With clean lines, timeless shapes and free-flowing curves, modern design mixes well with classic and traditional furniture. Mixing modern and vintage design in your home may seem intimidating at first – especially if your taste is more traditional – but with a few design tips from Copenhagen’s Director of Interior design, Maurice Brantley, you’ll find it’s a fun, artistic endeavor that yields beautiful results.

If you’re looking to strike a balance in your home that is comfortable, texturally-interesting, and totally unique, consider our 5 tips to mixing modern and vintage design. As the Mid-century design aesthetic has recently surged in popularity and complements small spaces with a clutter-free look, we’ll also introduce you to several timeless pieces that go with any vintage or traditional items.

Take into consideration the pieces you already have.

Plank de Luxe Dining Table and Tiger Chairs by Naver of Denmark

Maurice Brantley, an ASID-afiiliated designer, says that the first step is to consider the pieces that you already have in your home. “As an interior designer, my job is to weave contemporary design into the already-established design,” he said. “A lot of people think that contemporary pieces may not go with antique pieces. However, it can be a lot more interesting when you mix items from different eras. They can actually relate to each other in many ways—through form, function, and materials.”

Brantley also pointed out that not everything that is contemporary is made out of chrome and glass—they’re also made out of wood and other organic elements.

Go for a collected look.

Eames Chair and Noguchi Table by Herman Miller

In today’s view of interior design, going for a multi-layered, collected look—a harmonious balance of furniture with varying design styles—is more desirable than buying an entire room of furniture and décor with the same color, style, or theme. Classic iconic designs can really liven up a room, even if the other pieces present are modern. A clear example of iconic mid-century design, the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman suits any type of living space and design style. Since its initial design by Charles and Ray Eames in 1956, the Eames Chair and Ottoman has risen to fame as one of the most timeless furniture designs of the 20th century.

Pair a traditional table with modern chairs.

A vintage table is the perfect partner to modern chairs because it adds unexpected contrasts of shape and a unique twist. In production since 1949, the Skive Dining Table is a very basic, super classic refectory dining table that fits eight people comfortably. “Skive is very true to Danish design, form, and function,” said Brantley. “It’s a classic, strong, and simple table that fits seamlessly into any home environment.” Pair the Skive table with some modern chairs, such as this Aria Dining Chair. The natural walnut backrest adds warmth and color, while the light silver tones give Aria a sense of subtle grace. 

Nelson Bubble Pendant by Herman Miller

Choose one or two iconic pieces of furniture.

You can’t go wrong with adding at least one classic piece to your current furniture collection. A great choice is the Wally Chair—its design was inspired by the 1929 Art Deco Exhibition, but it also looks incredibly modern. From every angle, the Wally’s sculptural frame presents striking lines that represent the best of minimalist furniture design. The Nelson Ball Bubble Pendant Lamp is another piece that can lend to a collected look in your home. This lamp is very true to the design spirit of the 1940s, but the materials have been updated. It’s available in a medium-sized bubble shape, as well as in cigar and saucer bubble shapes.

Don’t be afraid of mixing modern and traditional.

The most important rule when it comes to mixing modern and vintage design? “Don’t be afraid or intimidated by mixing modern furniture into a more traditional atmosphere. There is always a way to work around the designs so that they mesh together in a cohesive way,” said Brantley.

According to Brantley, furniture is like people: “If you take a room full of people from all different ages, things will be a lot more interesting than a room full of people that are all the same age. By mixing different perspectives and styles, you can make it all work beautifully.”

Experience the Copenhagen difference.

Shopping at Copenhagen is not your usual retail experience. Copenhagen’s sales and design associates are there to ensure that you will experience a refreshing retail environment in the showroom and that you will find furniture that is artistic, functional, and, most importantly, suitable for your lifestyle and living space. Consult with one of Copenhagen’s interior designers for expert advice on creating the look and feel you’re envisioning for your home or office.

About Copenhagen Imports

Bringing a Passion for Modern Scandinavian Design to the Southwest.

In April 1970, the first Copenhagen Imports opened in Phoenix, Arizona, bringing a still-developing city its first furniture showroom dedicated solely to Danish Modern style. Founders Tony Christensen and Erik Hansen made the decision to move to Phoenix based on their passion for good design and their desire to have a positive impact upon the desert Southwest by bringing a new type of design to the valley.

At the time, local furniture-store owners in the Phoenix area scoffed at the two Danes’ design ideas and concepts, saying “That stuff will never sell. Six months and they’re out!” Quite the contrary—that “stuff” did sell! It sold so well, in fact, that shortly after, Hansen and Christensen opened additional stores in Tempe, Tucson, and Scottsdale. Continued growth moved Copenhagen into Texas, with stores first opening in El Paso, San Antonio, and, soon after, Austin.

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