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‘Oh I can’t have that … it’s too modern for my home’ was a frustrating common phrase that I would hear when I worked for a company that sold mainly Contemporary Italian and Swedish furniture.

Just because you have a traditional home doesn’t mean you can only have traditional style furniture! You can design an interior that has so much more interest and depth by mixing it up a bit. Today I am focusing on the juxtaposition of sleek modern furniture against the decorative features of 19th century homes .

Georgian and Victorian properties are my favourite because they have so many beautiful architectural elements you can draw upon such as the decorative ceilings and cornicing, panelled walls, and sash windows.

Back in the day, these lovely features were suffocated amidst the excessive ornamentation, swamped with dingy colours and extravagant ornate furniture.

Instead of replicating the original style, it looks effective by simplifying the whole look. Keep your decor understated (preferably plain painted colour walls instead of patterned wallpaper) and integrate minimalist furniture. By doing this your eye is then drawn to the beautiful architectural details, allowing them to have much more presence.

Here are some examples I have found that show how great this mix of old and new can look.

Dark wooden panelling is a backdrop for this simplistic corner sofa and glass coffee table. The different sized scatter cushions in rich jewel tones give it a warm and comfortable look.

‘Calligaris’ Italian furniture in Belgrave Square, London.

The ornate chandeliers and the vintage, worn looking rug contrast against the straight lines of the seating and dining furniture.

‘Calligaris’ Italian furniture in Belgrave Square, London.

‘Calligaris’ Omnia Extending dining table with ‘Bess’ dining chair. Belgrave Square,London.

The decorative ceiling, walls and door frame have much more of an impact by using a hint of colour here and there as opposed to a whole patterned wall. I love the grey sofa’s mixed with a splash of colour in the accessories and occasional furniture.

Muuto Furniture – Photo by Petra Bindel.

Ligne Roset sleek modular seating

Using a monochrome colour palette , this sleek sofa works great against this panelled wall and rustic looking parquet flooring.

Image sourced on Pinterest

Even though the colour scheme is quite dull, there is something about this kitchen interior that I love. The atmosphere looks quite eery but is overflowing with character. It looks as though the decor has not been altered from its existing state, except for the furniture. The super sleek units and chunky wooden kitchen island are so different in style to the environment they sit within, yet somehow they work so well together.

Casa Orlandi by Sabrina Bignami

I know… these images are all very show homey and the average person doesn’t live in houses like these but they give you an idea of how two opposing styles can work so well together.

Now, I don’t want to hear ‘ That is too modern for my home’ EVER AGAIN!!

Categories: Inspiration, interior design, Products, Tips & Advice

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