Designer Home, Pt 2

This week we’re going to talk about Old vs New. Combining traditional, retro or vintage furniture with modern items is the best way to create a designer home, without it looking like a show home or a page out of a Domayne catalogue.

With places like Ikea offering designer furniture at a reasonable price it becomes easy to end up with an incredibly matchy-matchy living room, bedroom or dining room. The trick to avoiding the show home look is to combine found, reclaimed and new furniture to create an individual look. This doesn’t mean you should disregard places like Ikea, they’re great for affordable and modern furniture when used in moderation.

One of the easiest ways to achieve this is to head to some secondhand furniture shops (try Paddington in Brisbane) or your local op shops and see if you can pick up a retro armchair or vintage dining chair. Then all you need to do is buy some upholstery fabric and recover the chairs. Some chairs are relatively simple to reupholster with fabric, glue and a staple gun. Others may require a professional touch. If you’re trying your hand at DIY you may need to replace the padding under the fabric. Head to Clark Rubber or a similar store and pick up some foam. They can usually cut it to size for you as well.

Another way to create a designer touch in your home is to combine modern and traditional furniture. Try shopping around secondhand stores for an old weathered kitchen table – I’m thinking the sort of thing that sits in the kitchen of an old family farmhouse. Then head to Ikea and pick up some moulded plastic chairs to contrast old with new. Add some bright coloured cushions and table accessories and you’ve got a modern and individual dining setting.

Alternatively, hang a chandelier (for the traditional touch) over a retro modern plastic table. Keep the chandelier low over the table to keep it high style and modern.

Experiment with combining other new and old elements in your home. Think retro stools at a sleek kitchen counter, a glass coffee table with vintage sofas or an old timber bed frame with plastic bedside tables.

The possibilities are endless, so get creative and give it a go!

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