Modern vs vintage; what’s your decorating style?

Today we’re breaking down each style by their unique characteristics in the hopes of understanding how to decorate using one (or both) of the styles with consignment furniture and home decor pieces.

Modern vs Vintage



When referring to decorating styles, vintage often is characterized by maturity, excellence, and enduring appeal. A vintage piece should speak of the era in which it was produced or manufactured. Typically the term vintage encompasses objects that are between 30 and 100 years old. You’ll often see a rich, layered look, combining flea-market finds, and furniture designs from various time periods when looking at a vintage decorated home. While some vintage pieces are imperfect they always elude a sense of comfort, charm, and authenticity. When trying the achieve this style look for muted colors, handmade textiles, and sentimental objects.


Furniture with feminine silhouettes, intricate detailing, and weathered finishes.

Jewel tones and muted pastels.

A mix of prints and fabrics such as paisleys, tapestries, folk motifs, botanicals, and florals.

Elegant crystal chandeliers and embellished lamps.

Gilded framed art and mirrors.

Source: Daily Mail

Source: Ticking & Toile

Source: Midwest Living


In contrast to vintage decorating, modern decor has a very different aestetic, often displaying clean lines, bold colours and minimalist styling. Modern decorating uses urban and contemporary elements as well as mid-century design. Different from vintage design, which used curves and soft details, with modern decor you will see crisper, sharper and cleaner lines. Several different furniture design types that fall into this category, such as mission style, art deco, shaker style. Many homes decorated with modern styles in mind use neutral shades and black and white as a primary palette throughout the home. Bold primary colours and metallics such as chrome and silver are used sparingly as accents, contrasting against the neutral palette.


Furniture with clean lines, no carving or delicate detail.

Block colours contrasting with neutral shades.

Boxy upholstery with plain legs or skirtless bases.

Lacquered finishes and dark wood furnishings.

Geometric or abstract patterned accessories.

Source: My Modern Met

Source: Design-Milk

Source: Decor Pad

So this leads to the question can you mix modern and vintage decor together in one space? Yes! Matchy-matchy is out and eclectic home decorating is definitely  in. The key to blending modern style and vintage decor is to stand back and look for balance, rather than randomly combining pieces from different eras. Look for contrast in style and materials, putting together pieces that don’t necessarily ‘go together’ but complement each other. Here’s one of our favourite examples we pinned this week on Pinterest.

What do you love about modern or vintage decorating styles?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *