7 Ideas to Use Antiques in a Modern Way

Living Room Picture

So you want to decorate with fresh clean lines…but…you have several heirlooms and antiques that have been passed down to you from family members.. or you picked them up at an estate sale.

 

Don’t drop these beauties off at Goodwill yet! 

Here are a few tips on how to incorporate antiques and heirlooms into your more modern home design.

It is always fun to walk into someone’s home and find the unexpected.  Funky and unique accessories can do just that. 

 

 

This 1960’s mid-century dresser can be mixed into a room containing all types of design. The wood color of this Asian-inspired dresser from Thomasville adds an interesting element to the room. 

 

Top it off with a fun decorative piece like the blue bird and this modern black lamp. 

 

The photos above the dresser are somewhat traditional, but bring in the black for a consistent theme.

Use Fun Textiles and Patterns

Reinvent an old chair like this 1920’s pine chair. This chair was handed down through family.  it was originally located in a log cabin on a river in Delaware. 

 

The material was faded and plaid. The pop of color, palm and contrasting navy fabric takes it from cabin to coastal. Or is it coastal cabin? 

 

Add the fun foot ottoman in a similar color and you have a new reading spot

Keep it Simple, Less is More

Gone are the days of doilies, precious moments and dust. Start with a clean slate and edit out the stuff. Just a few quality, useful and important pieces can create a bold statement. 

 

For example, this bosch telescope, and birding book are important, useful and add a pop of interest. They are placed on top of an early 1900’s pine blanket chest. They are in a convenient spot to check out the stars and find out which birds are in the back yard. 

living room image

Find a Nook in Your Home to Place Antiques

Do you have a piece of  furniture that is sentimentally valuable, but does not necessarily blend with your decor?

Try to find the piece its’ very own home within your home.

How about a space in a hallway or another area that is not a focal point? Try a corner or a back hallway.

 

Try placing it in a large master closet and use it for your writing desk or gift wrapping area. You will gain the benefits of use and storage without disturbing your design vibe.

This antique Hepplewhite desk circa the late 1700’s is located in a nook near the back door. A perfect spot to take care of mail, gift wrapping, and ideal for extra storage.

Antique Desk

Frame your Memorabilia

How about that antique postcard collection from the 1930’s? These postcards, offer fun images and rich colors. The personal notes written on the back will be safe for years to come. These keepsakes are way too interesting to place in a dark drawer somewhere.

Gallery art is all the rage. Since postcards are small, choose about 10  postcards to frame. They will create an impact placed together and become the size of a normal framed piece of artwork. 

You don’t have to break the bank. Check out these Amazon picture frame deals. Add the white matting to make them stand out more in a 5X7 frame.

postcard collection

Mix Wood Finishes, Always Add Light

Go ahead and use a dark dresser or side table but lighten it up with natural fibers and extra lighting. Modern clean lines work well in well-lit areas.

Rattan and other natural fibers are amazing to work with when trying to keep your decor light and more modern. For example, this rattan bed gives a fresh coastal feel next to this antique side table in a darker wood. 

These pewter task reading lights from Restoration Hardware are unexpected in the industrial style. The sputnik chandelier is modern but ties in with the black lamp and other artwork. It adds a warm lighting with the LED edison bulbs.

sputnik light in a bedroom
bedroom image

Use Green Live Plants, Not Artificial

Get your green thumb going! Become a plant Mom or Dad. Plants are beautiful and add a modern pop to any room.

Go for tropical or subtropical plants. One that has gained massive fame in the interior design world is the Fiddle Leaf Fig. Did you know you can grow them from one leaf rooting in water?

In the meantime you can pick one up at a home improvement store. Jazz it up by placing it in a woven basket. The topiary styles are more expensive than the traditional bush. Other tropical and sub-tropical plants include monstera, bird of paradise and the steel plant.

All of these varieties are easy to care for as long as you do not over water them, and they have sufficient light.

In my opinion artificial plants look…..welll…artificial. They tend to make your home look like a hotel lobby and to me just don’t have the same effect as a real plant. Plus, they make your home’s air quality better! Succulents are usually my only exception to the artificial rule.

table with view of lake

Comment below and share your ideas of incorporating heirlooms into your more modern home design. 

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Judy Hughes

Judy Hughes

Hi there..I’m Judy and love travel and adventure. I placed my travels on hold while raising my family and decided that the empty nest is an opportune time to get out there and explore again! My blog has turned into travel tips, how-to, and thoughts on feeling empowered during midlife. I am a Realtor and vegan in real life, so I will dabble in home design, staging and leading a healthy lifestyle. ​Hoping you join me on this virtual road trip…....Thanks for stopping in! Judy

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