How-To Series: Mix Vintage Pieces With New Buys

While we'd all love to have a perfectly curated home filled with one-of-a-kind vintage finds, in real life, this often just doesn't always work out. That incredible collection of vintage glassware won't hold up to everyday dining and entertaining, that sleek mid-century modern sofa doesn't feel as comfortable as a modern, deep-seated style, and if you have kids, there are a number off essentials that you just kind of have to buy new. We get it — but that being said, we still think there's a way to mix old and new in a way that functions well in your home. Here's how. 

  • Invest in sturdy, well-crafted furniture that will last a lifetime. While some vintage buys are impractical and too delicate to use every day, other types of antique furniture items are actually more durable than their modern counterparts. Check Craigslist or a local vintage shop for solid wood dressers, credenzas or even bed frames that you can snag for a bargain — and best of all, these are the OG versions of the ones being sold at those pricey designer furniture stores, so you'll get the same look for less. 
  • Mix white, modern furniture with vintage wooden pieces. Now that you have a few mid-century pieces or classic farmhouse buys, you'll likely want to mix in functional, multipurpose items to keep the look feeling fresh. If you're unsure of how to mix and match furniture, we think that white always looks good with everything. In the bedroom, for example, you might mix a modern Ikea bed frame with a timeless vintage dresser, or in the dining room, add a low white buffet to offset your rustic dining table. It's all about allowing the vintage pieces to do the heavy aesthetic lifting while letting the modern budget furniture work as your day-to-day storage.
  • Incorporate vintage textiles with new furniture items. Do you have a cheap couch from your college days or a set of patio furniture that feels pretty bland? Adding vintage textiles in the form of Persian rugs, kilim throw pillows and re-purposed mudcloth fabric is an easy way to transform the look of a furniture piece you're not so fond of. 
  • When in doubt, go for vintage lighting. Even if you live in a rental and you're working with a pretty sterile-feeling bathroom, you can easily make over a whole room simply by adding vintage lighting. Replace boring wall sconces or ceiling fixtures with vintage milk glass pendants or Edison bulbs, add a '50s-style lamp on top of an otherwise plain dresser or place an eye-catching arc lamp next to your living room setup to bring down the mood and up the style in any room.