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Old Meets New - How to Keep Traditional Pieces in Your Modern Home

20 Oct 2017

Tips & Advice

The most well-designed homes defy genres. They make use of¬†the trickiest and oddest things- a souvenir from your trip to Bali in December, or your grandma’s cherished 40s Shanghai style vanity table¬†– and shake it all up to create a refreshingly eclectic home that is both bold and unique. In this piece, we tell you how to display your vintage pieces¬†to achieve that fusion of lightly louche and modern-chic look.

1. Basic Wall Designs

Condominium by Beaux Monde Pte Ltd

With such a diverse mix of objects to be featured in the same space, you want to keep your wallpaper in a uniform shade of colour and texture, or at most a relatively homogenous print. If you have a feature wall, keep that simple as well by staying away from striking and intense designs, like a big red hibiscus flower. If you plan to feature traditional pieces of the same style and colour, like a teakwood dining table and chairs set from Java, you can dress your wall in a solid colour, like Sepia Tint, to achieve that old-meets-modern chic. But if you have a range of discordantly coloured pieces, like a set of antique Chinese flowery porcelain ware and two modern paintings in turquoise, then it is safer to have a go with lighter and milder shades. Colour is everything!


Landed @ 7 Goldhill by ID 

Your choice for the flooring is very important because this is what holds the whole look of your room together. This is where you can afford to be creative by playing with different textures and colours such as wood, patterned tiles, stones, etc. Otherwise, a full white Super Thassos marble flooring and full white wall will definitely work for anything that you feature. A full white wall and floor is also a safe option if you want to have the traditional items you feature on rotation.

3. Accompany Antique Wood Furniture with Carpets

Duplex Condominium @ Jalan Loyang Besar by Spacious Planners

Carpets are a great way to spice up your room’s look especially if you have a full white or light coloured wall and floor. For antique wood furniture like¬†coffee table, or any full wood furniture, carpets are your BFF. For darker¬†shades like mahogany, more intricately patterned and rich Persian kinds will work well (as seen above). For lighter shades like oak,¬†modern variants¬†of Moroccan print carpets do wonders. After all, as Johan from Spacious Planners advises, “the key is to find a carpet that is complementary to both styles; the traditional and modern, something in between to tie both the traditional and the modern styles together.”

4. Don’t Just Have One Antique Furniture

3 Room Condo @ Pinegrove by Quirky Haus

Usually¬†we are more likely to own, say, a¬†standalone vintage settee¬†than a full furniture collection of the same style. The problem is that a lone vintage furniture¬†may stick out like a sore thumb in the sea of modern furnishing. To avoid this potentially jarring effect, you can source for similarly styled pieces that might¬†be replicas. If you have a standalone vintage lounge chair (like above), you can just source for a coffee table with the same colour and material. On top of that, you may once again select the flooring design that complements your furniture to ensure better cohesion. For example, as Kachee ¬†from¬†Quirky Haus¬†shared, “if the collection is mainly Chinese antiques of medium to dark brown rosewood (see above), keep the setting¬†simple by using¬†basic earth tones to allow the furniture to stand out.”

5. Consistently Upkeep

/ Miserv

Many vintage items are ornate by nature and weren’t exactly built for fuss-free cleaning. Being old usually mean that they can be pretty delicate too. So in other words, your vintage pieces are¬†luxury items that require extra care and maintenance. If you don’t clear away the dust that collects in the little crannies and polish your pieces¬†regularly, they will look worn fast. Other precautions include shading them from UV exposure and placing them away from air-con vents. Depending on their value, you may want to install a dehumidifier to regulate moisture. But for most timbre furnitures that are not that rare and expensive, Colin from Artis Interior‘s recommendation to all his clients is¬†to simply wipe them with a “dry cloth dipped into hot water and a little Dettol.”¬†For more tips on maintaining your vintage furniture, click here.

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