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How to Mix Old with New

At Belhams we specialise in making a house a home. We are often asked ‘What is the difference?”

To us, a house is a place to lay your head and store your clothes. A home tells the story of who lives there, exudes memories and feels welcoming from the moment you step through the door.

Memories are often represented in vintage or antique pieces that are fabulous to look at, but not always practical in a busy home. We need new robust furniture that can stand the test of tired parents and active children……but we also want character in our home. The desire to mix old and new, modern and vintage.

Vintage pieces bring character to a room. An old Box Brownie camera sitting on a shelf makes you wonder what it has seen or inspires you to ask who owned it.  A stack of books and a modern ornament all work together to represent the passing of time.

Give your vintage pieces space to shine. Don’t crowd them with too many items. They are treasures that deserve to be seen. Try putting your vintage piece with a modern box and a pretty candle. Step back and see if it looks balanced. If not, experiment with different items near it until it looks ‘happy’ where it is!

Mixing old and new is just one styling theme. Don’t forget about texture. Mix concrete with glass, wood with plastic and ceramic with paper. Remember that balance and cohesiveness are key to a good result – pairs of items on a shelf together, objects of similar texture staggered in a built-in but are not right next to each other.

If you can cope with a lack of uniformity, mix up your furniture too! An old armchair with a new sofa, a vintage rug under a modern coffee table. Or one of my favourites……different chairs around a dining table. A new or old table with mixed pairs of dining chairs – some new, some second hand. Now you know what to do with those chairs you love on TradeMe but there are only two available!

Have you got family heirlooms in a cupboard somewhere that you inherited and didn’t know where to put? Get them out. Put them with some of your favourite items and see how they look. Shift them around, mix them up.

Would like some help to style your home?

Book an hour or two with us and we can work together to make your house, your home.