Balancing Antiques with Contemporary Furnishings

Whether you’re in your Hamptons house or a home in the city, blending the old with the new is a great way to bring sophisticated style to your surroundings. Questions about how to utilize space, how to choose items and more abound, so we asked David Kaplan of David Kaplan Interior Design, LLC for some answers.

David Kaplan of David Kaplan Interior Design, LLC
David Kaplan of David Kaplan Interior Design, LLC

The Question: Can I have an eclectic mix of antiques and recycled objects with contemporary furnishings and still end up with a sophisticated and current look?

The Answer from David Kaplan: To personalize each client’s home I often start to build a room design around a family heirloom or interesting rare item and then shop for or custom design compatible furnishings. As with any other design component, it is important to exercise restraint and not to overload the space with too much or too many items from different periods. A clear design concept should be established at the onset to best support the individual’s personal tastes and lifestyle, and be adhered to throughout the selection process. Consideration should be given to cost versus value if restoration or refinishing is required.

For example, armoires, buffet and library cabinets, chests, trunks, etc. can easily be re-purposed for bars, to house media equipment or re-fitted as bathroom vanities. I often use combinations of new and antique tables, lamps and lighting fixtures. Or a purely decorative object can be an inspirational point of departure.

Home Interior by David Kaplan Interior Design, LLC

In this Atlanta living room I started with the pair of French Moderne lounge chairs spotted at an antique show in Bridgehampton, which I then had reupholstered in a contemporary matelassé fabric and combined them with a pair of new armless occasional chairs covered in zebra printed cowhide along with a sleek magenta color sofa and very simple wool sisal area rug, contemporary tables and lamps.

Note: Not in view is a custom built-in, pass-thru bar cabinet & counter servicing the living room and dining room.

By intently scouting out various art & antique shows and galleries for desired decorative components, I located additional items: vitrine display cabinet, pair of wall brackets, antique mercury glass urns and landscape painting—and still keeping a fresh, sophisticated, tailored modern edge.

With so many high quality shows plus fine antiques and home specialty stores there is never a shortage of options here in the Hamptons. I always manage to find something special for each design project, whether for a city or country residence, local or long distance.

Have interior design questions of your own? You can contact David Kaplan at David Kaplan Interior Design, LLC at 212-462-4329 or online at

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