8 Ways to Give Classic Décor a Modern Update

3 min read

Classic décor has timeless appeal, with its elegant and traditional elements that have stood the test of time. However, sometimes classic décor can feel a bit dated or too formal for modern tastes. If you want to infuse your classic décor with a fresh and contemporary vibe, there are several key strategies you can employ. In this article, we will explore eight effective ways to give classic décor a modern update, allowing you to strike the perfect balance between timeless elegance and contemporary style.

1. Mix Classic and Modern Furniture

One of the most effective ways to update classic décor is to mix in modern furniture pieces. This creates an interesting juxtaposition between old and new, adding a touch of freshness to your space. For example, you can pair a classic sofa with sleek, minimalist coffee tables or incorporate a modern dining table into a room with traditional architectural details. This blending of styles creates a dynamic and visually appealing atmosphere.

2. Embrace Bold Colors and Patterns

Classic décor often relies on muted colors and subtle patterns, but introducing bold colors and patterns can instantly modernize the space. Consider incorporating vibrant hues like deep blues, rich emerald greens, or bold oranges into your color scheme. Additionally, experiment with eye-catching patterns, such as geometric prints or large-scale floral motifs. These bold elements inject energy and personality into your classic décor, giving it a contemporary twist.

3. Update Lighting Fixtures

Lighting plays a crucial role in any interior design, and updating your lighting fixtures can have a significant impact on modernizing your classic décor. Replace traditional chandeliers with sleek, minimalist pendant lights or opt for statement-making contemporary floor lamps. By choosing lighting fixtures that have a modern design aesthetic, you can instantly transform the ambiance of your space and create a more contemporary feel.

4. Incorporate Modern Artwork

One of the easiest ways to give classic décor a modern update is by incorporating modern artwork into your space. Hang abstract paintings or contemporary photography on your walls to create a focal point and infuse your room with a sense of modernity. The juxtaposition of classic architectural elements with contemporary artwork creates an intriguing contrast that elevates the overall aesthetic.

5. Introduce Metallic Accents

Metallic accents are a popular trend in modern interior design, and incorporating them into your classic décor can instantly update the look and feel of your space. Consider adding metallic elements like brass lamps, silver candle holders, or gold-framed mirrors. These subtle touches of shine and glamour add a contemporary edge to your classic décor, creating a visually interesting and modern atmosphere.

6. Opt for Minimalist Accessories

In classic décor, accessories are often ornate and intricate, but opting for minimalist accessories can give your space a more modern vibe. Choose simple, streamlined pieces like vases, sculptures, or picture frames with clean lines and a minimalist design aesthetic. By keeping your accessories understated, you allow the architectural details and furniture to take center stage, creating a more contemporary look.

7. Update Window Treatments

Window treatments play a significant role in the overall look and feel of a room. By updating your window treatments, you can instantly breathe new life into your classic décor. Swap out heavy drapes for sheer curtains or blinds with a sleek, modern design. This change not only adds a contemporary touch but also allows more natural light to flow into your space, creating a brighter and more inviting atmosphere.

8. Experiment with Mixing Textures

Classic décor often relies on a limited range of textures, but incorporating a mix of textures can give your space a modern and eclectic feel. Experiment with different materials like smooth leather, rough unfinished wood, or sleek glass. Layering textures through furniture, rugs, and accessories adds depth and visual interest to your classic décor, making it feel more contemporary.


Updating classic décor with a modern twist allows you to create a space that is both timeless and current. By mixing classic and modern furniture, embracing bold colors and patterns, updating lighting fixtures, incorporating modern artwork, introducing metallic accents, opting for minimalist accessories, updating window treatments, and experimenting with mixing textures, you can achieve a perfect balance between traditional elegance and contemporary style.


1. Can I mix classic and modern furniture in a small space?

Absolutely! Mixing classic and modern furniture can work well in small spaces. Just make sure to choose furniture pieces that are appropriately scaled for the room and consider the overall balance and proportion of the space.

2. How can I incorporate bold colors without overwhelming the space?

If you’re concerned about overwhelming the space with bold colors, you can start by incorporating them in small doses. For example, you can add colorful accent pillows, rugs, or artwork to introduce pops of color without overpowering the room.

3. Are there any specific lighting fixtures that work best for modernizing classic décor?

When it comes to modernizing classic décor with lighting fixtures, there are no hard and fast rules. However, sleek and minimalist designs tend to work well in creating a contemporary vibe. Pendant lights, floor lamps, and track lighting are popular choices.

4. How do I choose the right modern artwork for my classic décor?

Choosing modern artwork for your classic décor is a personal preference. Look for pieces that resonate with you and complement the overall color scheme and style of your space. Consider consulting with an art professional for guidance if needed.

5. Can I mix different metallic accents in my classic décor?

Absolutely! Mixing different metallic accents can add visual interest and depth to your classic décor. Just make sure to strike a balance and ensure that the metals complement each other rather than clash.


Updating classic décor with a modern twist allows you to create a space that combines timeless elegance with contemporary style. By incorporating modern furniture, bold colors and patterns, updated lighting fixtures, modern artwork, metallic accents, minimalist accessories, updated window treatments, and mixed textures, you can achieve a harmonious balance between traditional and modern design elements. Embracing these eight strategies will bring new life to your classic décor, infusing it with a fresh and vibrant atmosphere.

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