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  • Writer's pictureDASHA HERVEY

When a Bit of Old, Needs a Bit of a New

Simple black and white motif with old and new furnishings make this classical design pop

In the last few years, we have cleared things out that weren’t working for us. This could be something mental, physical, or social. We did this because we needed to make space for ourselves, and we felt better by doing this. It’s quite a phenomenon. What about those remaining items that that you don’t know what to do with that you achingly want to embrace, but simultaneously seek a fresh approach. How do you begin when it all can feel so daunting?

When it comes to interior design this old-new theme is something that I am frequently consulted about.

The answer is simple:

A. Keep what you love

B. Toss what you hate

C. Integrate your love items into your space

D. Add something new that you find inspiring

Identify what you like and why. Is it a keepsake that brings a sweet memory, an antique that holds noteworthy value or something completely ridiculous, like my giant ceramic frog that sat on my lap all the way home from Thailand. I adore him, actually them, I bought two.

I encourage my clients to integrate their coveted objects into their home. It is completely possible to design with what you love while achieving a curated look in your space. The term old and new has been around forever. But how you put these items together takes a clever eye and a professional to assist you.

The power of color and old and new pieces tie this room together

A bit of old needs a bit of new. This creates an element of surprise and interest. If you walk into an old hotel, and all of it is old, there’s nothing interesting, and the brain may say this is boring. But if you add modern wallpaper and an edgy chandelier to the environment the design will pique your interest. It’s the contrast of the ages that makes the room interesting.

This can equally be said in styling your home. You may have an old sideboard. Paint it, jazz it up with candles, a tall gold-finished modern vase, a fern in an antique vessel. The elements and juxtaposition of history will instantly create a worthy vignette.

The French are exceptional at this. Old is not going away, nor is history, historic buildings, floorings, and traditions. What the Parisians have done is added modern pieces as an element of surprise that instantly creates swoon-worthy rooms.

An old, gilded mirror combined with a new chair and wall paint and to the pizzaz of this room

One of my favorite ways to play this concept through is with art. A collage that includes one piece that adds an element of surprise is an instantaneous way to create this effect.

Eclectic collage creates visual impact and interest

And you can reverse the process. If you have a modern home and your grandma just granted you her favorite ottoman, count yourself lucky. Give it a new life and it will be the conversation starter at your next party.

We feel comfortable with the familiar, by adding in the unexpected we can bring a little joy to the next object and ourselves. Smartly blending old and new is a straightforward design tool that can easily be integrated into your own home.

Have a happy old and New Year!

Old footstool made new

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