How to mix and match your home
with Old & New
Towards the end of 2019 I was excited to introduce some new features to the Beatengreen blog and this Mix & Match post marks the first in the Home Style Collection, that I am nicknaming the Homing Instinct.
This will be an evolving series of posts dedicated to unravelling our favourite interior design styles, ‘homing’ in on ways to identify our uniqueness, and exploring avenues to personalise the popular trends.
These days a lot of us spend our time referring to apps that measure our steps, sleep and diet, and are having to re-learn to trust our gut. By reducing our fixation on visual perfection and concentrating on how a room feels we can shape our interiors more organically.
By using the 5 basic principles of each design and by maintaining focus on our instincts we can start feeling the way to our most authentic home interiors.
(I like to think of this new feature as the home equivalent to mindfulness).
Beatengreen began with a favourite style of mine, Old & New, with its very definition hidden inside the name:
Beaten (up) = old / green = new………so this is where we are starting.
Old & New
If you are passionate about creating interesting, soulful, sustainable and thrifty interiors and love mixing vintage with high street, then Old & New is your style.
This style is epitomised by the juxtaposition of using old things in a new house, new things in an old house or, as I prefer, a combination of both. It’s a quirky style, affording a degree of flexibility, but there are some important principles to follow for the most successful finish.
How to mix and match your home with Old & New
5 Basic Principles
This style creates a soulful, characterful vibe offering sustainability, the chance to re-use existing furnishings and a great opportunity to style on a budget. However, this style can easily feel cluttered and confusing and requires a carefully considered balance of contrast.
1) Contrast clean lines with wobbly ones
This is where the New accentuates the Old & vice versa and it’s a great place to start. For example, if your house has an old fireplace with exposed brick/stone or an original wooden mantle, contrast these wobbly old lines with new, crisp, clean ones such as a large white wooden picture frame, or a contemporary wood store.
2) Avoid too much colour
This style is already loaded with contrast, interest and character and the hardest part will be to layer the style so that it feels restful rather than confusing on the eye. We don’t want to complicate the dynamic so in addition to the aesthetic, focus on how the space makes you feel. Play this by ear and listen to your gut. If you feel uneasy in this room, simplify the aesthetic and quieten the colour.
3) Keep the mix as streamlined as possible
By contrasting only two elements of an area at a time it’s possible to create the Old & New style without cluttering the feel of a space. For example, in a dining room install a New dining table with a collection of matching Old chairs or an Old dining table with a collection of matching New chairs. By contrasting only these two elements, the overall style will not look too fussy.
(TIP: Mismatching ALL the chairs works best only when the rest of the room is kept very simple and cohesive. The greater the mis-match (ie colour/style/age) the simpler the surrounding design needs to be. In this way the mis-match forms an interesting focal point rather than a chaotic undertone).
For help with streamlining try this exercise.
4) Choose original items first
The soul behind this style lies with you and your love of all things Old so let this guide the shape of your interior. There are far more New choices than there are Old so work around any existing pieces that you really want to keep or shop for the original piece first, before combining it with its New counterpart.
5) Let evolution dictate the finish
Lastly, and this might be the hardest part of the design, is to be patient. Original items that really speak to the soul are often picked up over time and sometimes from far flung places so this scheme may best evolve slowly!
NB: Use your instincts and feelings to shape this interior as well as fashion and trend.
GET THE LOOK with this Free Mood Board!
including my hand picked selection of high street products.
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Here are some upcoming styles in the Homing Instinct feature, including links to their Pinterest board counterparts…
The Home Style Collection
Bright bazaar, Kinfolk Home, Modern Eclectic, Globally inspired, Scandi classic, Coastal Decor, Easy contemporary, Thrifty Decor, Neutral Living, Naturally inspired, Soulful minimalism, Modern Boho, Bold & beautiful, Pale and interesting, Soft industrial, Simple Vintage, Muted mode