How to Make Your Old Furniture Look Modern

A stuck-in-the-past piece doesn’t mean the whole room has to go granny. See how HGTV Magazine helped this throwback furniture find its inner cool.

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Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Photo By: Erika LaPresto/Studio D; Styled By: Courtney de Wet for Big Leo

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Photo By: Erika LaPresto/Studio D; Styled By: Courtney de Wet for Big Leo

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Photo By: Erika LaPresto/Studio D; Styled By: Courtney de Wet for Big Leo

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Photo By: Erika LaPresto/Studio D; Styled By: Courtney de Wet for Big Leo

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Photo By: Erika LaPresto/Studio D; Styled By: Courtney de Wet for Big Leo

Old Dresser

HGTV Magazine shows you how to make your old pieces look modern.

Modern Entryway

A circa-1940s mahogany dresser feels a lot less formal when paired with black and gold accents, like a molded plastic chair and a glamorous lamp. Set against graphic wallpaper with pistachio green chevrons, the once-proper piece is instantly transformed. Adding to the fun: an area rug with huge pixelated blooms. 

Chair: Ariel Slope Series chair with Eiffel legs, $89, emoderndecor.com; Mirror: Tork Dripping mirror, $229, cb2.com; Lamp: Robert Abbey Dolly Wide lamp with shade, $304, ylighting.com; Rug: Serendipity EV25 Pixelated Floral 5' x 8' rug, $168, rugsusa.com; Wallpaper: Widenor Chevron wallpaper, $48 for a single roll, thibautdesign.com for stores

Old Settee

HGTV Magazine shows you how to make your old pieces look modern.

Modern Living Room

To tone down the French froufrou of an antique settee, team it with sleek pieces, like a marble-topped coffee table and a globe lamp. Walls in deep, moody charcoal help counter the sweetness of the pink upholstery and let the abstract print on the wall pop. Graphic pillows are surefire updates.

Coffee table: Marble-Topped pedestal table, $649, westelm.com; Lamp: Threshold Modern Globe lamp, $60, target.com; Art: Zara by Charlotte Winter print, $48, society6.com; Custom Gallery Collection frame, $143.50, pictureframes
.com; Pillows: (from left) Misty Red pillow, $52, luluandgeorgia.com; Elise Flashman Argyle pillow, $66, burkedecor.com; Momena pillow, $49, luluandgeorgia.com; Rug: Hand-Knotted Fez Shag 5' x 8' rug, $314.50, nuloom.com; Wall paint: Cyberspace by Sherwin-Williams

Old Table

HGTV Magazine shows you how to make your old pieces look modern.

Modern Kitchen

Bring an oak pedestal table out of the 1900s by balancing its substantial curves with slim red vinyl chairs. Add a trendy black-and-white rug and colorful prints in matching black frames and you have a recipe for kitchen chic. Hanging overhead: a flower-reminiscent pendant light tiered with plastic white petals.

Chairs: Safavieh Stackable Jazzy chairs, $119 for a set of 2, overstock.com; Pendant: Possini Euro Design Flower pendant chandelier, $260, lampsplus.com; Art: (clockwise from top) Americanflat Patricia Pino Kitchen framed print, $110, and Americanflat Visual Philosophy Catherine Holm Kitchen framed print, $110, both kohls.com; Aqua “Eat” sign, $10, worldmarket.com; Americanflat Visual Philosophy Catherine Holm Bowls framed print, $110, kohls.com; Heirloom Pear by Alexandra Stafford framed print, $138, minted.com; Rug: Reverb 6' x 9' rug, $249, cb2.com; Wall paint: Night Blooming Jasmine by Behr

Old Desk

HGTV Magazine shows you how to make your old pieces look modern.

Modern Office

Fast-forward a 1950s three-drawer desk into the 21st century with a clear plastic chair. (Since it’s transparent, it won’t clash with the desk’s reddish wood.) As an update on a bulletin board, hexagon-shape cork tiles painted in shades of blue and yellow are hung in a free-form arrangement. The rug’s wide cabana stripes repeat the bumblebee yellow of the desk accessories. 

Chair: Victoria Ghost Style chair, $89, polyandbark.com; Cork tiles: UBrands Bulletin Board Earth hexagons, $8 for a set of 4, target.com; Tile paint: Chamomile, Peacock Feather, and Pool, all by Martha Stewart Crafts; Rug: Trans Ocean Sorrento Rugby Stripe 5' x 7'6" rug, $175, atgstores.com; Wall paint: Chicago Blues by Benjamin Moore 

Old Side Table

HGTV Magazine shows you how to make your old pieces look modern.

Modern Bedroom

A scallop-edge Victorian oak parlor table goes from fussy to fashionable thanks to two-tone coral wallpaper with a scallop pattern. Slick metals  —  powder-coated-steel beds and polished-nickel sconces  —  play off the table’s dark-stained wood. And neon-hue silhouettes are cool takes on traditional art.

Beds: Fort twin beds, $799 each, roomandboard.com; Sconces: E.F. Chapman Boston Functional Library wall lights, $349 each, circalighting.com; Art: Custom Child Silhouette prints, $48 each, prettymod.etsy.com; Signature Collection frames, $20 each, aifriedman.com; Rug: NuLoom Braided Cable 6' x 9' rug, $308, overstock.com; Wallpaper: Lamu wallpaper, $88 for a single roll, serenaandlily.com

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