Mixing Old and New

Dear Expert: I inherited an Arts & Crafts-style sideboard from my favorite aunt. How do I make it work in my more contemporary-styled home? Anna, Arden Hills

A: Blending styles is a challenge that many of us face when we have a family treasure with emotional value that, at first glance, doesn’t seem to work with our own personal taste and style. To blend the Arts & Crafts style into a contemporary room, use a bold piece of artwork with clean lines, bold shapes, and strong colors above the sideboard for balance and contrast. A pair of lamps in a natural material like ceramic or iron with a strong vertical line and simple shaping would enhance the sideboard while providing contrast and symmetry.

—Susan Strong
Schneiderman’s Furniture