Duality is the concept of two opposing forces that exist together in a balanced, interconnected way. You often hear about it in the context of philosophy or even mathematics, but in this article, we are going to apply it to the art of decorating.
Light and dark. Smooth and rough. Old and new. Duality creates a sense of balance and harmony in a room by means of contrasting elements.
For example, you could pair a sleek, modern sofa with a rustic wooden coffee table, or hang a contemporary art piece on a wall with vintage wallpaper. By balancing these opposing elements, you can create a space that feels cohesive and interesting.
Importance of Creating an Interesting Home
You might be thinking, “Why would I want my home to be interesting?”
Well, think about it. It’s your home. You should like how it looks. Especially with the advent of work-from-home and hybrid jobs where people are spending more and more time at home, it’s important to preserve the sanctity of the home as much as possible.
Putting some effort into decorating allows you to express your personality and style like you can nowhere else. An interesting home is engaging and visually alluring, creating a sense of warmth and comfort. It makes guests feel welcome and encouraged to stay longer.
Let’s get into it: here’s some creative ideas to bring a sense of duality to your home by blending old and new items.
Mixing Old and New Trends
To create a home that feels both timeless and current, you should aim to mix old and new trends. Blend different styles and design elements (ideas listed below) to achieve duality while maintaining a cohesive, harmonious feel.
Start with a clear vision and plan. You should choose a color scheme and stick to it. Decide whether you want complementary colors (opposite sides of the color wheel feel natural and pleasing), split complementary colors (colors on either side of complementary color create a clashing effect) or monochromatic (one color, perhaps in a few different tones).
Then, as you’re decorating, balance out your modern pieces with antiques! Simple as that. If it doesn’t fit the room, ditch it. Go with what feels right. It is your home, after all.
Does it have to be 50/50?
No! You can incorporate duality however you wish, but the most natural and pleasing applications of duality use a base highlighted by strong, decorative elements.
In the world of interior decorating, this principle is called the 80/20 rule. It says that 80% of a room’s design should be made up of staple or neutral pieces, while the remaining 20% can be more unique or decorative pieces that add personality and flair.
You could incorporate temporal duality with a room that is 80% modern and 20% antique. As an example, you could counterbalance a modern bathroom with a vintage lamp, mirror, piece of artwork or antique silver to draw the eye and add some character. You don’t need to go crazy with the antiques – just a few small items like a leather-bound book, a framed vintage map, and an old-timey work of art, when combined, can be powerful enough to make up that 20%. Alternatively, you can go for one big piece like an old wooden chair or a grandfather clock to add flair.
Use Oversized Antiques in Smaller Spaces
If you want to make a small room feel grander, consider oversized antique items. When people see a large item in a smaller space, it feels remarkable. It goes against our expectations, but is pleasing nonetheless.
Lean a giant vintage mirror against your bedroom wall to create the illusion of more space. Add a big antique rug to a study or reading nook to make it feel even cozier, adding warmth and texture.
Use antiques as focal points
Pick an antique that you love and build the rest around it. This will help create a cohesive look and make the antique piece the star of the show.
Playing with spacing can give great emphasis, like using oversized antiques in small rooms. Start with a big antique desk or table and accent it with modern touches.
Best Places to Find Antique Items
You can find antiques at all sorts of places. If you’ve got some money to spend, antique shops and auction houses get a steady influx of antique products. Check by your local antique shop storefront and scour the isles until something grabs your eye.
On the other hand, if you want to save money, flea markets and garage sales are great options. Check out Facebook and Craigslist for events going on near you.
Another option is estate sales. Typically, when someone passes away, their belongings are sold off. Because the holders of the estate want to get rid of the items quickly, there are often steep discounts. Arrive early as the best stuff goes quickly.
If you live in a remote location, online resources are your best friend: eBay, Etsy, and Rubylane are great options for finding antique items. Some online antique dealers also offer virtual showrooms or consultations.
There are many means to achieving a sense of duality in your home. Old and new are just one set of opposing forces. If you have some antiques you want to display, adhere to these strategies to make sure you incorporate them in a natural and aesthetically-pleasing way that reflects your own personal style. If you don’t yet have any antiques, now you know where to look.