My husband and I have been married for over 11 years, and during that time we have moved house three times. Along the way, we have gathered a lot of stuff - some of it shop bought, but a lot of it has been inherited from our parents and even our grandparents. And that's what we treasure most.
The challenge is how to marry the two generations, old and new, in a way that feels seamless yet interesting. I feel that it gives your home personality, creating a sense that the home has evolved over time, effortlessly.
Take the globe in this pic... i used to pour over it as a child, lost in a world of intrepid adventures. Those beautiful leather chairs come from Dave's late Grandmother and are as comfortable in our home now as they were in her's on their Elgin farm.
So here are three general guidelines to keep in mind:
Firstly, think about a way to pull the room together. It may be as simple as staying within a neutral colour palette that will allow your new rug to blend seamlessly with your grandmother's chairs. Repetition is another easy way to tie a room together, even with eclectic pieces. Matching lamps, matching cushions or perhaps a collection of similar frames.
You might think about breathing some fresh air into an older piece with some re-upholstery in a fun contemporary style, think graphic stripes or geometric fabric or even a brightly coloured velvet! Likewise, a lick of paint in a fun colour can transform an old piece. Once upon a time, this little table from granny was dark wood. I gave it a good coat of white (I went through a stage with white paint!) and it fits beautifully into our home.
Too much of anything isn't good for a space. Keep this in mind and try to mix it up with different textures (hards and softs) as well as shapes (squares and rounds, blockish and leggy). Have a look at the inspiration below from Stadshem. Another thing... instead of sticking to one accent colour, why not settle on a colour palatte repeated in certain places to draw one's eye around the room.
At the end of the day, there aren't any hard and fast rules. Just have a bit of fun! And if you're lucky enough to have some great quality older pieces, hold onto them... you kids might need them one day!