Author Archive for: slenhart

How To Mix Old and New

17 Mar
March 17, 2015

Modern & traditional. Vintage and contemporary. These may sound like strange bedfellows, but when it comes to mixing old and new, the only rule is there are no rules. Whether you’re moving into a historic home, bringing classic furniture into a new, modern construction, or mixing furniture styles themselves, here are a few examples of how to achieve that layered, sophisticated look of old and new…

Vintage with a Modern Twist

Combine contemporary furniture and accessories with older architectural elements. Create a seamless space within an old setting. Clean, sleek surfaces and straight lines contrast beautifully with the distressed texture of an aged brick wall and well-worn hardwood floor.

Transcend Time Periods

Avoid a style cliché with a good mix. A well-edited room looks as if its been collected over time. The Proximity collection mixes traditional style with casual yet distinctive details. Incorporating these vintage inspired pieces with bold graphics, classic textiles and covering – like leather and linen, and modern lighting and accessories creates a layered, sophisticated space that is both timely and timeless.

Start with White

Display bright colors and fresh patterns against an airy background. Seating upholstered in natural linens look casual and comfortable and combines effortlessly with traditional and modern shapes. Bring in pops of color through accent furniture, textiles and accessories.

Be Spontaneous

Make an unexpected furniture choice… Create an element of surprise that’s both practical and stylish, like the industrial inspired Bakery Rack from our Cordevalle collection. The cage-like wiring, simple lines and metal casters creates a strong focal point in this space. One would expect a more traditional sideboard or china cabinet to match the elegant curves of the dining table and chairs, or a very sleek and modern buffet to compliment the straight lines of the French doors. But this particular piece, along with a fantastic collection of dishes really stands out beautifully.

Tip the Scale

Oversized furniture can visually widen the room. Light fixtures, floor-to-ceiling drapes and large artwork or mirrors will direct the eye upward. Using both traditional and contemporary elements to enhance a space.

A great look that successfully combines old and new is always achieved over time and will evolve with you. Allow your space to be an ever-changing and inspiring environment that’s a reflection of you and your family.


The Art of Arranging Art

07 Oct
October 7, 2014


As any decorator, curator, or gallery owner can tell you, there is an “art” to hanging art well. It is an element that is often overlooked. Think of your framed photographs and collected pieces of artwork as the final layer in a beautiful room, or maybe your favorite painting is the starting point for the design of a space. This favorite piece of art could be the inspiration for color, pattern, furniture angles, upholstery texture…and mood.

Whether you’re working with a collection of pictures and prints or trying to find the perfect spot for that oversized canvas you finally found, here are a few tips to keep in mind before you start hammering nails into your walls.

When hanging art of different sizes, pictures should be lined up by their centerlines, not the top edge of the work or frame. Check it out the next time you visit a museum or art gallery, this is the way they hang art.

A single painting or the main piece of art in a grouping is generally hung at eye level for an average-height person. When in doubt, err on hanging higher rather than lower.

When arranging a group of works on a wall, placement depends on the height and width of the space, taking into consideration any furnishings—sofa, chest, tables with lamps, or railing. Measure the space available for the grouping from top to bottom and side to side.

Try arranging the pictures on the floor first as if you are putting together a giant puzzle. The largest picture generally goes in the center, then work your way out and up from there, paying close attention to balance, symmetry and order.

A series of identically framed works can be hung closer together than pieces of different sizes and shapes. A good rule of thumb is 2 to 2½ inches apart. A more varied grouping needs varying margins between pictures, but still aim for a sense of consistency. 

Family photos work well grouped together in a hallway or along a staircase. If your hallway is long, try placing artwork on only one side. It is difficult to look at both sides, and having both walls occupied closes in the space.

When hanging prints, more is better and creates a better impact! Get creative with your keepsakes, antique book covers, artist prints, travel memoires and more!

You can hang art on patterned wallpaper or fabric if the art is a different scale, has enough white space around it, or is visually stronger than its backdrop. Prints should have a mat to distinguish the image from the wall pattern.

A collection of plates looks wonderful grouped together or spaced around a room. They are also ideal for filling in a narrow space such as between or over doorways or along the side of a cabinet. Hanging toys or accessories on a wall can be a creative decoration while serving as storage!

Gather those loose photos and prints, find the perfect spot and have fun with composition!