In with the Old: Mixing Antiques with Big Box Purchases

2014-02-18T14:19:00Z 2014-02-20T01:26:04Z In with the Old: Mixing Antiques with Big Box PurchasesCarolyn Purnell
February 18, 2014 2:19 pm  • 

Home décor catalogs give us images of rooms with immaculately styled shelves, cozy layouts, and artfully placed pillows. It can be incredibly tempting to try to recreate those perfect settings in your own home, but perhaps you’ve found that once all those items are actually in place, there’s something about it that feels cold and staged.

In part, this is because many of the tricks that stylists use aren’t conducive to real life, and our homes can’t always have photo-perfect lighting and sightlines, but in many cases, it is also because a straight-from-a-catalog room is one-dimensional, featuring products that are too similar in style, age, and design.

One of the joys of items from big box stores like Target, West Elm, and Pottery Barn, aside from the fact that they are easy to access, is the aura of freshness that they give off. These pieces are new, unworn, and full of potential. Many of their goods feature trendy colors, modern lines, and a crisp aesthetic that can make an interior feel polished and updated.

But in order to feel balanced, a room needs variety, and perhaps counterintuivitely, those modern pieces will feel even more current if they are paired with antique accessories. If every piece is shiny and new, a room will seem like a space that is waiting to be lived in, rather than one that has already seen its share of experiences. A hint of history will go a long way to giving your home a personal, bespoke sense of style.

Sometimes people shy away from the “used” look of older pieces, so here are some tips on how to blend the old and new in a way that will appeal to even the most modern sensibilities. For those who want to ease into the mix, try searching for accent pieces that have patina, a unique story, or an intriguing aesthetic. Even the smallest accessories can add life to a home. Some good choices are pottery, rugs, clocks, textiles, art, and tchotchkes. Use an old piece of china to hold your house keys, or bring in a few old books to add some sophistication.

If you want to incorporate the two styles in a larger way, mixing furniture is an excellent way to achieve a harmonious, yet eclectic look. With antiques, search for classic lines that will complement those of your more modern pieces. Timeless shapes will always go well together, and the age difference alone will add the character your room needs. Modern, white pieces add an instant spot of freshness to a traditional interior, while aged wood and brass add warmth to modern interiors.



I’m currently loving the “Threshold” and the Nate Berkus lines.

West Elm


TJ Maxx

40 Main Street; Schererville, IN

1684 E. 80th Ave.; Merillville, IN

It’s Just Serendipity

5630 Hohman Avenue; Hammond, IN

Hidden Treasures Consignment Boutique

2211 U.S. 41

Schererville, IN

Settings Antiques and Interiors

120 S. Main St.

Crown Point, IN

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