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Incorporating the two can offer rooms a dynamic look, said Karen Liwanpo, creative director at Smart Furniture on the North Shore.
"The two really work well together," she said, provided there's some coordination between the two.
Joy Devlin, manager at Smart Furniture, explained that "modern" furniture appeared in the 1920s with the Art Deco movement. By the 1940s and 1950s, it became mainstream alongside traditional pieces. The designs remain popular and continue to be used by many of today's furniture designers.
And, Ms. Liwanpo added, the modern furnishings from the early and mid-20th century now are considered antiques of great value.
If you prefer furnishings with a modern edge, use your antique pieces as an accent. Or visa versa.
"Balance the two," Ms. Liwanpo said. "Don't just mash them together. It would look like a Bohemian dorm room."
The focus should be on unifying the elements.
"It's a good marriage of fashion and function that allows you to hang on to your roots but give your home a more modern look," Ms. Devlin said.
Here are their tips for fusing the two.
- Match colors and textures. Put modern cushions on an old sofa using your accent colors. Or add throw pillows to highlight accents.
- Try different arrangements. Move pieces around to create symmetry.
- Strive for balance. If you have an older, traditional table, you can add a clear, polypropylene chair that will add no visual weight.
- Don't be afraid to experiment. To try out the look, place a contemporary lamp on your heirloom table. Like it? This is a good place to begin outfitting your home or office with a new look.