One of the toughest tasks you’ll face as a collector is bringing together antiques from different time periods in the same room.
These disparate combinations can appear strikingly impressive as easily as they can look muddled and mismanaged, so follow the tips below to bring everything into perfect harmony.
Go large in your combinations
You might think it would be better to start small, bringing together smaller antiques in the same room to keep the combinations subtle.
However, that’s almost certainly not the right way to go; if you mix together a whole host of smaller antiques from different ages, your room is likely to start looking cluttered.
Instead, create larger focal points. Antique fireplaces are becoming popular again, so why not combine a striking baroque number with art deco table and chairs?
Remember that less is more
Don’t try to force a mish-mash of time periods by including too many items. Lots of people make this mistake by over-balancing their décor, assuming that each piece introduced requires an opposite number to help keep the tone on an even keel.
If you’re mixing time periods, using a select few pieces in conjunction will help each one stand out in its own right.
Keep your walls and flooring muted
A room containing antiques from several different time periods is going to speak loudly, so you should prevent things becoming too visually deafening by keeping your walls and flooring relatively muted.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to paint every wall and floorboard white, but you should try sticking to one colour and avoid using any elaborate styles.
Your variety of antiques should be the feature that gives the room its focus – the walls and flooring should merely act as a backdrop.
Contrast to complement
You may assume that the best way to mix antiques is to match every item you buy. That can work, but it will somewhat limit your choice of antiques, and it can make a room look a little too ‘put together’.
Instead, try contrasting in interesting ways. Combine soft materials with hard ones, mix angular furniture with softer, more rounded pieces and so on.
This approach will simultaneously bring a room together and prevent it from looking too neat for comfort.
Maintain a consistent atmosphere
Above all, remember not to zero in too closely on individual items and lose focus on the room as a whole.
If you’re going to have antiques from different time periods sharing the same space, one of the best things to do is simply give your room a certain vibe, or even its own little backstory.
Remember, even within certain eras pieces can vary significantly in terms of style and texture; Georgian antique pieces can go from embodying baroque designs to reflecting more neoclassical elements.
Do you want it to seem like an artist’s lounge? Would you like it to feel casual and relaxed? Making these larger decisions helps create a central guiding theme.