antique coffee sign

Making Antiques Modern. A Farmhouse Miracle.

What differentiates your grandma’s farmhouse from the modern farmhouse of your dreams? There is probably a multitude of answers, but the most likely one is that your grandma’s home probably had chandeliers, lots of metal, and tons of what we would now consider antiques. Now you may be saying, “I have that in my home, too.” Well, I’m sure you do, but I’d bet that you have those pieces in moderation versus covering your entire home (more power to you if that’s not true, though).

The challenging part here, is the balance between modern and farmhouse. To truly cultivate the modern farmhouse balance, their needs to be a mix of both antique elements and sleek, modern pieces to elevate your home. Today, we will discuss the best way to integrate grandma’s farmhouse finds into your modern farmhouse today.

rustic metal shelving

I believe finding quality pieces is the most important part of integrating antiques into your home. It can be easy to fall into the faux rustic items, but these often appear cheap and make your home feel gimmicky. Finding large pieces like the above that are true antiques give a more authentic feel to the space.

I already hear the comments, “where the heck am I going to put this in my home?!” I hear you, but this is the time to get creative. Hang a piece like this on the wall and create a one-of-a-kind wall art decoration with fresh kitchen ingredients like mint, basil, and other herbs. You could even get crafty and store all your kids’ art supplies in the neat little cubbies. Each antique should be looked at as an opportunity to rejuvenate and refresh. Look for an opportunity to use this piece unexpectedly.

antique radio

As I mentioned, finding quality authentic pieces is important but incorporating unique or sentimental pieces is almost more salient. Look at your antique pieces as conversation starters. They can often cost a pretty penny, so you want these to catch someone’s eye while not detracting from the overall look of the space. Take for instance this Royal 760 radio. This was my father’s great, great grandpa’s radio and one of the first in-home radios.

Everyone who sees this antique asks where we found it or comments how neat it is. At the same time, the neutral color palette and unobtrusive nature of the piece make it the perfect accent to any room. It’s versatile enough to be utilized in many different spaces with almost any color palette. Plus, the sentimental nature of this piece makes it a true staple to the heart of our modern farmhouse home.

antique oil lamp, with pink accents and faux greenery

Once you find your quality pieces, there are a couple integral rules for incorporating them into your modern farmhouse. The first rule is to add color. As you can see here, the antique oil lamp paired with our pink Valentine’s Day décor creates a beautiful mesh between old and new. The pearly white lamp with silver accents pops against the bright, modern accents. This may be a bit of an extreme with the seasonal decorations. Feel free to tone it down a notch, opting instead for greenery and more muted colors.

antique piece paired with modern accents

The second rule requires a bit of fashioning, but the end result pays off in spades. When incorporating antique pieces, try to surround them with sleek or trendy pieces. For instance, in the above image the white, wood medallion is a very trendy piece (or at least was in 2021), while the bluish-grey vase touts a sleek, modern design. The proximity of these three pieces creates the perfect blend of modern and antique. It is important to note that this design also works as it incorporates color in the surrounding items as well to help modernize the featured antique.

Antique coffee station

Can you spot what’s wrong here? Well, not wrong per se, but can you see why this looks more grandma’s farmhouse than a modern farmhouse? It does fit rule number one by adding color with the green table and red flowers, but it’s missing the sleek modern element. Every piece here from floor to ceiling has a rustic or antique vibe. The coffee machine even has a more rounded design leaning more towards an antiquated piece than a modern one.

As usual, if this is your style, ROCK-IT! I will always support anyone who has a style and sticks to it. If you’re trying to achieve the perfect modern farmhouse look, there are a couple of easy ways to spruce this piece up. Try swapping the round tray for a square or rectangular tray with a more modern look. Replace the rounded flower vase with one with clean lines and add in fresh greenery to spruce up the area. Replace the coffee, sugar, and milk items for a layered tray with coffee mugs hanging from the top and coffee flavor syrup glasses. Let me know how you would spruce this space up in the comments below!

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