upholstery can give antiques a modern feel without sacrificing vintage charm,” Williamson says. “If you fancy a print, consider the shape of the piece and decide whether to play with or against the form. Stripes on a curved settee will highlight its shape while florals on a straight back chair might add some softness.” Williamson notes that it’s a good idea to have the springs and batting refreshed. “New materials can go a long way towards adding contemporary comfort,” she says.

Unify with Color

One of the challenges of mixing old and new pieces is figuring out how to make the mix of periods and styles work together while retaining an overall sense of cohesion. Even the most eclectic interiors need balance and harmony. While mixing wood finishes and metals is an art in itself, sometimes the easiest way to integrate disparate elements is to unite them using the same color palette. If you a fan of shabby chic interiors, you can create coherence by painting thrift store finds like nightstands, dining room chairs, tables, and dressers in a creamy white, and add white overstuffed armchairs and sofas. This will make it simple to marry styles and periods by keeping the focus on form.

Statement Pieces

If you are looking to create maximum impact in a modern room with an antique piece, go bold with a large-scale statement piece like an antique armoire, a Baroque-style or Art Deco headboard, or a massive vintage farm table. Make these pieces functional and appropriate for modern lifestyles by painting, refinishing, refurbishing interiors, or adding upholstery to an antique bed frame or armchair to bring it a sense of modern comfort. This strategy works particularly well in a neutral space that needs a focal point or a sense of drama that is achieved by introducing contrast and juxtaposition. This same formula can work for large-scale decorative pieces, like a giant French gilded mirror or a massive vintage rug to anchor an otherwise contemporary living room. 

Accent Pieces

Not everyone has the appetite or budget for creating large-scale drama with a splashy antique focal point. If you love antiques but feel intimidated by buying antique furniture, start with small furniture pieces such as end tables and wooden stools, or decorative pieces like antique French gilded mirrors, lighting fixtures, and rugs. “For me, a really large antique/vintage rug sets the tone immediately,” says Gilmore, “and you can have lots of fun adding and layering around it.” 

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26 Awesome Furniture Makeovers, Re-Purpose, Re-Cycle & Re-New!

When it comes to furniture DIYs, most ideas are simply surface level. But these pieces didn’t just get painted or stained — they got entirely new second lives.

Here is an example of utilizing a barn door by adding updated hardware  and a Full Headboard/Footboard to create a bench

Taking an existing dining set and adding reclaimed wood to the top to add a farmhouse style to an everyday table.

 

Antique twin headboard into a bench.

Desk into 2 night stands.

 

MCM hutchtop into a bar.

Vintage drysink with an added window for that farmhouse style.

Basic dresser into a stacked luggage look & another desk into end tables.

An antique secretary desk & a radio into a bar.

There are so many ways to re-purpose, recycle & renew pieces of furniture.  The best part is that these pieces are made with a high level of craftsmanship and have a lot of life left.

So much better than buying new, pressed wood and mass produced furniture.

Not only are you creating a unique piece but you are also recycling and helping create a more sustainable world.

WHITE OWL MARKET

 

Fabulous Furniture Makeovers…Uncover the hidden charm of a cast-off piece!

Fabulous Furniture Makeovers

Hello my amazing, supportive, encouraging, awesome Friends!!

Today I decided to dig through my posts and pick out some of my favorite furniture makeovers from this past year to share with everyone!

I always enjoy looking back, and I thought you might enjoy that as well!

Uncover the hidden charm of a cast-off piece with a bit of creative thinking and elbow grease. Check out our furniture makeover project ideas for inspiration.

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Visit our Facebook page to see all of our furniture projects plus our entire store filled with everything from home decor to fashion & accessories as well.

Truly a One-Stop-Shop!

 

 

Furniture Transformations That Make A Statement

Creating unique furniture/decor pieces for your home make a statement and are a conversation piece for all who enter your domain.

We have transformed many pieces for our clients. Here are just a handful of pics for you to look at and inspire your creative side.

Here we created benches out of dressers.

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Next we created benches out of vintage headboards/footboards.

Even a set of chairs can be transformed…

Taking a piece and giving it a new use will create a unique and fun way to accent any room in your home. Here we took an old secretary desk and a 1920’s radio cabinet and transformed them into a bar.

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Next we cut an old desk and made 2 unique sized end tables great for small spaces.

Here we took an old dry sink and created a plant stand/cabinet or great entry piece.

Giving an old dresser a new, fresh look with fabric and hardware, we were able to create a unique look.  Stack of luggage!

We take pride in being able to re-cycle, re-purpose and re-design pieces of furniture.

These pieces are all real wood, hard to find these days in furniture today.

All of the pieces shown were created in our workshop and are just a handful of the items we have transformed thru the years.

We encourage you to look outside the box and get creative with pieces of furniture before “leaving them by the curb.”

Better yet, let us create it for you!

White Owl Market 683 Central Ave. St. Petersburg, FL. 33701

www.whiteowlmarket.com

 

 

 

Don’t Toss It, Re-Purpose & Re-Design It! Celebrating Earth Day, Everyday.

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White Owl Markets mission from the beginning was to re-purpose and up-cycle items for your home so not to add another footprint on Mother Earth. One of our all-time favorite ways to bring elements into your home that have purpose and meaning is with up-cycling, a.k.a. re-using/ re-purposing an item.  We up-cycle and re-design everyday in our store not only because it can create a unique look but also it keeps our business greener by re-using instead of throwing them away only to add to the already overflowing heaps of garbage we humans create.

Let’s be honest though, not everything we carry is re-cycled. We do have produced items from vendors as well as part of our home decor selection but our main focus is on the “Big Stuff” Furniture to be exact. It’s all about transparency as well.  Honest business practices.

No hidden agenda, just cool products at cool prices, period!

We love that a college student all the way up to a senior on a fixed income (and everyone in between) can shop in our store.

WOM is a company that prides itself on making things that are old look new again.  No particle board here, just good ol’ wood pieces that have lived decades before us and will live on decades after us if we give them a chance.

Not only can you save $$$ in your pocket, but up-cycling allows you to create something that is original and one-of-a-kind.  Yes, you may have to think outside the box a bit, but in the end I’m sure you’ll be happy with the result. (Pick-A-Color, We will paint it for you.)

Since up-cycling so many items, (over 3000 pieces in 2016) We feel we are contributing to a greener & cleaner environment while helping our customers create new atmospheres in their home.

It’s all about the feeling when you walk into our store and/or your home.  Our grandparents pieces can be re-hauled to bring a more current, modern look to our homes.  No waste!

And let’s talk green.  We offer all of this for fair and affordable prices.  We don’t feel you should have to pay alot! When you purchase from us, you will be greener without spending alot of green!

Stop in and see our assortment, It changes weekly!

Oh ya, and meet Zac too!

 

6 Repurposed Uses for Old Dressers

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Space for a Sink

Make a big splash in the bathroom by repurposing an old dresser as a vanity. It is particularly easy to retrofit a dresser with a vessel sink—simply drill holes in the top for the drain and faucets. Be sure to use a water-resistant sealer on the wood to prevent rot and mold.

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Dressed for Dinner

Dressers make ideal kitchen islands because they come with plenty of storage space and a flat surface that can be upgraded with granite or butcher block. To make your dresser even more at home in the kitchen, add storage hooks or a towel bar.

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Drawer Decor

Even if the bulk of an old dresser isn’t salvageable, the drawers can always be repurposed as wall shelves. Mount the drawers with their bottoms to the wall for a shadow-box effect, or jutting out from the wall lengthwise for deeper storage.

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Spring Wardrobe

Consider moving an old dresser outdoors to create a tiered plant display. The drawers can hold a collection of potted plants or be filled directly with soil to create a large planter—but be sure to drill drainage holes in the bottom of each drawer.

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Tune In

A low horizontal dresser makes a great TV console. It can be easily converted to hold your cable box and DVD player by removing the top drawer or two, and it provides plenty of places to tuck unsightly wires and cords.

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Approach the Bench

An old dresser can serve as the perfect frame for a square bench. Remove all but the lowest drawer, then saw the top off the dresser, along with any internal drawer supports. Cut a thick board to size and install it above the bottom drawer to create a seat. Add a cushion and coat of paint or stain for a finishing touch.

Do Opposites Attract? See These 11 Surprising Decor Matches

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How to Get Organized in a Small House

During the past few years, many of us have had to adjust to downsizing due to our economy crashing, job losses and home costs.

Here is an article from The Inspired Room which was recently voted 2014 Readers’ Favorite Decorating Blog by Better Homes & Garden’s magazine! In this article there are ideas that can help you organize or re-organize your new small space.  We hope you like it.

Remember: Organizing and cleaning up the clutter will not only look more aesthetically pleasing but it will simplify your life leaving more time and energy for FUN!

XO,

White Owl Market

 

 

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I love small houses. Part of the appeal for me is the challenge to make the house cute, organized and functional all at the same time! I love a good house challenge! My favorite thing is to find a way to make everything in the house earn its keep while looking cute or stylish at the same time, and that often means things need to do double duty. It’s my favorite small house organizing trick! I happened upon some great ideas while scrolling through theBetter Homes & Gardens site today, so let’s take a look!

So many small houses don’t have separate foyers, and really that is OK if you can figure out how to create one simply with a piece of furniture. If you walk right into your living room from your front door as many people do, a small chest or dresser as you come in the door not only gives the entry a little definition, but it offers attractive storage for those excess shoes, hats and book bags!

In a small house, built ins can make a world of difference in how the home feels. Free standing furniture can appear cluttered and doesn’t always make the best use of the space you have. So tucking in a built in or a banquette, wherever possible, helps maximize space while offering attractive storage too. Glass doors on a built in keeps the visual space more open while offering organizational options at the same time.

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If you are fortunate enough to have a small breakfast nook or dining room, built in banquettes can offer tucked away storage for those extra dishes, entertaining platters, seasonal items and small kitchen appliances, as well as offer the maximum seating for sit down meals! That is a WIN WIN!

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Tiny awkward cabinets like this can end up being a jumbled mess. Instead of being frustrated or limited by its diminutive size, find attractive and appropriately sized containers to organize items inside, making it CUTE as well as useful! And when a cabinet is actually CUTE inside, you are much more likely to keep it looking that way. Am I right?

Hanging back of the door clear shoe storage racks also make the most of a small unused wall or cabinet door by rallying small items that would easily get lost or hard to find in a larger space.

Don’t let what little space you might have go to waste! Put it to good use and make it look pretty in the process.

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Big walls for hooks and memo boards such as whole wall “family command centers” can be so handy and attractive! But small houses do not always have large walls available to create an extensive system like that. But, you can still make the most of the space you have!  If you can carve out a small area to organize a “landing” space for each child’s school supplies, remember to think ‘double duty.’ A metal bucket for each child could have a magnet or clip for personalizing daily reminders! I like that idea!

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So, we don’t all have dedicated craft rooms. Bummer, how will we survive? Obviously craft rooms are nice, but in a small house space is at a premium. But living in a small house doesn’t mean we can’t have cute dedicated spaces for crafts and wrapping! Think beyond the “whole room” to how you could use portions the space you have. You probably will have to pare down and not keep as much or as many craft supplies as someone who has entire rooms dedicated to crafting or projects, but you should be able to find a little nook or cranny for the basics of what you love to do!

I have my eye on a couple of doors in my own house that I’m determined to use to store craft supplies and wrapping paper. I may not have an entire room for craft supplies, but that is no excuse for not getting organized! When you can find what you are looking for in just a few moments, you are much more likely to USE your craft supplies, so that is a big plus too!

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Do you have a lack of cabinet space in your small kitchen? I use a freestanding cabinet for extra dishes (see it above!). I also created a pantry under our staircase. By taking the door off and making the small awkward space an attractive little nook by the kitchen, it does double duty by enlarging our usable kitchen space. It even holds our microwave! You could create a pantry in a cabinet or closet in a nearby hall or other room or with a dresser next to a kitchen or dining table.

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Creating an attractive, dedicated space for everything you use in your home, no matter how small of a space you have, helps get a small house organized in style. I like that!

 

Visit us at www.whiteowlmarket.com

 

10 Ways To Get Shabby Chic Style

By Tara Nolan

Don’t let the word “shabby” fool you when adapting the principles of shabby chic style into a room. The look may be unstructured and lacking in formal rules, but this timeless aesthetic can add an effortless elegance to your home. With handicrafts, salvaged furniture and vintage textiles available not only in flea markets, but also in retail shops (often as reproductions), you don’t have to search high and low for the perfect piece. You might even have a diamond in the rough right under your nose – a down-and-out piece of furniture just waiting to be whitewashed and restored. That’s the beauty of shabby chic style – it’s budget-friendly and easy to acquire. Here are some ways you can get the look.
These beautiful accessories will transform a space, giving it the essence of shabby chic style.

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Seating you can sink into
Believe it or not, beanbag chairs are part of that laid-back, shabby chic vibe. Even Rachel Ashwell, who trademarked the term “shabby chic” back in the ‘80s, features a few beanbag chairs in her Shabby Chic Couture line. This one from Pottery Barn has been updated in a sumptuous, white, shaggy fabric – the perfect place to curl up with a book.

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A well-worn table
Straight lines and man-made materials do not have to reign supreme in the dining room. Reclaimed lumber can be stripped and made into a table, or an existing piece can be whitewashed for that signature, worn, shabby-chic look. Place your table on a faded rug and if you have mismatched chairs, unify them with simple slipcovers.

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Antique frames for art
Ornate frames and framed mirrors can be refinished to display treasured art on the walls. Create a grouping over a sofa or find one lovely specimen that can help with decorating the fireplace. Some of these frames are in disguise at flea markets and antique stores – you may find them painted in various shades of metallic. But give them a light sanding and a coat of white or pastel paint and they’ll be ready for their spotlight on the wall.

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Give once formal seating a shabby chic makeover
Worn, vintage essential chairs provide the perfect canvas for modern paints and fabrics. Many stores are selling reproductions of various styles, for example, the 18th-century bergère chair, while others charge big bucks for an overhauled seat. Yard sales and antique markets may yield cheaper versions that you can make over yourself.

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Light up a room with a chandelier
Whether you opt for a modern reproduction, as shown here, or uncover a vintage gem, stunning chandeliers are a great way to add a little quirky elegance to a space. Hang one over a table or in the corner of a room for extra light. If your pre-loved find is missing a piece, take a spin around eBay, hit up an old lighting store or browse through flea markets to find the replacement glass or beads you need.

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Set the table with linen napkins
Bring back the aura of fine dining with linen napkins in a variety of well-worn colours. An old, stained tablecloth that you’re loath to part with can also be cut and sewed into a matching set – minus the stains. This new table setting might even inspire you to pull out your grandmother’s vintage silver and gold napkins too!

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Create airy, beachy ambiance in the bedroom
White, sumptuous bedding adds a light, restful atmosphere to the bedroom decor. Look for white-on-white patterns or details accentuated by intricate needlework, like pin tucks. A couple of haphazardly displayed cushions in light, floral fabrics can add a dash of colour, if needed.

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Take shabby chic style outside
A little exposure to the elements can inadvertently turn a piece of outdoor furniture into a bona fide piece of shabby chic furniture. This table, for example, would look elegant in the garden surrounded by delicate, white iron chairs.

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Make use of well-worn storage options
Old dressers needn’t be confined to the boudoir. They can also be used in an entrance hall, feminine home office or dining room as elegant storage options. A sanding, a couple of coats of paint and another sanding will give a piece that well-loved look. Look for dainty, vintage knobs to add colour and charm.

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Serve tea in vintage cups
Fine china can add whimsical sophistication when entertaining. Use vintage tea cups to hold everything from tea and punch, to sugar cubes and bonbons. If you’re on the hunt, mismatched cups and saucers can be charming, but be careful of the poor little vessels that have been filled with wax to make teacup candles – one use for teacups that we’re not so sure about.