Bring home the best of then and now
Bright looks good with subtle; big looks good with small; plain looks good with exciting; and new looks good with the old! Yes, opposites can work wonders and this holds true for interiors too. This season, go all-out to give your contemporary home a touch of the past
Decorating a home with furniture, styles, colours and patterns of similar family might be fashionable, but it can also be boring at the same time. To bring an element of excitement and add whimsy to home interiors, interior designers and decorators now stress on the need to showcase contrasts within a home. The verdict says, ‘Nothing can be more appealing and dramatic in today’s new-age home than a blast from the past.’
THE GREAT COMEBACK
The mid-20th century saw a dramatic outpouring of creativity in architecture and design. Designs with mystical, yet sweeping lines and surprising elements came to the fore. With the passage of time, these designs, especially in furniture and interiors, became the glorious past and people moved on to welcome straight, sleek and contemporary designs. But as they say, what goes around comes around! The mid-century designs, especially in furniture, is back with a bang and is now enjoying a resurgence as a popular choice for households across the country. The fact that buyers are now willing to pay high prices for authentic mid-century pieces testifies to the genius of what is called our ‘vintage charm’.
THE MARRIAGE OF OLD WITH THE YOUNG
Many contemporary furniture designers and manufacturers are now creating pieces in the mid-century modern aesthetic, some more authentic to the style than others. There is so much on the platter now that buyers find it difficult to discern which pieces not only truly express the mid-century period, but which ones would fit best in their homes as well. “Having realised the worth and value of vintage pieces, people now don’t mind spending their time and resources on elaborate vintage or antique furniture pieces that spell tradition, comfort, durability and cross age barriers,” says fashion designer Pragya Samor whose home is an eclectic mix of the past and the present. Her love for all things old made Pragya explore her creativity in the field of interiors as she did up her living room in a way that it is fashionably new, yet explicitly gives a glimpse of the rural past. Describing ‘modern vintage’, Pragya says it is a way to assimilate the design of bygone eras into the contemporary, high-tech homes. “It’s a way to soften the edges with a nostalgic nod to the past. It is the right mixing of the beauty of the past with new-age functionality and practicality. The best thing about ‘modern vintage’ is that it has proved that throwing the old out for something new when it’s no longer fashionable is never a good idea.”
PLAYFUL DISPLAY OF THE PAST
Old-world furniture can lend a certain level of playfulness to any room. Interior designer Anju Dhawan emphasises: “People cherish their childhood memories and vintage décor brings back some of these fond memories. Other than the aesthetic appeal, the vintage pieces have an ability to keep the child in you alive by reminding you of the days gone by.” A classic example of this is a wooden cradle; wherever placed, it can immediately bring alive the memories that you always cherish! Similarly, your old camera, carom-board or may be your first wooden train, when displayed, can immediately lift up the spirit of the room. The most important tip to use vintage at home is to mix, and not match!
GALLERY ALA HOME
Blending modern and vintage décor can be sophisticated chic or simply quirky. Whatever your aim, just focus on creating an interesting concoction of styles. As an interior expert from Houseproud.in puts it, “While playing with antiques, let your artistic streak out and create your own modern-vintage hybrid right at home.” Let your vintage collection make your home turn into a gallery of sorts! “Don’t shy away from giving a new look to your granny’s wooden trunk; paint it bright and it is ready to be used as an all-new centre-table or a bedroom dresser. The unique vintage collection available today is infused with an eclectic signature that fuses mixed textures and styles, bold colour combinations with a vintage vibe. The old-world charm seamlessly fuses with modern lifestyle to give a striking finish in today’s homes,” adds Shibani Jain of Baaya Design.
Most people associate vintage with a neutral palette—usually off-white or cream. Well, the trick to make vintage look priceless is to take the plunge; be adventurous with colour and you’ll be amazed at how your home can absorb the once worn-out piece in a most unique way. “Each worn-out piece has a story to tell and if these stories can somehow be weaved along with the display, your house instantly turns into a home; a place where memories are cherished forever,” stresses Malini Ghosh, a freelance interior decorator. Her advice for those who want to indulge in vintage vanity: “Juxtapose the oft-cluttered appeal of vintage décor with open, breathable style of the modern room. Create a small cluster of pieces all around. A side-table, mirror painting in one corner; a chair, rug or bean bag on the adjacent wall–separating them with empty space. Adding vintage mirrors with modern dressers is again a good idea.”
USE THEM INTERESTINGLY
Be unpredictable: Use small antique pieces in unexpected ways, such as teapots as vases, and decanters as chandelier
Odd’s in: Cluster in groups of odd numbers or asymmetrical manner to make it eye-catching
Make it personal: Incorporate elements of yourself into the home. Things you love, family photos, books, collections of dolls or something from your childhood. It’s all about things you love, so that it becomes your home
Dress up a wall: If a wall in your home seems empty, add a window. Remove the glass panes from a vintage window frame and hang it on your wall. Use lace at the corners to create a romantic art piece or attach vintage knobs to create hooks for keys
Create a new space: Instead of a solid dressing screen or partition, try dividing a room with antique French doors to form separate space without closing it off completely from the rest of the house
Photos: WWW.HOUSEPROUD.IN; SAJAWAT GROUP