On My Radar | Mixing Old and New

Written by: Dena Landon

Photography by: Kim Max & Ana Verdi


Do you love the china vase your grandmother passed down, but want a more modern couch? Mixing old and new pieces helps you create a home that designer Julie Tiseo calls, “timeless and comfortable.” But how can you do it effectively, so that nothing looks out of place? Here are some of the designer’s tips.

Tell a Color Story

When buying a vintage or new piece, Tiseo advises that you “make sure what you buy fits with the color story in your house.” If the china vase is blue, white, and yellow, and nothing else in your home is within that color scheme, it won’t look cohesive.
It’s helpful to start with smaller pops of color to try things out before working your way up. Like these 1950s Carlo Moretti vases which add an instant richness and intrigue to a home.

Start off Small

Accessories like vintage linens, vases or an old lamp help you grow more comfortable with mixing, as well as help you identify your personal style.
Smaller pieces also create visual and textural interest and blend seamlessly with a newer desk or chair.
And, don’t be afraid to try refinishing an older piece. Even if it’s beautiful and you’re afraid to touch it, Tiseo points out that “a fresh coat of paint can give it new life!”

Think About Texture

The elements and texture, when combined wisely, can bring a room together; consider earth, wood, stone and brass to add a simple “pop” to a space. “Humans need the sense of living, natural elements in their home,” in Tiseo’s opinion.

Start with Vintage Bones

The curved bones and shape of a vintage bed frame still have a lot of charm, but to bring it into the current century try adding modern bedding and pillows in a solid, strong color like maroon.
Vintage bones, whether it’s in an old armoire or a bed, can be combined with modern touches, for example, clearly updated textiles such as knobs and pulls from House of Antique Hardware can successfully mix eras.
While vintage artwork, rather than mass-produced prints from a local Big Box store, brings personality and a sense of history to a room.

Bring it all Together

In this living room, a vintage marble side table and a wooden bookcase decorated in vintage accessories are combined with plush velvet pillows in bright colors to instantly elevate the homeowner’s experience.

Feeling inspired now? See more of what else is

On My Radar here.