Us­ing retro pieces in a new home

Just be­cause you’re liv­ing in a new house doesn’t mean you can’t work in some old favourites

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - ADVICE - Words Cather­ine Nikas-Bou­los More james­

Q I love vin­tage-in­spired in­te­ri­ors, but I have a new home. Do you need to live in an older home too be able to use vin­tage fur­ni­ture?

A The sim­ple an­swer is no. Mod­ern prop­er­ties can ben­e­fit from old fur­ni­ture, but it’s all in the styling.

Founder and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of James mes Said, Bethany Said (pic­tured), says her whole busi­ness is based around mid-century de­sign, and you don’t need to recre­ate pe­riod homes from the 1950s to able to work the pieces into your home. In fact, the rule book has been rewrit­ten. “Whether you are work­ing with art deco pieces, or any­thing retro, you want to add a mod­ern feel to it,” she says.

“We’re very care­ful how we put our pieces to­gether, and it all starts with a clean pal­ette.”

Keep it clean

If you choose well, Bethany says retro fur­ni­ture can be the hero in an oth­er­wise mod­ern room.

“In the past, a retro space might have lots of lay­ers of bold colours and pat­terns, but we def­i­nitely don’t want to make a room too chaotic,” she says.

“For us, it’s about hav­ing a clean tem­plate, with one bold piece of fur­ni­ture and then a nice white cur­tain or a plain car­pet.”

Although you might be adding some retro style to shake up your in­te­ri­ors, Bethany says it’s im­por­tant to draw the line some­where.

“We like to cre­ate clean, re­laxed rooms, even though they are bold and edgy, they make you feel good when you’re in them,” she says.

Where to start

There will al­ways be one item that will be the star of a room, while ev­ery­thing else should com­ple­ment it — not over­whelm it.

In one blush pink and sil­ver James Said-styled liv­ing room (pic­tured, top), Bethany says that the couch is the strong­est el­e­ment in the room, with fur­ni­ture in tones of sil­ver and grey blend­ing into the back­ground.

Although the drinks trol­ley, chan­de­lier, side lamps and cof­fee ta­ble are all in­di­vid­u­ally in­ter­est­ing pieces, the eye is in­stantly drawn to the lounge.

“You don’t want too many pieces vy­ing for at­ten­tion. You need to find that one piece that will be your in­spi­ra­tion, and layer from there,” she says.

Get Ge busy liv­ing

R Retro fur­ni­ture can be colour­ful, with b bright pieces a reminder of the years be­fore Scan­di­na­vian fur­ni­ture and min­i­mal­ism came to the fore. While neu­tral colours may be con­sid­ered the “safe” op­tion when it c comes to fur­ni­ture, if you love it en enough, you should buy the colour­ful piece piece, Bethany says. “It’s lik like sav­ing your best pair of shoes for one night,” she says. “I say, be brave, buy some­thing you love, rather than buy­ing some­thing you think is the safe op­tion.” When she is on a buy­ing trip, Bethany says she is of­ten swayed to buy ac­cord­ing to her own per­sonal re­sponse to a piece. “I am dis­in­ter­ested in other peo­ple’s idea of what will sell and I never pay any at­ten­tion to what other re­tail­ers are do­ing,” she says. “That is my best ad­vice to peo­ple shop­ping for fur­ni­ture — trust your own in­stinct. Who bet­ter knows what you love, than you?”

The sil­ver and grey colour scheme of this Art Deco-in­spired space al­lows the pink vel­vet lounge to shine.

Graphic retro-style wall­pa­per ties the gold and grey colour scheme to­gether.

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