How To Mix Modern and Vintage Decor Like An Expert

Modern vintage has been a rising trend in interior decor as homeowners and renters mix vintage pieces with more modern styles.

Blending old, often inherited pieces with more contemporary styles results in a soulful home full of unique and interesting pieces. Yet, if you’re new to the trend, getting the perfect balance of modern and vintage can seem difficult.

If you want to replicate a modern vintage style in your home, follow our guide to getting the right balance, deciding on a colour palette and which key decor and furniture pieces to incorporate. 

Table of Contents

  1. What is a modern vintage style?
  2. How to mix modern vintage decor
  3. How to style your modern vintage theme
  4. Modern vintage living room ideas
  5. Modern vintage bedroom ideas
  6. Modern vintage dining room ideas

What is a modern vintage style?

Modern vintage decor is a new design concept that mixes vintage pieces with sleek modern styles. The modern vintage style is perfect for using hand-me-down furniture or decor in your home and modernising it with a balance of contemporary decor. 

While the minimalist appeal of a simple and neutral home remains popular, many people are looking to incorporate vintage pieces and modernise them for a more soulful, eclectic or maximalist aesthetic. 

Having decor that is all vintage or all contemporary makes it very difficult to change or adapt. A mix of modern and vintage decor allows you to adapt your style more easily as your taste evolves, which is one of the big benefits of choosing this style. 

Whether upcycling antique pieces or simply styling them for a modern look, the modern vintage decor trend is certainly proving popular. So, how do you get started?

Vintage, mid-century or retro?

The first thing to learn when styling a modern vintage look is the terms. 

  • Vintage styling is a more generic term for items between 20 and 100 years old.
  • Antique items are usually considered to be more than 100 years old.
  • Mid-century was popular from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s, featuring clean lines and sweeping curves.
  • Retro styling is inspired by the 1950s-1970s, featuring colourful pieces and fun shapes.

How to mix modern and vintage decor

Planning out your modern vintage style starts with what type of space you are working with. Whether it’s a new-build house or a period home, you must tailor your decor accordingly.

How do you make a modern room look vintage?

If you’re starting with a modern room, add vintage rugs, light fixtures or artwork to add balance. With a new build or a plain white space, add texture and colour by using textured wallpaper or panelling to add warmth and character.

How do you make a vintage house look modern?

If starting with a more vintage home with period features and bay windows, use contemporary furniture with sleek lines or curved edges to balance the old with the new. If you have more vintage furniture, like a vintage sofa, match it with a modern glass or steel coffee table. The key is to ensure that the pieces complement each other.

How to style your modern vintage theme

When styling your space, consider a balance of vintage and modern pieces. Too much vintage can cause a more chaotic feel, while too much modern can create a more simplistic look. 

Decide on a colour palette

It can be difficult to achieve a cohesive look when mixing modern and vintage styles. But deciding on a colour palette for your space makes it easier to keep your theme consistent.

Blending modern and vintage styles involves using lots of unique pieces, eliminating the need to add lots of colour to your walls for any added impact. 

Neutral colours, therefore, work best for modern vintage decor, allowing the furniture and decor to be in the spotlight. If you prefer colour, use a bold, deep shade so it doesn’t feel lost.

Create the right backdrop

Creating the perfect backdrop for your modern vintage theme helps you tie everything  together. Hardwood floors are the perfect flooring option, but rugs, particularly in geometric or tribal designs, can anchor a room and make a great focal point. 

Find a statement piece

Finding oversized pieces is usually the key to getting your styling right. Start with one statement piece and design out from that. For example, start with contemporary seating and match it with vintage lighting and a contemporary mirror. 

Create textures and layers

To keep your balance right, place contrasting textures next to each other. For example, use mid-century wooden chairs next to a glass-topped table and a vintage brass light. Mix vintage pieces with silky textures and smooth surfaces for the perfect balance. Use this approach and adjust it to your style.

Modern vintage living room ideas

Curved sofas

Curves add instant personality to a living room and contrast contemporary with antique pieces for a true modern vintage look.

Cream curved sofa


Mid-century armchairs

A cosy addition to any living room or lounge, a mid-century armchair in fabric or leather materials and bronze frame adds a vintage feel to any space.

Mid-century olive armchair


Bronze light fixtures

Bronze light fixtures are an easy way to bridge the gap between vintage and contemporary. Bringing an industrial feel with the metal materials available in modern designs, find floor, ceiling or lamp lighting to achieve your desired look.

Bronze modern vintage lamp


Modern vintage bedroom ideas

Oak chest of drawers

Wooden chests of drawers can add texture to a bedroom. Style them with antique decor pieces to incorporate layering and blend the design together.

Modern vintage oak chest of drawers


Retro lamp

Find a contemporary take on the retro space-aged design with this tall black bedside lamp. With a tapered stem and reflective glass shade, it’s the perfect mix of modern vintage to add to your bedroom.

retro space age lamp

Modern vintage dining room ideas

Pendant lighting

Pendant lighting looks effective suspended low over a dining room table to create perfect mood lighting for entertaining guests. Choose a retro-style pendant or a more modern, clean shade and mix and match with brass accents or mid-century dining chairs. 

Bronze pendant lights


Tall statement vase

A tall statement vase is perfect for the oversized styling that a modern vintage look requires. Place it next to wooden furniture to level out the textures and create the perfect modern vintage balance.

Tall statement gols vase


Create a modern vintage decor with Cp Lighting & Interiors 

If the new modern vintage trend inspires you, explore our furniture for key pieces to build your style around.  

Plus, with sideboard styling decor, mirrors and interior lighting, find eye-catching accessories to mix and match for the perfect balance of modern and vintage at Cp Lights.


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