Vintage furniture and reclaimed wood furniture.

Blending Old and New: A Guide to Styling Vintage Furniture and Home Accessories

Posted by Maisie Yerkess on

The beauty of vintage furniture and accessories is all in the story that they tell. Each piece has unique character, charmingly uneven finishes, and the pre-loved feel that speaks for itself. That’s why it’s the perfect addition to your home to create a style that’s truly yours, and feels intentionally curated. Most importantly, it’s the best way to promote slow, sustainable home design.

Firstly, it’s important to cover what we mean when we talk about vintage furniture and home accessories. Once we have that straight, we can get to grips with how to style it. Vintage items are said to be pieces that are at least 30 to 40 years old. Incorporating them in your home can mean investing in second hand furniture and accessories as they have always been. Alternatively, it can mean opting for reclaimed wood furniture or reinvented items, which breathe new life into vintage materials.

You may at first feel like vintage furniture or reclaimed wood is too rustic for your home style. People often think that within more modern styles, vintage furniture would stick out like a sore thumb. That of course is not the case. In reality, it can shine as a standout piece when styled correctly. That’s where we’re here to help. 

The key to incorporating stand out vintage furniture into any style, is by identifying a unifying element that ensures cohesion within the space. But what does this mean? The two main unifying elements are colour palette, and materials. If these two elements are executed well, incorporating the old and new will happen before your very eyes.

First, a Carefully Curated Colour Palette


It’s no secret that at Silver Mushroom, we love neutrals. Sticking to a cohesive, neutral palette will allow your vintage furniture or accessories to shine and be the focus of attention. Curating a unified neutral palette will mean that pops of colour or more eye-catching obscure vintage accessories can be the focus. With this technique, ‘out of your usual style’ vintage furniture won’t look out of place, but be the intentional visual focal point of your space.

Alternatively, if you don’t want ‘loud’ vintage additions, and you want them to blend into your colour palette, this is easily done too, you may simply have to be a little more selective. For example, if you have a more modern, minimalist or even Scandi style, these often fit within a monochrome, neutral colour palette. This is where vintage home accessories may be easier to incorporate than vintage furniture. White or beige vintage clocks, second hand organic decorative bowls or cream vintage vases are simple, but effective choices.

Match-making Materials


Now your colour palette is perfected, and you’ve added one or two pieces of vintage furniture or home accessories. What’s next? Well, if you want to build on your vintage pieces and add more, it’s essential that these pieces are also somewhat unified. That’s not to say that you can’t have some variety and charm in unique pieces, but that there should be a consistent material that is implemented throughout. There are two ways to do this; obvious feature materials, or subtle accents. 

Stand-out Feature Materials


Cartmel Reclaimed Wood Coffee Table

Cartmel Reclaimed Wood Coffee Table 

If you’re opting for larger vintage pieces, reclaimed wood furniture blends beautifully into a variety of different home styles, particularly those with a perfected neutral colour palette. Choosing reclaimed wood furniture pieces with unique patina finishes is a striking, yet homely way to incorporate an obvious feature of vintage furniture into your home.

It may just be that reclaimed wood furniture has a special place in our hearts, but we believe it can undeniably transform any cold space into a warm, characterful environment. No matter if you opt for a full reclaimed wood dining table and chairs, or if you have reclaimed wood furniture dotted throughout your living spaces, it will still appear cohesive and unified. For example, referring back to the modern, minimalist style, a full reclaimed wood dining set may look a little more out of place. However, in this case you could invest in more subtle pieces that blend more seamlessly and spread them throughout your home. The Cartmel Reclaimed Wood Coffee Table is the perfect centrepiece to your living room, that can be styled with more modern accessories to fit in line with the rest of your decor. Following this, you can add other reclaimed wood furniture or accessories to match. Perhaps a reclaimed wooden stool, or repurposed baskets for stylish storage. This cohesive implementation of the same material, along with layering them with accessories that match your home style, guarantee an easy infusion of old and new.

Subtle, yet Effective Accents


If your aim is to implement vintage furniture more subtly, this is where accent materials come into play. In the same way as obvious features, this material needs to be recurrent in your home styling, but as detailing on other pieces. For example, leather accents are a great way to blend new with vintage furniture, as it is a classic feature that is still very prevalent in many home decor styles. Consider investing in old vintage trunks with leather buckles, or even vintage leather sofas, and pair them up with modern furniture pieces like the Edward Wicker Basket End Table. Leather accents as such work great in any style, from farmhouse to industrial modern. 


Edward Wicker Basket End Table


Brass is also a material that corresponds to both vintage and modern decor, making it another great accent material to blend the old and new. Second-hand shops are a wonderful place to pick up brass accessories, such as candlesticks and ornaments. Brass pendant lighting has a vintage feel, and with the right styling, fits in any home decor style. If you’re wanting to combine reclaimed wood furniture as well, consider something like the Bibury Reclaimed Wood Bedside Table. This features both the vintage furniture reclaimed wood, and brass hardware accents. Additionally, rustic-esque pieces which have a vintage feel, such as brass lanterns, can help to fill that gap between your old and new pieces.

Bibury Reclaimed Wood Bedside Table

It's Time to Choose Your Vintage Furniture

So, now that you've had the low down, do you think you're up to blending the old with the new? In short, the most important thing is to not let your personal style feel like an obstacle to adding vintage furniture. Instead use your style as a blending tool. First, focus on your colour palette; opting for a neutral is a foolproof way to begin to blend styles. Next find a unified material that will cohesively pull together your vintage furniture and home accessories. This can be an obvious feature like reclaimed wood furniture dotted throughout, or a more subtle accent material, such as leather detailing. 

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