Contemporary interior design: mixing the old with the new | WindowArt

Sticking to one specific style when decorating the interior of your home is the quickest way to create a boring and tedious design style. Contemporary interior design aims to inspire. Including a variety of old and new pieces will give your home dimension and depth.

Decide on a clear and attainable end goal when looking to update your home with contemporary interior design.

Before you begin, it is advisable to determine the end goal you wish to achieve. Are you after a cool, sophisticated elegance; a fresh, rustic and relaxed setting or a sleek, shiny and tech-savvy surrounding? This is how you can begin to choose the fixtures, fittings and decorative items that you want to include. For example, you may have an older country-style home but desire a sleek and shiny finish. You can create this by choosing chrome, steel and copper fittings and creating open plan spaces with minimal decorative pieces and exposed building materials. Pairing shiny steel countertops, light shades and furniture with antique pieces such as old cameras, clocks, spoons or even components of an old bicycle is a mix of the old and the new that looks effortless.

Keep in mind that balance is necessary when mixing new and old contemporary interior design elements. 

This is not an easy balance to achieve as you stand the risk of creating a space that is simply untidy as opposed to eclectic or nostalgic. Sentimentality is key to creating a unique home that inspires a feeling of history and warmth but displaying every single piece from your grandmother’s trousseau will have your home looking untidy and claustrophobic.

The ideal way to ensure that you are getting the right balance between the old and the new is to consider contemporary interior design guidelines. These dictate that no more than two opposing styles should be introduced into the space and to work with, not against, what you can’t change. For instance, consider your home’s architectural backdrop – has your home been built with ultra-modern geometrical shapes and clean lines or is it an old Cape Dutch home with wooden beams crossing a high ceiling? By enhancing your architectural backdrop and then adding a clearly defined and contrasting style, you are on your way to creating a beautiful contemporary interior design in your home.

Contemporary interior design that marries the old with the new enhances the decorative and displayed pieces.

When choosing contemporary interior design that incorporates the old and the new your decorative pieces should be displayed as a myriad of interesting points. Choose a good neutral pallet for your walls to enhance the furniture and display items and you can ‘play’ with your floors to unify the styles. Fitted carpets won’t do much for your space but an exciting rug, such as one that has a tribal or geometric pattern, has the ability to really anchor the room and give it warmth. The flooring you choose can enhance the vignette of the space tremendously. Let’s consider the previously mentioned example of an older home designed with a sleek, shiny interior – a dark coloured and detailed floor rug will bring the new, the old and the architectural backdrop together.

Complement your contemporary interior design style by maximising the natural light in your home.

One way that many pair the old with the new in contemporary interior design is by modernising your windows and removing your old curtains and blinds. Stained, tinted and frosted glass has become very popular and has proven a far better option than curtains and blinds, which quickly become out-dated. Uncovering your windows will allow for natural light to spill into the space and this is the ideal type of lighting for any room in the home, no matter the design. Choosing to frost your windows with vinyl decals rather than the other available treatments allows you to choose a design that can be changed and updated with a new design as, unlike the other treatments, it is easily removed by professionals. 

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