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Mixing Vintage Art With Modern Art

By Rachel
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Last Updated on November 17, 2023 by Rachel Granholm

Learn how to go about mixing vintage art with modern art!

My love for old things runs deep. But, every now and then, you will find a new or more modern decor item in my home. Over the past few years, I have found joy in combining vintage and modern art throughout my house. To me, mixing the old and the new creates balance and harmony. It also helps create a unique space where you can choose to display art that is meaningful to you. Mixing vintage art with modern art is a beautiful thing and I’ll show you how!

My Photowall Art

Let’s back up a tad first. About a month ago, I partnered with a Swedish company called Photowall. They design and print beautiful wallpaper murals, canvases and posters. Due to my work with them, I was able to choose three different canvas prints in any size and have them shipped to my house. If you haven’t seen the detailed post yet about my work with them and to receive a discount code, here is the link to that post!

Anyways, I received my canvases in the mail and wanted to share them with you! You guys, they are stunning. I am SO happy with the quality of the canvases and the crispness of the images.

Here is the first one…a beautiful old barn with a gorgeous sunset. The second I saw this print on the website it went into my cart. This canvas is one of the smaller sizes but it was going up on my picture rail so I didn’t want it to be too large.

Here is the second canvas. Another barn but what else would you expect from me?! I love barns.

This one has a beautiful white and weathered appearance to it and is more square than rectangular. Each one was chosen for a specific spot in mind so I custom sized each print to fit the area it was intended for.

a white weathered barn printed on canvas from Photowall

Here is the last one! The largest of the three, this wildflower field is stunning against the blue walls of my bedroom. It’s the most calming scene and I find myself periodically just staring at it.

a canvas print that has a rye field with wildflowers printed on it

Now, let’s mix it up! I’ll show you where I put these prints and teach you how to mix this modern art with vintage art that I’ve collected over the years.

Mixing Vintage Art With Modern Art

I have found three easy ways to mix and match modern and vintage art and decor. Let’s walk through each together!

a picture rail that is displayed with modern art and framed vintage art

  1. Display Art In a Group
    vintage and modern art displayed together on a picture rail
    This is my favorite way to display art. By utilizing a picture rail, a shelf, or even creating a gallery wall, you can cohesively display different types of art and even decor such as baskets. In the photo above, you can see I placed the sunset barn canvas in between two vintage pieces of art. The white frame on the left is new but holds a vintage watercolor. The wood frame on the right is vintage and holds a vintage floral print. But do you see how everything just fits and works so nicely together? It’s just fantastic!
    a picture rail that holds vintage art in frames
  2. Vintage and Modern Art Within A Room
    modern and vintage art displayed in a bathroom
    The second way to mix vintage and modern art is by using both mediums in the same room. This is our master bath, which is still a work in progress. I hesitated to show this room to you because it’s not as pretty or visually appealing as I would like but I felt like you should know that it’s okay if you have a space that is not done. It’s real life. A home takes time and money and sometimes we don’t have either. You don’t ever need to feel ashamed because you’re house doesn’t look like a magazine.
    Anyways, I digress. You can see above how I’ve mixed vintage and modern pieces in close proximity to one another. That can include decor elements too like using a vintage peg rack next to a new shelf. By incorporating both types of art within the same space, it provides a unique balance of old and new.
    a modern art canvas piece featuring an old weathered barn
    The open wall above the toilet was the perfect space for this barn..it’s like this art was meant to live here. I love the color that this canvas adds to a dark corner and that I can see it’s reflection when I’m looking in the vanity mirror.
    vintage barn art displayed on a bathroom wall
    Combining the old with the new just makes sense rather than having everything be old or everything be new. Vintage art paired with a newer decor piece or shelf or placed by a new light fixture creates a pairing that can’t be explained. I feel it when I walk into the room…it’s this coziness that just feels right. I urge you to give this idea a try. If you are new to vintage decorating, go to your local thrift store and find an inexpensive piece of art or decor and place it in a room that is full of newer items. Live with it for a week or two and see how you take to it..it may just change your life!
  3. Combine Vintage Decor With Modern Art
    a modern oil painting displayed with antique transferware pitchers on a bathroom shelf
    If you are not a vintage art person, that’s okay! Instead, try merging your modern art with vintage or antique decor pieces. I did this in my hall bath, as you can see above, and I love how this combination looks. My advice for this tip is to try and use complementing color schemes within the art and the decor. The oil painting, which was painted years ago by my extremely talented husband, has shades of blues, greens and browns. My transferware pitchers, along with the green glass bowl, have complementing colors to the art, making the whole display feel cohesive.
    a large canvas art picture of wildflowers on a blue bedroom wall
    Here is the large wildflower scene in context in my bedroom. The scale of the canvas fills up that big, open space on the wall beautifully. Again, the modern canvas art is displayed next to a vintage lamp and vase, creating a space that feels intentional and built up over time.

Closing Tidbits

Sometimes it can feel daunting as to how to mix different decor styles and time periods together. My hope is that those three tips for mixing vintage art with modern art are an encouragement and for you to see that it’s not as difficult as you may think. When taking the time to intentionally decorate your home, you are creating a space that is unique and special to you. You don’t have to outfit your home with the latest trends or color palettes, because what’s the fun in doing what everyone else is doing? Decorate with what you love and your home will always feel right.

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Remember to pin it for later!

a picture rail that is displayed with vintage and modern art on a wall

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Rachel from The Antiqued Journey blog

Hey! I’m Rachel!

I’m so glad you are here! Old things are my jam. Antique malls and thrift stores are my happy places.

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