You’ve inherited a painting or a piece of furniture, but it doesn’t exactly match your home’s décor style. But it’s also too sentimental to throw away. Here’s some inspiration for finding a perfect place for that antique chair…

Most of us have experienced having to decorate your first home on a very tight budget and more often than not, the luxury of buying new furniture is not something we can all afford.

Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate says that ‘’hand-me-downs are often given freely from parents, grandparents, and older siblings; however, they might not always suit your taste or match well with the style you envisioned.

“But remember, free is a beautiful thing and pieces that mean something will always be special, even if they’re a bit worse for wear’’

If you’ve been handed a treasure cove of hand-me-downs and you have no idea how to utilize it, don’t fret – there are ways to be smart about working with inherited goods and it’s easier than you think.

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1. Embrace a more eclectic style from the get-go

It’s difficult to have an uber-modern aesthetic if you have your grandma’s old rocking chair in the corner of the living room, right?

Collected pieces have more meaning and character, so if you have inherited a bunch of vintage items, yes you will have lots of textures and colours but also, each piece will tell a story and that counts for something.

Do not fight the mix – learn to love the juxtapositions. Should you be concerned about having too many looks and feels in one space, opt for clean-lined accessories or basic-shaped items to whenever you want to make a new purchase.

2. Find an unexpected spot for a statement piece

If you’ve been given a piece that really does not fit the flow of a room, find a workaround. Don’t shy away from using non-traditional spaces to showcase something special. For example, if you have inherited a painting that does not work with your living room aesthetic, look at hanging it in your bedroom instead.

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3. Make textiles your best friend

The key to re-purposing inherited furniture is taking something with “good bones”, says Greeff, and tweaking it to fit your lifestyle and taste.

An easy way to do this is with a new upholstery job. You can bring an older piece back to life with a more modern print, while maintaining the integrity of the original piece. For example, you can strategically drape a fun-patterned fabric over an old headboard, sofa or chair and you won’t even notice that it’s years old.

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4. Assess your space

Every home has its own style and anything you add will just be layering over its existing character. It’s very tricky to achieve a cohesive interior if you already have an innate style throughout your home. So bear this in mind when adding and arranging furniture within a certain space.

Surprisingly enough, contrasting styles can be very effective in some instances, so don’t worry if your furniture isn’t the exact style or from the same period as the rest of your home. The most important thing to remember, says Greeff is “understanding the feeling of a space and working with it instead of against it”.

You can’t turn a modern, industrial space into a vintage beauty, but you can make a vintage piece of furniture complement a modern space.

5. Wear and tear is a good thing!

Many of us try to hide the imperfections of old furniture, but it’s this kind of visible wear and tear that adds personality to the piece. Ring marks on a wooden table or threadbare patches on a rug add to the sense of nostalgia and it’s the kind of authenticity that’s nearly impossible to fake.

However, there is a balance between stylishly rugged and just plain shabby. For example, stains on wood can be attractive, as mentioned, but stains on fabric just looks dirty so, there is a fine line between weathered and beyond repair.

6. Break the rules

The last, if not the most important tip, is do not be afraid to break the rules. There will be times when you will have to break all the rules of interior design and mix up your décor to suit your style and taste. You know what looks best in your home and if you know it looks good, just roll with it.

How do you draw together eclectic furniture?

Now that you’re armed with some important tips, go forth and be a little eclectic

If you implement just some of the above tricks, it will be much easier to incorporate random hand-me-downs into your already existing aesthetic.

When a home is filled with a combination of new and used furniture, there is a comfortable familiarity because you are using furniture that has essentially been a backdrop throughout your life and that feeling is priceless.