9 Easy Tips to Mix New and Vintage Home Decor Pieces

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One of the best ways to curate your home is to develop a personal style that strikes the perfect balance between old pieces and a more modern style.  Try these easy tips to mix new and vintage home decor pieces for modern home decor with a vintage feel.

Learning to mix new and vintage home decor pieces is a great way to create home decor styles that feel curated over time.  At the same time, it is the best way to develop your own individual style with home decor that has a sense of nostalgia and tells your family’s home story while also feeling fresh with a modern feel.  How to mix new and vintage home decor pieces is a question that has been asked so many times from my Robyn’s French Nest community so I am excited to gather my favorite tips and ideas that I use in my own home.

Hopefully these easy tips help you find new ways to style your vintage items and old things with modern spaces that have the optimal function for you and your family.

To be honest, I’ve put off this blog post because there are almost TOO many things I want to share!  I am passionate about home decor and love all of my vintage pieces.  At the same time, I love a good clearance find on the end cap at Target too.

With some reflection, though, I think it all comes down to this: curating a space versus decorating a room.

There are several reasons why I think mixing new and vintage home decor is a great way to style your home.

  1.  Develops individual home decor style.
  2. Mixing the two styles makes it easier to decorate on a budget.
  3. Easy way to incorporate family heirlooms
  4. Creates visual interest and character in a home
  5. Combines trending design elements with interesting pieces
  6. Makes statement pieces stand out more in the home
  7. Allows for a wider range of a color palette

However, we all know it’s a lot easier to spot the style we want for our space than it is to actually execute it sometimes.  Right?!  So let’s dive into the “how to” of mixing your new and vintage decor for a timeless vintage style.

beautiful spring decor in the music room with a large white apothecary and a large mirror behind two white armchairs and a coffee table

Thrifting with the Gals

Before we get an further into decorating, I want to take a minute to introduce you to some blogging friends who love thrifty, vintage, budget-friendly decor as much as I do!  Today is our monthly Thrifting with the Gals day and you won’t want to miss any of these accounts.

You can see more at the end of this post with pictures and links to their thrifting posts for this month!

How to Mix New and Vintage Home Decor Pieces

  • Choose a Color Scheme
  • Choose a Primary and Secondary Design Styles
  • Determine the Function of Your Space
  • Decide the Best Furniture Lay Out for Your Space
  • Shop Your Own Home for Decorative Pieces
  • Make a List and Start Hunting!
  • Keep Cohesive Look with Color, Pattern, and Texture
  • Add Layers to Your Decor
  • Experiment and Have Fun!

You can browse more home decor favorites, curated specifically to blend with vintage home decor, HERE.

a hot cup of coffee and an open book on a coffee table decorated with a large wooden trough and greenery

9 Easy Tips to Mix New and Vintage Home Decor Pieces

mantel styled with a small plant and gold frames holding spring nature prints

How to Mix New and Vintage Home Decor Tip #1: Choose a Color Scheme

No matter what style of home decor you desire for your home, the color scheme is the best way to start.  Color can help create cohesive spaces as well as setting the entire mood of a room.  The color scheme is very important when you are figuring out how to best mix new and vintage home decor in your home.

For me, I find a mixture of neutral tones to be very calming and soothing.  I also love that a neutral color palette allows me to swap out pops of color for seasonal accents.  However, I definitely appreciate a room that uses strong color as a focal point as well!  When color is done well, it can make a room feel bright and cheerful or rich and cozy.

You can see more neutral home decor favorites here!

Here are a few things to think about when choosing your color palette:

  • Stick to 3 coordinating colors (with some possible accents added later).
  • Consider colors for expensive or permanent pieces that are timeless and won’t be outdated with the next season.
  • Think about what colors make you and your family feel the most calm and relaxed.
  • Consider any special collections, artwork, or specific pieces that you know you want to include.  Use those as inspiration for your color scheme!
view of a side table with a wood vessel holding greenery, a candle, and an open book styled on the table

How to Mix New and Vintage Home Decor Tip #2: Choose a Primary and Secondary Design Styles

A professional interior designer may spend time focusing on this tip more with you.  It can be very helpful to determine what general design styles you enjoy the most for your home, especially when you want to mix new and vintage home decor.

The general rule is to keep about 80% of your decor suited to your primary design style with about 20% showcasing and accenting your secondary design style.

However, rules in decor are generally just guidelines to help you get started.  Once you’ve established your home decor design styles, you can definitely experiment and have as much flexibility as you want.  It is your home after all, so, as I always say, the best design style is really whatever you love in your own home!

My primary design style is definitely vintage style.  With that, I love to mix elements of cottage, coastal, and traditional.  My secondary design style typically depends on the season.  I love coastal accents in the summer, a more traditional approach in the winter, and casual cottage looks for the spring and fall.  As you can see, in your own unique space, you have complete freedom to experiment, adjust, and enjoy whatever design styles you like.

Pro Tip:  In general, stick to timeless pieces for more permanent elements.  

This allows you to change your decor design styles without having to renovate your home or buy all new furniture every time you want to switch things up!

You can browse more favorite new home decor items, curated to mix perfectly with vintage home decor HERE.

buffet table styled for spring with a large spring print, large baskets, and other various vintage decor items

How to Mix New and Vintage Home Decor Tip #3: Determine the Function of Your Space

Thirdly, before diving into the actual decorating, it is extremely beneficial to spend some time reflecting on the functional needs of the space you’re working on.  A gorgeous dining room with the perfect balance of new and vintage decor pieces is worthless if you never enjoy it with your friends and family!  Instead, create a casual environment with a mix of new and vintage home decor that fits how you and your family actually LIVE in your own home.

Your design choices, furniture, and decor should all circle back to the function of the room.  For example, our family room with the white sectional may be deceiving.  People always ask how I keep the white furniture clean.

First of all, the slipcovers are washable, thank goodness.  (And are in desperate need of a good bleach cycle as I type.)

Secondly, I don’t really worry about keeping it perfectly clean, to be honest.  We really live in this space.  Our kids sprawl out with homework and even though they aren’t supposed to put their shoes on the sofa, it happens.  Honestly, there are just a lot of things that are way more important to stress about!  Nerf battles ensue in this room along with popcorn movie nights and sleepovers.

So, this room is designed with a mix of new and vintage home decor that isn’t too precious or fragile.

Mostly new and inexpensive pillow covers are used here for easy washing while a vintage coffee table with plenty of character is perfect for the daily wear and tear of living.  Pretty vintage baskets of new faux flowers hang on chippy vintage doors, but none of it is breakable should a kiddo leap onto the couch and bang into the wall too hard.

I love decorating a pretty mantel but if there is something that is breakable, you can be assured that it is mostly likely new and has no sentimental value.  For that matter, I can 99% guarantee that it didn’t cost very much money at all.  Why would I put expensive breakables in a place where kids and teens pile up for a movie night?  You get the picture, right?!

Your home is not a museum nor does it need to be so “comfortable” that it lacks style.

With some creativity and intentional effort, you can create spaces that have the optimal function for your family and stay true to the design styles you love.

beautiful spring family room with a gallery wall of gold frames and Audubon prints, a cozy white couch and chippy white wooden mantel, with Winchester sitting underneath the coffee table

 How to Mix New and Vintage Home Decor Tip #4: Decide the Best Furniture Lay Out for Your Space

Next, it is time to decide on the best furniture lay out for your room.  Now that you know the function you need, you can move the right furniture pieces into the living space that play their role in the important functional aspects.

Mixing vintage furniture with modern furniture styles is a great way to create a room that feels curated over time.  It also allows you to pull in some statement furniture pieces that may take more of the budget while saving money on other furniture by clearance deals or thrifted finds.

The days of matchy-matchy furniture are over!  For you, this means you can take your time finding the BEST furniture pieces for your home rather than buying a whole set from a big box store when perhaps some of the pieces don’t serve your overall functional needs as well.

Confession: I don’t think I have ever purchased a matching set of end tables except for the very first bedroom furniture set that came with matching night stands!  End tables, accent tables, and chairs are great opportunities to add some interest and character since they are typically less expensive than a big sofa or TV cabinet, for example.

Pro Tip:  Consider hunting down one-of-a-kind pieces to use for accent tables and extra seating.  

While these may end up being antique furniture pieces, they may also be really great modern pieces that become a focal point in a room.  One great example of this is in our back living room area.

While the accent tables and decor pieces are mostly vintage, we brought in this double hanging swing.  It definitely has the clean lines of a modern room style. However, it fits perfectly into this vintage cottage style and is the go-to spot for the kids and their friends to hang out!  Again, it is all about finding the right balance for your own home decor style.

You can see more favorite furniture accent pieces here.

back living room sitting area with a swing styled for fall with neutral toned pillows and throw blankets

How to Mix New and Vintage Home Decor Tip #5: Shop Your Own Home for Decorative Pieces

Now that your large pieces are set into place with a cohesive color palette and best function for your family, it’s time to start adding the decorative items to strike the perfect balance to mix new and vintage home decor.  This is definitely my favorite part!

One thing I like to do to start getting inspiration is to browse through a favorite home decor store, like Pottery Barn, or an antique mall and vintage shop.  An antiques market or event like that is always perfect for gathering ideas too.  However, before I start making a lot of purchases, I try to shop my own home first.

First, I gather anything that I think I might be able to use, fitting the color and style I’m using in the space.  Even if this means disrupting decor in another part of the home, that’s okay with me.  I can go back later and restyle that space also.  It’s really just a big game of musical decor!  Haha!

A good example of this is my spring music room.  I got this new basket from Crate and Barrel and absolutely LOVE it.  It is so fun to decorate with!  I knew I really wanted to use it in this music room space.  The 10′ apothecary cabinet is the perfect size and scale for pieces like this.

To complete the decor, I shopped my home and decor stash, focusing on some simple spring elements in soft neutral earth tones.  The combination of a new art print in an antique frame, paired with the new basket and a thrifted old concrete swan (similar here) is just one way I mix new and vintage home decor in this room.

beautiful birds' nest print in a large frame on a white apothecary

 How to Mix New and Vintage Home Decor Tip #6: Make a List and Start Hunting!

The first thing you may notice as you start decorating with a mix of new and vintage home decor is that you really need a tall vessel to complete a vignette or a bouquet of realistic greenery and flowers to bring a tray styling to life (for example).  Once you’ve shopped your home and come up empty (which happens once in a while!), make a list of the things and ideas you have to complete the look.  Even if you end up getting different things, having a list will give you a solid starting point in your search.  

I like to shop at many different places.  For vintage and antique decor, thrift stores, flea markets, outdoor vintage markets, and vintage shops are ideal.  I always get so much inspiration from places like that!  When it comes to new decor, I have such a variety of places that I enjoy shopping!  Amazon, Walmart, and Target are great places to look for budget-friendly accents.

At the same time, I always hit up the sale corner at Pottery Barn when we visit the mall!  You just never know what great deal you might find so keep your options open.  It doesn’t hurt to browse through stores that are out of my budget too.  Even though I know I won’t be making purchases there, I sometimes get great ideas of things to look for elsewhere or even get inspiration for a DIY idea.

large basket serving as a coffee table with two white armchairs

How to Mix New and Vintage Home Decor Tip #7: Keep Cohesive Look with Color, Pattern, and Texture

One of the most important things to keep in mind as you mix new and vintage home decor items is to keep a cohesive look with color, pattern, and texture.  You can really get away with almost any combination of new items and old decor as long as you are thoughtful and intentional with your color, pattern, and texture.

Let’s take my spring family room, for example.  Thrifted terra cotta pots on the mantel tie into a couple of chippy terra cotta pots on the coffee table.  Antique gold frames connect with new gold candle holders (out of the shot here) that flank the vintage apothecary we use for a TV cabinet.  An old, white concrete urn with a fresh plant on the coffee table ties into the white flowers that flank the mantel and gallery wall.

The repetition of color is specific and intentional, even though it is a big variety of decorative items, both new and old.  

I don’t think it matters so much whether you are decorating with an expensive antique, thrifted vintage find, or a new item from a big box store.  Instead, I think it is much more important that you are intentional with the repetition of your color, pattern, and texture.  Almost all decorative pieces should have a repetition somewhere in the space, whether it is with color, pattern, or texture.

Then, you can move on to the finishing layers that can bring in that extra “wow” factor and catch the eye.

Pro Tip: Try to stick with no more than three colors, patterns, and/or textures in a space.  There are always out liars, but as a general rule, three is a great place to start when you mix new and vintage home decor.

large wooden trough with terra cotta pots and greenery on a coffee table as a centerpiece

How to Mix New and Vintage Decor Tip #8: Add Layers to Your Decor

One of the key elements of creating a curated home is the use of layers in your decorative accents.  Especially when you want to mix different styles and blend older pieces with modern items, the easiest way to create that eclectic look is with layers.

I am an extremely visual person so I’ll try to show you through a few vignettes in my own home!

First of all, this spring centerpiece is a great blend of antique (or vintage) accessories and new items that arrived in an Amazon box on my doorstep!  Even though the items are definitely from different time periods, you can see the repetition of color and texture that we discussed in tip #7.  You can shop this entire centerpiece here.

However, I went back and added some additional layers to this centerpiece.  For example, adding the checked runner on the dining room table is a perfect backdrop for a casual centerpiece.  While I could have put the basket of terra cotta pots directly onto the table runner, adding THIS favorite wreath brought in a unique touch and accented the colour palette of white and tan earth tones.

I didn’t even think about it at the time when I took the photography for the blog post, but I could have easily added one additional layer with a large, vintage bread board to anchor the wreath and basket.

Pro Tip:  For vignettes, old bread boards are my favorite antique finds to use.  They serve the same function on a table as a tray but add a lot of depth and character to the styling.


beautiful brass candlesticks next to a cornucopia filled with terracotta pots on a dining room table with a neutral checked runner down the middle

Secondly, we could take a look at this vintage garden style centerpiece.  A combination of thrift store finds, antique items, and new pieces work perfectly together for a rustic design.  I also included one of my favorite vintage textiles for an added layer as a table runner.

Pro Tip:  A table runner or fabric addition is one of the simplest ways to add additional layers to your table decor!  Vintage fabrics or even pieces of an antique rug can create interesting layers under a table centerpiece.

The repetition is more subtle in this vignette.  However, it is definitely there!

For example, the light concrete color of the antique garden rabbit is found in the patina of the bread board and worn places on the terra cotta pots.  The creamy tone of the new planter blends perfectly with the thrifted mortar and pestle, while also bringing in the natural color of the vintage grain sack I used as a table runner.  Even the earthy tones of the terra cotta pots can be found in flecks on the antique bread board.

Again, a mixture of favorite items, all from different time periods with different colors and styles.  However, by layering and repeating color, pattern, and texture, they work perfectly together for some vintage charm on the table centerpiece!

spring centerpiece with a terracotta bowl holding a plant and small terracotta pots with a concrete bunny next to it

How to Mix New and Vintage Home Decor Tip #9: Experiment and Have Fun!

Hopefully by following the steps and tips in this post, you’ve got a good place to start as you curate your home and mix new and vintage home decor finds.  The last thing to remember is that it is YOUR home!  You get to experiment and try different things and have so much fun with your home decor.

You may be tempted to feel like you’re just not going to be able to get it right.  I say that because I feel that way all the time!  Usually how my decor starts out in a space is not the final product.  It almost always takes some trial and error to get it just like I want it!

When I find that I get frustrated, it helps to just walk away and come back to it a little later with a fresh perspective and set of eyes!

Pro Tip:  If you’re struggling with your decorating, take a step back and do something else for awhile.  Then, come back and take a picture.  Sometimes the camera can view the space with a better perspective than the tired eye!

vintage art floral print inside a wide gold frame hanging above a chippy white mantel

As you enjoy decorating your home, I hope these tips serve to free you rather than put in into any decor box, so to speak!  I love to mix new and vintage home decor.  Plus, I think you can enjoy it in your own home as well.  Decorating with a mix of new and vintage home decor is a great way to achieve your personal style with budget friendly decorating ideas and timeless pieces that you will enjoy for years to come!

You can shop some of my favorite new decor, carefully curated HERE on my storefront!

Happy decorating!

small potted plant next to gold frames with nature prints

I’d love for you to follow me on social media!  You can find my home decor inspiration on Instagram, Pinterestand Facebook!  











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