Timeless vs Trendy: How To Mix Classic & Contemporary Styles

There is a level of security and assuredness when we buy classic and traditional style furniture. It never looks out of date, it ages incredibly well and always gives visitors the impression that we aren’t bending to every trend of ‘what’s in’ and ‘what’s out’ in the media. We can establish a look that’s all our own and one we feel confident and secure in.

green, red and white living room

Source: Domino / Photo by Stephen Kent Johnson

However, there may be times when we may look at those investment pieces we purchased years ago and that are still going strong that we may wonder if they couldn’t use a bit of an update. We may not wish to fully redecorate yet there may be the odd trend that catches our eye that we might want to try in our own home.

How difficult is it to seamlessly blend your tried-and-true classics with some of the latest looks to keep it all fresh and current? Happily, it’s not difficult. With some careful consideration, you can create the perfect blend of timeless and trendy. Here’s how…

When to Stick to Classic Designs

It’s almost always a good idea to buy the highest quality you can when it comes to the larger pieces of furniture in your home.

A good quality sofa could last you 10 years or more with the right care and so buying something that’s trendy right now (hello, millennial pink) may mean your sofa looks out of date when that trend is replaced with another in just a few short years.

manor house bedroom

Shop our Manor House Solid Oak range.

Your bed is much the same. A good quality bed frame could last 50 years or more with only the mattress needing replacement every 3-7 years.

A beautiful dining table can last generations too, depending upon the material that’s used to construct it. It will add a timeless appeal to your dining room and continue to bring you many years of joy as memories are created with those that are gathered around it.

gray and wood dining roon

Source: Domino / Werner Straube Photography

Choosing classics for these larger statement pieces mean your investments get many years of use and you’ll be more likely to hang on to them without the items ever looking dated or old-fashioned. Buying quality pieces in more traditional colours and shapes that you really love should be investment items that last much longer than anything too trendy and you’ll love them for many years.

You should also find that when you choose some classics for your larger pieces, you can actually use these as the base of your style and then mix and match more trendy pieces in other ways.

Introducing Trends to Classic Designs

If you want to give a classic or traditional piece a bit of an update, then consider pairing it with more contemporary pieces around it. This style is often referred to as ‘New Traditional’ or ‘Neo-Traditional’ – a seemingly contradictory term but one which sees new life breathed into older items in a fresh setting with the addition of more contemporary accents.

traditional seating with contemporary coffee table

Source: My Domaine / Photo Lucas Allen

In your living room, traditional style seating may be paired with a set of cushions in the latest colours or prints for little outlay, allowing the sofa to be the backdrop of whatever trend you wish to indulge in. You might also want to pair it with a more contemporary coffee table, creating a lively contrast that will create a conversation piece as well.

vintage table with modern chairs and contemporary light fixture

Source: Mi Casa

In the dining room, your beautiful classic table can be brought up to date with a new set of chairs with simple modern lines. In our example above, the wire copper light fitting gives the space an airy look and the rest of the room is brightened with white paint and patterned floor tiles which can look both classic as well as fresh and different.

Speaking of paint, you might wish to consider pairing your beautiful classic bed with the latest fresh colours on the walls or a fanciful feature wall using a trendy wallpaper. Paint is an easy way to create a fresh new look in any space and can be completed changed in a single weekend if you tire of it.

traditional bed with contemporary bedding and art

Source: Domino

In our example above, consider creating an eclectic mix by combining a traditional bed with more contemporary art pieces and allow the bed to stand out in contrast to smaller pieces with simple lines. Finish the bed with another traditional pattern that’s trending right now – Otomi – in a contemporary colourway.

For smaller pieces such as console tables, shelving or sideboards, consider mixing old and new accessories to set off the traditional lines of the piece. Choose contemporary art work to lift the space and breathe new life into your most cherished pieces.

Most importantly, have fun with the mix. You can choose timelessness and trendy in the same home without being a slave to either. Cherish your oldest and most valuable items and pepper more contemporary pieces by way of art, lighting, accessories and soft furnishings to bring them to life year after year.

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