Vintage Meets Modern: How to Mix and Match Decorative Mirrors with Style

Posted by Victoria Primicias on

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Your home decor should be a reflection of who you are — but let's be real, who are you really? A hodgepodge of hand-me-downs, flea market finds, and vintage keepsakes you can't bear to part with. These items tell a story and are a part of your personal history, and it's important to showcase your individuality through them. Having a room filled with personal items can truly make it feel like "home".

If you're not sure how to do that, don't worry — you're not alone. Just follow our tips below and you'll be on your way to creating a space that's both creative and lived-in.

The issue

You don't want your space to look like a hot mess, but you also don't want it to feel like a museum. Incorporating vintage mirrors in a modern living room can be challenging, but it's not impossible. In order to thoughtfully mix old and new, you need to strike the right balance. A vintage piece thrown in the middle of a mid-century modern living room will feel like a sad, lost puppy.

Decide on your style

First things first, you need to decide on the style you want to achieve. According to interior designer, Sarah Barnard, "Mixing modern and vintage styles can create a layered look that feels collected and curated." Do you want a modern look with a touch of vintage, or a vintage look with a touch of modern? Whatever you choose, just remember not to go overboard with either style. You don't want your home to look like a time machine.

Pick a color palette

Once you have your style in mind, it's time to pick a color palette. No, you don't need everything to match, but it helps to have some sense of direction. Unless you're going for the "I live in a thrift store" look, then match away. A color palette will keep your room from looking cluttered. You can choose a color palette that complements your vintage pieces, while still keeping your space modern.

Gallery wall beside staircase by Whittmann Building Corp

Gallery Building Corp. creates a stunning mirror gallery along the staircase using a neutral color palette. A classic!

Shop for mirrors

Now the fun begins. Start shopping, hooray! Look for modern mirrors with clean lines and minimalistic designs. For vintage mirrors, keep an eye out for ornate frames and unique shapes. Interior designer, Kerrie Kelly, recommends, "Pairing a vintage mirror with modern, colorful accents can bring a fresh, contemporary vibe to a space."

Mix metals with care

Warm metals are like the sweet, sentimental hug from grandma, and cool metals are like the sleek, modern handshake from that guy at work who always wears a suit. You can mix them, but do it with intention. Don't let them fight for attention like siblings on Christmas morning. Using multiple metal finishes — like silver, copper, gold, stainless steel and more — can add depth to your décor, without overpowering it. Don't forget to factor in the sheen of the finish in your equation, too.

Gallery wall of vintage mirrors by Holly Williams

Holly Williams combines different metal finishes for a layered, sophisticated look. (Photo: Brian Woodcock)

Think outside the box

Sometimes it's not about the color, it's about the shape. Just like people, mirrors come in all shapes and sizes. So mix it up, baby! Finding a happy medium between sharp and softer angles is frequently the key to successfully combining old and new pieces. An ornate, gilded mirror can look fantastic between two wonderfully simple frames. 

Mix and match decor pieces

But don't just stop at mirrors! You can mix and match other decor pieces too, like vintage vases or modern lamps to add depth and personality to your space. Just make sure they complement each other and don't clash. Interior designer, Emily Henderson, suggests, "A good rule of thumb is to mix one vintage piece with two modern pieces, or vice versa."

Gallery wall with mirrors by Vintage Pickin

Vintage Pickin's family room seamlessly blends modern comfort with curated vintage.

Gallery walls are your friend

This is the perfect opportunity to embrace your inner love of everything, everywhere, all at once. Mix those frames like there's no tomorrow. Just make sure they're all in the same color scheme, or else it's going to look like a circus. And hey, if Aunt Muriel's buffet table doesn't quite fit with your modern vibe, mix in a decorative mirror that pays homage to the vintage piece. She'll never know the difference. You can also add other personal items, such as photographs or artwork, to make your gallery wall truly unique.

Incorporating vintage pieces into your modern living room can be as simple as playing a game of "vintage Tetris." The goal is to fit the old and new pieces together perfectly, creating a cohesive and stylish space. Don't worry, there's no wrong way to play this game. Just mix and match to your heart's content and see what works. As interior designer, Nate Berkus, says, "Your home should tell the story of who you are and be a collection of what you love.”

About Primi Mosaics

Primi Mosaics creates modern vintage mirrors that salute the past while enhancing the modern lifestyle. Inspired by turn-of-the-century designs of the Arts and Crafts movement, Frank Lloyd Wright and Art Deco, these mosaic mirrors bring a unique style and elegance to both modern and traditional decor. See some now.