The Veranda magazine web site has a wonderful house profile that demonstrates that mixing antiques with modern can be very modern!
The decorators, Michael and Alexandra Misczynski, have designed a beautiful home with spare modern lines loaded with antiques. I think part of the success has been to choose pieces with simple lines and beautiful woods that contrast with lots of white fabrics. The dining room above uses a 16th century English trestle table and a George III mahogany cabinet.
The living room has two 18th century Italian console tables that flank a Louis XIV fireplace. The Giacometti chairs are a lot of fun too. The mirrors also compliment the design with the simple wood frames.
The vestibule features a 16th century Italian table, topped with a 1930's lamp.
The bedroom uses a French 17th century table as a desk, an 18th century mirror, and antique Khmer vases on display. At the base of the bed is a rustic antique trunk.
I looked at (and limited myself to) upcoming auctions for antiques that would fit with a modern decorating scheme, focusing on pieces that have simple lines and beautiful wood, and perhaps interesting design elements. I couldn't recreate the look of the house above, but found pieces with character that would add interest to a modern interior.
Stair Galleries July 24th Auction - Lot 138
This Directoire cherry draw leaf dining table that's included in the July 24th Stair Galleries auction has simple lines, warm wood, and an interesting system of extending leaves. This is Lot 138 and has an estimate of $1,000 - $1,500.
New Orleans Auction July 17th & 18th - Lot 249
This Danish mahogany settee is described as 4th quarter 18th century. It's has spare lines and would look great upholstered in white or an off-white canvas. This is included in the July 17th and 18th New Orleans Auction. It's Lot 249 and has an estimate of $3,000 - $5,000.
Stair Galleries July 24th auction - Lot 257
This table included in the Stair Galleries auction has wonderful lines that are almost graphic, and is made of a beautiful mahogany wood. It's described as Late classical and has an estimate of $150 - $250. This would make a wonderful console table in a living room or entrance hall.
Finally two pieces that caught my eye for their design character.
The Provincial Northern European tallcase clock has a wonderful shape and looks like a piece of sculpture. It's included in the New Orleans auction July 17th and 18th and is Lot 248. It's mid-19th century and has an estimate of $1,200 - $1,800. Can't you see this against a light colored wall where it would just pop out!
The credenza on the right above is in the Stair Galleries auction July 24th and is Lot 81. It's described as Spanish baroque and is made of walnut, with an estimate of $1,500 - $3,000. While it may not fit the 'spare lines' description, it does has great wood patina and interesting carvings. This would easily fit in a living or dining room, or greet your guests in the entry way. Put a modern lamp on top for contrast.
Combining stylistic periods can be so much more interesting than being a slave to one. It also give you lots more opportunities to be creative in your auction selections!