Home Décor Tips for Combining Classic and Contemporary Styles

Home Décor Tips for Combining Classic and Contemporary Styles

Mixing and matching different elements in a room’s design and décor is a great way to bring the atmosphere to life and add character. On the other hand, if you don’t know some of the fundamentals and best practices, it’s easy to bring clashing elements together. For example, it’s good to know what you’re doing when combining different patterns or when combining different woods and finishes. It’s also helpful to be familiar with some basic strategies when combining classic and contemporary styles in a room.

Traditional and modern design and décor styles each have their own appeal and their own character to add to a living space. Some people shy away from mixing them together, thinking it’s too contradictory, but it can be done to great success. So, here are some pointers for combining classic and contemporary styles (whichever ones you’re working with) in ways that add appeal to any room.

Mixing Traditional and Modern Design Styles

  • Pick one or the other to be the dominant style in the room, aiming for roughly a 70/30 split.
  • An easy way to approach this combination is to use one style for furnishings and one for the décor.
  • Mid-century modern is a highly versatile classic style that blends well with most contemporary styles. And no, we’re not biased.
  • Strike a good balance of bold and more muted pieces throughout the room, regardless of whether individual pieces are classic or contemporary.
  • Rely on parallelism to create unity and tie the room together. Incorporate older and newer elements that have something in common, such as material, shapes, size, colors, textures, etc.
  • Make an “out of place” piece the focal piece of the room. For example, a mid-century modern couch could be the focal piece in a predominantly contemporary living room. Or, a large piece of modern art could be the focal piece in an otherwise more traditional space.
  • Distribute bulk and weight evenly throughout the room, regardless of which style any particular pieces are.

Looking for beautiful classic furniture?

Take a look at our highly versatile, solid wood mid-century modern pieces.



Leonard Riforgiato is a successful furniture manufacturing entrepreneur, a Miami resident, and co-owner of legacy furniture company Heywood-Wakefield.

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