One rule for home decorating
We don't have many hard and fast rules when it comes to decorating your home. With a space that reflects you and your family as an end goal, we can find ways to make nearly anything work if it makes your heart sing. You want a ceramic chetah statue in your den? Do it. You want to have three patterned rugs in one room? Why not? No clothes storage in your bedroom? Sure thing.
So when we say we have one piece of advice that you shouldn't overlook, you know we mean it. Here's it is: mix old and new in your home. Just please do it. Sure, people balance this mix in different ways–some lean to the vintage side and others to the new, but it's the mix that's important. The mix, we say!
What happens if you don't mix old and new?
If you don't mix old and new, your home can look one dimensional. On one extreme, only having new in your home can make it appear soulless, flat and unimaginative. No one wants their home to feel like a sterile showroom or catalogue, right? By mixing in vintage, you inject personality and character. The new pieces will add a shine and crispness to the vintage pieces, and the vintage pieces will bring soul and unity to your space.
On the other extreme, having only vintage in your home can leave it looking, well, old. Old in a not-so-good way. An outdated, hodgepodged, granny way. Without the contrast of new pieces, the soul and beauty of your vintage pieces can't reach their full potential. It takes the fresh look and feel of the new to truly highlight the vintage by adding another dimension to your space.
The right mix for you
Old plus new, folks. Find that balance of old and new that works for you. We Ashleys clearly lean to the old side. We both probably have a mix of 75/25 in our homes favoring vintage. However, we have worked with clients and friends whose optimal balance is just the opposite and you know what, both look and feel just wonderful.
Let's walk through a few examples of mixing old and new with different balances.
1: Bohemian Modern - 75% Old, 25% New
In this shop vignette, we have a nice mix of old and new favoring the vintage side. As for the new pieces adding a crisp, clean feel to the scene, we have the beautiful, plush Gus* Margot sofa in blue velvet. Sigh. The Margot sofa epitomizes modern elegance with graceful arms and loose, luxurious cushions.
Also, on Team New is a super soft RENS sheepskin from Ikea. The sheepskin bolsters the plush, contemporary feel of the sofa and contrasts with the harder, masculine lines of the vintage Lane Acclaim coffee table. Add in a warm hued 1920s Kilim rug, vintage books and a collected marble cowboy hat planter and you've got a wonderfully balanced look. Also, note the vintage flashcards on the wall–inexpensive, beautiful artwork if there ever was. Also, vintage brass animals. They are always a good idea.
2: Rustic Modern - 50% Old, 50% New
We've got a pretty even split between new and old here. The vintage starts at the bottom of the scene with a small rustic coffee table atop a vintage cowhide rug. Also, a concrete Dalmatian is nestled near the sofa lending personality and character to the setup. Is this person a firefighter or do they just love dogs? Points for vintage quirkiness and interest here.
As our eye moves up, the new comes in with the classic, mid-century modern inspired Gus* Modern Adelaide sofa in velvet rust. Oh hello! Also, on Team New is a black and white graphic pillow by local shop, Owl & Drum, and a 2017 Stendig calendar from local shop, Merriment, along with a screen print by Ashley Daly's very own mom.
The vintage plaid wool blanket nicely breaks up the new pieces clustering towards the top of the scene while the new books positioned on the coffee table bring a freshness to the heavily vintage bottom. Ahhh... don't you just love how it all melds together into a warm, inviting space?
3. Industrial Modern - 25% Old, 75% New
In this final vignette, we have a nice balance of old and new favoring the new side. The only two vintage pieces in this scene are the concrete pedestal under the lamp and the colorful blanket positioned front and center. Although there is very little vintage, the space still feels balanced for two reasons. 1) The blanket is a powerful element with its bright colors in an otherwise neutral space. In other words, the vintage piece is a strong piece. 2) Some of the new pieces are hand-made, adding personality and character–a job vintage pieces usually do.
Let's take a closer look. The Loloi Anzio flatweave rug anchors the scene in a calming beautiful denim blue. Centered on the rug is the Gus* Atwood sofa. Its tufted back and tapered walnut legs bring about a tailored, sophisticated feel. Looking over this space are black and white bison and long horn prints by a local photographer. Although new, these photographs add a bit of soul as well. Just look into that long horn's eyes and you'll understand.
Get to mixing, friends
So now you see it's like we say. You need to mix old and new in your home because a home needs old plus new to be complete. One without the other wouldn't be nearly as beautiful. What mix of old and new do you have or strive for in your home?
Two Ashleys enter your home and leave it better than they found it. True story.