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How can I update an Antique to fit in with modern interior décor?

There is an old desk which came from my grandmother, so I don’t want to destroy it but I do want it to fit in better with my modern furniture and mid-century character. To the left of the desk is an Eames-style chair. The desk is painted in cream with some golden handle on the drawers. I was thinking of using liquid sandpaper to sand it and then paint it black or should I stain it? I just hate the handles so they will be changed to knobs and I hate the gold flair as well. I don’t mind that there are chips and cracks in the wood because it adds characters. How can I update an Antique to fit in with modern interior décor? Please advice. Thanks.