Fitting technology into a retro or classic space

Say you’re watching a period film that’s about Versailles during Marie Antoinette’s reign. You’d expect the set to be full of rococo elegance: chandeliers hanging en masse, elaborate floral wallpaper adorning each room and classic French art hanging from the walls. But what if, in one scene, you see a flat screen television in a parlor? Seems out of place, right? (In literature, that’s called anachronism.)

In modern times, we have access to a whole human history of design movements, which often means various styles come together in a single home. In fact, many homes are a visual display of anachronism. But if you love vintage or classical design, you may wonder how the most cutting-edge technology will look in your elegant space. Here are some tips for bringing together the old and new in a way that would impress even Shakespeare:

Tone it down

Not every piece of furniture in your home has to be gilded, glittering and ornate to show off a rococo, baroque or classical style. Adding sleek, modern tech to your home will be easier if you design with a mere touch of classic rather than an onslaught. For instance, choose furniture that speaks to the style you want, but avoid adding too much decorative molding to your walls. Or, mold away with everything from dental to swooping vines, but pick simpler furniture.

Including these more modern subtleties in your home will help your devices feel more well-placed.

Add darker tones

While rococo may be characterized by light colors, consider adding black to your living room (or any room that has a big TV). Most devices these days look like black slates, so a TV would stand out in a room dominated by pastels and golds.

However, if you add dark tones to your television room, the TV will match those black elements and seem more at home. You don’t have to have a pitch-black room to get the effect – just pick strategic pieces in dark hues, like bookcases and coffee tables in a dark wood stain.

Frame the TV

Many people now hang their TVs straight onto the wall to clear up space on the floor and put the device at a good viewing height. If you mount your television, you have an opportunity to dress it up to match your classical space.

Add wall molding around the TV to frame it. It doesn’t have to be a square frame, just surround the television with sweeping vines or intricate lines. This will draw your eye to your TV without making the modern device seem too out of place.

Store remotes

Smaller devices, like your TV’s remote, can be kept out of sight. Pick furniture that has compartments that let you store belongings. This will get your remote out of the way.

Although technology, like televisions, can look like an anachronism in a classic-, baroque-or rococo-inspired space, these tips can bring the past and present together more harmoniously.


Photo Credits

  • Television frame image from Prearo