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How to mix design styles to add character to your home

If there is one thing we love showing you here at Seasons in Colour, it's beautifully colourful homes of course. Showroom-quality homes always look great but it's the homes that look actually lived in that always makes us * sigh *. And for a home to be full of character and have the lived-in factor, you need some vintage stuff (we don't say old) as well as new. It's the eclectic mix of old and new, of pattern and colour, light and shade that can turn a great looking home into something extraordinary.

The spike in demand for quality vintage furniture (and indeed mid-century pieces) has brought forward yet another great interiors trend. That of the collector which I wrote about here and which is fast becoming the next big thing for home decor.

The same way we switched from fast food to gastropubs, we're moving away from flat pack furniture and embracing pieces that are not just beautifully made but have already passed the test of time.

mid century furniture with grey Platner chair and ottoman, a Saarinen armless chair and vintage carpet and rug, Tavola Bahia set

When I came across this beautiful listed townhouse that was re-decorated by Slightly Quirky (and photographed by Anna Stathaki) I was first drawn in by the riot of colour. Then it was the eclectic mix of old and new that caught my eye.

For example a Michael Anastassiades table lamp for Flos (2014) will be sitting on top of an antique English side table, while on the wall vintage etchings will be framed in the same colour as the table. Similarly, in the hallway, an antique gilded mirror will reflect a Tom Dixon pendant light.

Yellow accent chair in front of blue walls and a FLOS table lamp in front of etchings

Gilded antique French mirror and tom Dixon pendant light in a grade II listed home

Photo: Anna Stathaki for Slightly Quirky

Mixing it up is not difficult but it can take time for the right piece to come along your nearest antiques shop. Good thing then that vintage pieces are now sold to retail customers (and not exclusively to the trade) online. Which means you can browse and buy from the comfort of your home! My favourite shops for such purchases are found here for the US and here for the UK.

Here's how to do it

Dining rooms are an easy room to start in and here's what I did in my own home: You have a vintage or antique table (in my case a 1940s rosewood table with inlay and brass feet belonging to grandma)? Add some tulip chairs around and boom, job done. You brought together classic with mid century modern. Easy. Photos: Jenny Kakoudakis for Seasons in Colour.

Dining room inspiration with Blue wallpaper Camelia from Little Green and red bukhara rug Tulip chairs and vintage table Flos lights and round mirror

Dining room inspiration with Blue wallpaper Camelia from Little Green and red bukhara rug Tulip chairs and vintage table Flos lights and round mirror

Not only can you mix a table with different style chairs but also mix up the chairs as well (different designs or different colours. This French apartment was decorated by fashion photographer Fred Meylan and in the dining room, mixed colour Charles Eames chairs are paired with a vintage table opposite a grand gilded French mirror. Magnifique!

Fred Meylan home in Paris with vintage Eames chairs in many colours and gilded mirror

In the living room

You would be forgiven for thinking that these two next photos belong to different homes but In the award winning Five Dock House, in Australia, world-renown interior designer Greg Natale expertly fuses old and new across the one bedroom home. One room has clean mid century vibes, the other feels a bit baroque baby. Photos: Greg Natale.

Five Dock House by Greg Natale sofa with cushions in front of baroque wallpaper and abstract art canvas

Mid century modern interiors Five Dock House by Greg Natale black build in bookcase and swivel chair green rug

And in this room (also by Greg Natale, his headquarters in New York), Hollywood Regency style is mixed with modern pieces and a statement chandelier. For a similar chair try the Eichholtz Emilio Chair available on Sweatpea and Willow (£1,495). The Concordia coffee table, also from S&W has a marble finish and comes in a set of four.

Hollywood regency interiors by Greg Natale with accent chairs and abstract art statement lights

In the office

You can repeat this mix and match in the office too. Try a 1940s captain's table with a modern chair or a modern desk with a mid century chair. The choice is yours! Below: My home office has Eames chairs paired with ...IKEA desks!

Below: Interior Designer: LLI Design, photography: Alex Maguire

I would love to know how you mix old and new. Are you a fellow blogger? Comment below with a link to a blog post you've written showcasing your own fusion of old and new. No blog? No problem! Still comment below with your favourite styles to mix!

This post is a collaboration with Nakturnal. As always, all views, copy and creative my own. Only the best for my readers!


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