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  • Writer's pictureAMC

In With the Old and In With the New: PART II

Updated: Jul 8, 2020

As mentioned in my previous post (Part I), executing a scheme in which old antiques and collectibles coincide with more modern and contemporary pieces can be a challenging task. I have discussed the need to identify the architectural elements of your space and the importance of working alongside them as well as identifying a clear colour scheme early on. I will now identify two more tips/areas to keep in mind when tackling this style of interiors.



So you have considered the physical features of your room, you have chosen your colour palette, now you must decide on which pieces will fill the space. In this case, less is most definitely more! You may have a garage or storage space full of vintage furniture that you have accumulated over the years or you may have just inherited some beautiful pieces. Whatever the situation, it is vital that you are scrupulous in your decisions.

Over-crowding a space with too many pieces from a wide range of eras will create a messy and disconnected feel. Curate your space by selecting your larger pieces first. If I am incorporating an antique sofa, I normally pair it with contemporary accent chairs and vice versa. Natural materials and clean lines are excellent options for a coffee table to break up your pieces effectively.

Once the larger pieces have been selected, you can mediate your smaller pieces and accessories around them. If your larger pieces are vintage, focus on contemporary accessories and finishes. This is skillfully achieved in all of the above examples which are all designs by Australian designer, Tamsin Johnson.

Tamsin Johnson, is an expert in combining old with new. Her schemes are the perfect balance between tasteful and quirky. She is minimal in her approach and only includes pieces with a large impact, the result is a polished and well-thought out scheme. Check out her website for endless inspiration and interiors envy!



It is important that you remember to balance the items in your scheme. For example, if you have a beautiful collection of antique Georgian furniture that you would like to place in a newly renovated space, do not group it all together in one corner. Grouping your vintage pieces together in clusters based on their era will create more of an exhibition space rather than a tasteful one. You do not want it to feel as though your pieces are displayed in a museum. To combat this, a useful approach is to balance each antique piece with a contemporary piece.

In the above example, Kristen Jackson creates an expertly balanced scheme by using two antique cabinets at either side of the entrance which she then offsets with two contemporary benches.

When this style of interiors is done well, it is incredibly impressive. Although some may believe it is as simple as throwing a Victorian, gold-gilded mirror above a modern glass coffee table, from dissecting the above examples I hope that you can appreciate how much of an intricate art it really is.

Thanks for reading!

Read more in Part 3.


Image Credits

  1. Tamsin Johnson

  2. Tamsin Johnson

  3. Tamsin Johnson

  4. Tamsin Johnson

  5. Kristen Jackson

  6. Tamsin Johnson

  7. Tamsin Johnson

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