Home Off Topic A Guide To Uniting “Classic” and “Modern” Home Design

A Guide To Uniting “Classic” and “Modern” Home Design

by Jessica Amey

When it comes to choosing a home décor style, you could be forgiven for thinking that there is a straight choice between two options; classic, and modern. These two choices are often posited as an either/or, as if there can only be one… but this isn’t actually the case.

If you have previously struggled to decide between modern and classic home décor, then there’s one very important thing you need to know: you don’t have to pick just one. There are ways and means of blending both styles together, ensuring that you’re able to enjoy the best of both worlds with your interior design.

Choose a “primary” and a “supplementary” style

If you’re going to successfully blend together old and new styles in your home, then it’s unwise to select your décor choices randomly. The key terminology to keep in mind is blend, and to blend successfully, you need to have the right component parts.

The easiest way to do this is to choose a primary and a supplementary style. There’s only two options here:


  • Modern as your primary style; classic as your supplementary style.
  • Classic as your primary style; modern as your supplementary.


The terms “primary” and “modern” play key roles in the configuration of your overall look:

  • Your primary style is the style that comprises around 70% of your décor. In some ways, it the default style. For example, if you’re searching for a lamp and cannot find one you love, then you can default to a lamp in your primary style and be confident it will work well with your overall décor.
  • Your supplementary style is, as the name suggests, there to supplement and provide interest to the primary style. It will comprise around 30% of your overall décor.

By ensuring that there is a dominant style and a less-dominant one, you’ll actually find it far easier to blend the two together.

Your primary style should focus on the basics…

… while your supplementary style is allowed to be the star of the show. Confused? Here’s how it works, using the example of modern being the primary style, and classic being the supplementary style:

  • You are designing a living room.
  • The majority of the living room is designed in your primary style, which is modern (in this example).
  • This means that you ensure all the basics in the room are bought in a modern style. For a living room, that would be items like the seating arrangements, any storage,  the TV stand, the blinds/curtains, and other basics elements required to make the room actively look like a living room.
  • You can then introduce the classic style — your supplementary style — as a stand-out, but individual piece. You could visit an antique fireplace dealer to find a stunning fireplace that would supplement a modern living room. You could perhaps also choose to look for retro chandeliers that glisten and catch the light.
  • The two styles should then work together, as neither is competing for attention. There’s more of the modern style in terms of sheer numbers, but there’s more of the classic style in terms of how dominant in the room the piece is.

This division between the fundamentals of the room and stand-out supplementary additions is essential to create a cohesive look. It ensures that the blend of old and new looks deliberate, rather than something that happened accidentally because you couldn’t choose an overarching style.

Continue this blend throughout your home

We’ve talked thus far about blending modern and classic design across a single room. It’s important, though, to note that this blend of styles should continue throughout your home. You can perhaps select only one style in the more functional rooms — a strictly country kitchen or a sleek modern bathroom, for example — but for the more general areas such as living spaces and bedrooms, the blend should be consistent.

If you have some rooms that blend modern and classic, and some that strictly adhere to one of the other, the flow of your home just isn’t going to work. It is going to appear as if you wanted to stick to one style in every time, but then couldn’t make it work, or couldn’t make up your mind, for each room. It is far preferable to blend modern and classic throughout your home, so there is a constant feeling of such a choice being a deliberate one.

In conclusion

If you want to blend together classic and modern styles in your home, then the guide above should allow you to just that. Keep in mind the key techniques of blending and the primary/supplementary split, and you won’t go far wrong— happy decorating!

‘Contributed Post’

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