A Swiss home that found synergy between midcentury modern, and 80s flea market

Antiques Jul 26, 2021

Image source: Designer Alexandrine Lukach's pandemic home

There's adding vintage touches into a largely modern home, and then there's this gem. They have coalesced two very aesthetically different styles into one shared space, and makes for a very interesting case study of how to push this strategy to the extreme.

The designer sums up what makes this home truly unique in her description of the flea market she frequented for this project: "It was the only place where one could see and touch the remains of pre-revolutionary treasures from the ’80s."

Where do you begin?

Looking around it's pretty clear this home was a labor of love, assembled thoughtfully piece by piece. If you're like me, you may be thinking, "how do you even start with a project like this?" For a place like this, here are two good starting strategies.

Strategy 1: Start with an anchor piece

This could be something large that you know will attract a lot of attention in the space, like a couch in a living room, or bed in a bedroom. It could also be a more moderate sized object that you purposefully want to be the focal point.

In this example, the designer bought the traditional desk first to anchor the room, and worked around it to achieve this final look.

Strategy 2: Start with a focal piece

Since the bed is pretty understated in this bedroom, it is likely not meant to be the focal piece (as you can see). I would imagine the primary object is meant to be the color block painting, or even that motor-looking nightstand decor. The aged look of the painting can be seen echoed in the bench, motor-lamp, ceiling light, and vintage chair.

Micro-unit style coordination

To result in this eclectic style, you have to vary colors, shapes, and textures; you mix eras of origin; you play with height variations.

But how do you avoid looking like a chaotic mess? Create small units of the home that have strong local coordination, with a few motifs sprinkled globally. What I mean by the local coordination is designing any one small unit of space (one wall, one corner, one side of the room), with cohesion. Then, take a few details and sprinkle them across the small units. First let's talk about the local coordination. Here are a few examples of how this home does that exactly.

Micro-style unit  1: Create balance

One way is to make the layout of objects feel balanced in the space. You can create balance without symmetry by using color, size, and weight. In this example, the weighty cabinet in the bottom right corner is offset by the large painting and dark chair in the left half of the frame.

Micro-style unit  2: Use similar materials

This one is kind of self explanatory 😜 Though what are those crazy metal pipes sticking out of the table fixture?

Micro-style unit 3: Stick to a color scheme

This is one of the only cool hued corners of the home - but it's internally consistent about it! Aside from just a few stray pops of yellow and red in the painting, connecting it to the rest of the home (more on this below),  everything else color-picked from the greyscale.

Have discoverable widespread motifs

Now, beyond having local consistency, we have to consider how the space will feel as someone moves from room to room. Though an observer may not consciously notice it, having a few repeating motifs will make the spaces feel connected. Here are some of the motifs I've noticed through the images.  

Fur/Faux fur textures

Tribal/wooden decor

Blood orange, mustard yellow, and dark teal

Notice these three colors appearing together, somehow perfectly, in all three locations.

Restored paintings

Typically I end each article with furniture suggestions but in the spirit of flea markets and vintage, I encourage you to go out and check out a local market or vintage store for inspiration! I went to a glorious Antique Store in Stroudsburg, PA recently and spend the entire afternoon there looking through all the treasures.


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