Mixing Old & New: Art & Decor

April 27, 2016

By Tab Byrum


I truly believe in collecting something if you have a strong affection for it and that definitely includes art. Art is one of those things that should really speak to you, at least that’s how I feel about. I also feel that if you really like something you can make it work in your home, I always tell clients that if they like it we can make it work. Mixing different styles of art with different styles of homes, architecture and furnishings is a great way to create juxtaposition and get your own look. While I was tracking down images I’m sharing with you today I noticed some of the remarks were things like, “beautiful abstract painting but it doesn’t work with this antique traditional furniture,” and I couldn’t disagree more, I’ll point the picture out to you when we get to it. The trick to making contemporary art work in a traditional room, or vice versa, is finding a common theme and most of the time that will be color. If you have a painting or print with lots of red in it then try to hang it with furniture and accessories with red, I’ll point this out in today’s pics as well. Just remember, if you like it you can make it work, it just takes some thought and planning. Enjoy!!! (above image via)


This elegant portrait would be at home in a castle but it looks amazing above this sleek modern sofa and notice the contemporary floor lamp to the left with multi-colored shades. Here you can see that there’s a lot of play off the gray or silver color in her gown. (via)


I cannot tell you how much I love this whole set-up, a very traditional marble staircase, and iron railing plus a crystal chandelier and BOOM, bright and multi-colored abstract painting. The dark handrail, dark wall color, and the dark color of the abstract bench make an elegant backdrop for this fun painting. (via)


I’ve talked before how much of a fan I’m am of poster art, here you can see a poster collection on display in a room that’s a mix of contemporary and traditional furniture, notice lots of orange going on here, one of the threads running through the room. (via)


This is a great little vignette, the very earthy colors of the antique chairs are reflected in the colors of the painting. (via)


This is the image I was talking about in my opening when I found this pic there was a comment saying that they know people like contemporary art but it belongs in a contemporary setting and I couldn’t disagree more. The painting has lots going on with muted colors as does the upholstery in this room. The pink of the pillows on the sofa works so well with the painting and the whole room being an egg shell color helps also, LOVE IT!!! (via)


This image for me is the most jarring of any of them, I love all the elements of this room but as you sit and study it you can see the color of the desk echoed in the lower portion of the painting and the floor and post color are echoed in the right side of the painting. I have to be honest and say I don’t know that I would have come up with this look but if you like it go for it. (via)


I think this is a beautiful arrangement, the antique chest of drawers beneath the colorful abstract art, with everything going on in the painting they kept it simple on the chest with a lamp, a couple of books and some tchotchkes. (via)


Everything about this room screams masculine, from the portrait to the modern brown sofa and contemporary coffee table, in addition to the dark colors I think the masculine element is the thing that makes this room work. (via)


Everything about this room is soft and feminine, including the abstract art. The painting is definitely the focus of the room since that’s where all the color is. (via)


As you can see this is a very traditionally designed home from the wood floors, the staircase with wooden spindles but this triptych works so well. I think the all white color scheme going on in the home helps tie it all together. (via)

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