Say you have some really great antique pieces that you want to hold onto – but you want to merge them with your new, slick home décor. How do you do it? Is it even possible to merge the old with the new without looking too eclectic?

Marla Makowski, of Panache Home Decorating Inc. in Oakville, Ontario, admits that it’s a hard look to pull off if you don’t know what you’re doing. “Merging the old and new is a talent,” she says. “If you’re not careful, the décor can, very easily, become kitschy – like you collected all the items from a garage sale or hand-me-down.”

Makowski says that the secret to a successful merger of old and new is to mix opposites, such as shiny and matte objects, or curved lines with angles. “Like in a marriage, opposites attract,” she says. A good example, she says, is mixing rustic tables with polished, steel-frame leather chairs, or placing modern glass and metal dining tables with old, worn Persian rugs.

One of the reasons many people want to merge old with new is because of family heirlooms or sentimental pieces – but its original form may not fit the new space. Carolann Mackie, of The Frugal Decorator in Kitchener, Ontario, specializes in finding new forms for these old pieces. “We often rethink what a piece is traditionally used for and break the rules,” she says. “We repurpose many items that people may have received as a family pass-off and recreate the piece into something else.” Her business even runs a program called AfterGLOW, in which donated used pieces are given makeovers and resold alongside other truly new pieces.

Both designers agree that the key to successfully pulling off an old-meets-new look is pre-planning. Makowski says that she is often called in after people have started a project, either on their own or with a decorator they didn’t work well with – and they’re now in trouble. “Plan the outcome you want to achieve and break it down into small steps,” she says. And if you can’t afford a designer to do a full renovation, at least consider booking a consultation, so you can establish a plan before you start making changes – and risk ending up with a half-completed look that you don’t love.

Mackie agrees and says that while it’s great that many people watch decorating shows and read magazines and are quite savvy in home décor, it can’t hurt to seek the advice of a professional. She says that thinking holistically about your space can help you to avoid costly errors down the line.

But above all, have fun with it and accept that your room’s style may change as you work through the planning stage. “Finding your own decorating style is a process,” says Makowski. “We, as humans, change all the time, have different needs and lifestyles. The challenge is to create a décor that makes you feel comfortable and that reflects who you are.”

 

 

Let the old meet the new in your home décor (Area: Tips & Tricks)

Say you have some really great antique pieces that you want to hold onto – but you want to merge them with your new, slick home décor. How do you do it? Is it even possible to merge the old with the new without looking too eclectic?

Marla Makowski, of Panache Home Decorating Inc. in Oakville, Ontario, admits that it’s a hard look to pull off if you don’t know what you’re doing. “Merging the old and new is a talent,” she says. “If you’re not careful, the décor can, very easily, become kitschy – like you collected all the items from a garage sale or hand-me-down.”

Makowski says that the secret to a successful merger of old and new is to mix opposites, such as shiny and matte objects, or curved lines with angles. “Like in a marriage, opposites attract,” she says. A good example, she says, is mixing rustic tables with polished, steel-frame leather chairs, or placing modern glass and metal dining tables with old, worn Persian rugs.

One of the reasons many people want to merge old with new is because of family heirlooms or sentimental pieces – but its original form may not fit the new space. Carolann Mackie, of The Frugal Decorator in Kitchener, Ontario, specializes in finding new forms for these old pieces. “We often rethink what a piece is traditionally used for and break the rules,” she says. “We repurpose many items that people may have received as a family pass-off and recreate the piece into something else.” Her business even runs a program called AfterGLOW, in which donated used pieces are given makeovers and resold alongside other truly new pieces.

Both designers agree that the key to successfully pulling off an old-meets-new look is pre-planning. Makowski says that she is often called in after people have started a project, either on their own or with a decorator they didn’t work well with – and they’re now in trouble. “Plan the outcome you want to achieve and break it down into small steps,” she says. And if you can’t afford a designer to do a full renovation, at least consider booking a consultation, so you can establish a plan before you start making changes – and risk ending up with a half-completed look that you don’t love.

Mackie agrees and says that while it’s great that many people watch decorating shows and read magazines and are quite savvy in home décor, it can’t hurt to seek the advice of a professional. She says that thinking holistically about your space can help you to avoid costly errors down the line.

But above all, have fun with it and accept that your room’s style may change as you work through the planning stage. “Finding your own decorating style is a process,” says Makowski. “We, as humans, change all the time, have different needs and lifestyles. The challenge is to create a décor that makes you feel comfortable and that reflects who you are.”

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