Trends: Mixing Old Masters and Antique Artworks into a Modern Scheme
Gilt-framed portraits, oil paintings and traditional landscapes are a cool way to add impact to contemporary spaces
An all-white scheme gets a new twist with a striking and decorative gilt frame. The artwork isn’t centuries old, but is painted in tones that hark back to the 19th century. The arrangement of smaller photos and images on the other wall is a reminder that this home has contemporary art tastes, too. A great balancing act.
The painting says traditional portrait, but the painted backdrop lets you know this is a modern scheme. The sky blue is natural enough to work with the painting and stately upholstery, but also ticks the box for on-trend teals. Imagine this space with a plain white wall and you’ll appreciate how the colour lends real impact and energy.
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The art of tapestry is reinvented in this scheme. What could be a fusty family heirloom in some hands is given a fresh context with a grey backdrop, industrial lighting and a rough-hewn bench, which all work in harmony with the tones of the tapestry. An ancient craft is reworked for the present, yet still does the same job as in previous centuries – adding warmth and texture to walls.
This pretty still-life painting in a florid frame is partnered by a contemporary artwork, showing there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to your own home gallery. Flashes of yellow appear in both, as well as the cushions and side table, keeping a sense of flow.
This historic portrait is the kind of picture that would have hung over a Downton Abbey-style dining table, so this more casual arrangement makes a clever contrast. Note, too, the fact that it’s unframed – a definite trend and a way to highlight the change of context.
Any creative homeworker needs a range of stimuli and this beautifully eclectic spectrum is sure to keep the inspiration flowing. There’s a subtle symmetry at work, too: white frames match each other, as do black. And the central frame and oil painting are two halves, sat side by side.
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This magnificent space with authentic architectural features is the perfect setting for period oil paintings. But the tastefully modern furniture, dark blue paint shade and updated-classic flooring ensure the mood is fresh and fashionable.
This Darwinian collection of butterflies is arranged in a deliberately abstract pattern, showing how antique images can inject character into a space. As a spin on tradition, they are still displayed over an old-fashioned bureau, but also surrounded by an eclectic collection of furniture.
As long as your paintings aren’t valuable heirlooms, traditional art can be used to add character to a bathroom. And, given that many bathing spaces abound in modern, glossy white surfaces, a painting can be a way to add deeper tones or colour. These two paintings show the power of small groupings, and would work the same trick in a small cloakroom.
Line drawings and prints with splashes of red unite this group of different styles and sizes of art, lending a dynamism to the display. A limited palette links with the stair carpet and the paint shade for a varied but united result.
What do you think about mixing antique art with contemporary décor? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.