What it is: From classic furnishings to floral-print cloths, traditional style sometimes gets a bad rap because fusty and outdated. But that is missing the point. While it’s true that this look takes its inspiration in the past, it’s about comfort. Every element feels comfortable, correctly placed and predictable — in a fantastic way.
Why it works: There is a reason that conventional decorating has flourished for a long time. It promises warmth and welcome, and it provides. Refined furnishings, mannerly fabrics, dignified colors and a feeling of order make this cherished style simple to live with. What’s more attractive than that?
You will love it if… Chaos makes you queasy. Your favorite films are untouched by Technicolor. You’ve vacationed in precisely the exact same spot since you’re 12. You swoon over Blue Willow and Wedgwood. Your perfect day involves a bookshelf filled with classics along with a tumbler of Scotch. You have anything tartan.
If you are believing Yes! Totally me! , keep reading for a breakdown of what conventional fashion is all about, and approaches for keeping it current.
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Style Secret: Symmetry
The traditional look is all about balance, from architecture to furniture placement. Furnishings tend to get grouped into formal arrangements that encourage dialogue, and placed along the axis of a space. Your pieces do not all have to match, but that is not the style for you if you are attracted to an offbeat, diverse combination.
Make it refreshing: Though you do not wish to stray too far from symmetrical placement, there are subtle ways to keep a space from feeling static. Prop a tall mirror against one wall, hang artwork in a group that creates a feeling of motion, or angle a cocktail table next to an armchair. Here, the irregular form of the carpet loosens the space just enough to give it energy.
Dillard Pierce Design Associates
Style Secret: Soft Edges
No sharp angles — conventional rooms emphasize curves and sink-right-in comfort. Skirted pieces feel comfy and genteel and counterbalance leggy tables and chairs. Cushions are plump; cushions are plentiful.
Make it refreshing: Keep skirts tailored to prevent a dated look, and choose neutral, textural fabrics to produce an old-fashioned couch or chair feel of the moment. And refrain from cramming lots of tufted furniture into one room, or you risk looking overly Victorian.
Liz Williams Interiors
Style Secret: Conservative Color
In a conventional area, colour doesn’t shout — it’s laid-back and cozy. Neutrals like beige, cream, taupe and tan prevail, but deeper reds, reds, greens and blues (consider a paneled library) look fab in conventional interiors too.
Make it refreshing: Neutrals are always in great taste, but if you do not want to play it too safe, consider beyond the basics. Pale lavender, blue, spring green, chamois or even soft red can work this way.
Keeping colors tone-on-tone will be the key to creating them sit . Bright shades, like lemon yellow, fuchsia or turquoise, feel newer, yet to keep the style planted in conventional land, balance them with more restrained colors — and adhere with conventional positioning, architecture and accessories.
Style Secret: Rich Wood Tones
Walnut, cherry, mahogany, oak — darker wood tones dominate conventional style (depart the bamboo and blonde maple to another home ).
From walnut railings on a white staircase to plaster beams throughout the ceiling, it gives the warmth and coziness therefore essential for this look.
Make it fresh: Let hardwood floors shine: do not leave them completely bare, but do not confuse them with a rug that is too big. Layer in wood furnishings that are in precisely the exact same colour family for a collected, yet still pulled-together, look.
Chambers + Chambers Architects
Style Secret: Record Molding and Trim
Conventional rooms are known for their lovely finishing touches. Often, millwork and plasterwork bears strong detailing, such as venerable motifs like egg-and-dart or Greek key, and can be painted crisp white or ivory. Although conventional trim doesn’t have to be ornate, it does have to add visual weight; skimpy moldings or even a floating mantel will not look at home.
Make it refreshing: Give an elaborately carved fireplace surround an updated spin by keeping the mantel arrangement easy and clean. Let wainscoting blend in the wall. Eschew intricate columns and finials in favor of cleaner — but still timeless — lines.
Style Secret: Exotic Carpets
Kilims, Persian rugs and Oriental rugs never go out of fashion (good thing, since after you invest the cash for a top notch floor covering, so you won’t wish to hide it off ). And they are like fine jewelry: You are able to make them work with anything. They’ve a way of blending into the background, yet their existence constantly anchors the space.
Make it refreshing: Frankly, this is 1 element that is better . But if you would like to try something different, then you may layer an Oriental rug on top of a sisal or seagrass one (not, we beg you, the other way round ). Or play with scale: a small rug next to a larger one, or three narrow rugs in a row.
Rachel Hazelton Interior Design
Design Secret: Gentle Shine, Showy Sparkle
Jump the chrome — you want metals with gentle, warm undertones. Think brass, aluminum and bronze for plumbing and lighting fixtures. Gilt-framed mirrors and artwork are always on point. Crystal chandeliers and sconces complement conventional elegance nicely.
Make it refreshing: First: No’80s-era shiny brass. Rather, choose metals with a few spoonful, patina or texture. Oil-rubbed bronze looks updated but blends nicely with classic décor. Or try pewter — it worked for the Colonists.
Steven Miller Design Studio, Inc..
Style Secret: Pretty Patterns
Plaids, stripes, florals, toile and more — every one has a location in conventional style (sometimes, all in precisely the exact same room). Feel free to mix and match, but remain in the identical tight palette, and do not go overly bold or splashy.
Make it refreshing: No matter what, patterns in a conventional room ought to have that fundamental sense of symmetry. However, you can update them by choosing an outsized scale and optimistic shade. The damask fabric on the dining table seat here adds punch without straying too far from the traditional roots.
Dillard Pierce Design Associates
Design Secret: Refined Window Treatments
Sweeping silhouettes, luxe fabrics and embellishments like tassels draw focus to conventional draperies. Panels — either straight or pleated, and with or without finials or tiebacks — and valances are old standbys. Simple plantation shutters work nicely also.
Make it fresh: Do not let draperies puddle, which feels tired. Layer simple curtain panels above a rattan or bamboo shade rather than sheers. If you are a lover of compact styles, choose Roman shades. Just be cautious about fitting curtain fabric to furniture fabric; also much of the exact same print can feel cloying and overwrought.
Style Secret: Artful Accessories
Just as a fantastic host blanches at the thought of seeing guests underfed, a traditionalist can not stomach cold, sterile walls or sparsely populated shelves, which conquer the all-important air of welcome. Collections are massed together or fanned out in a logical way: china, figurines, plants, books, boxes, globes.
If it’s not mounted over the mantel, artwork usually follows the hang-it-at-eye-level rule; a set of similar pieces often sport identical frames and are organized in a clean grid. Plates and platters seem right at home on the walls. Mirrors are inclined to be expansive and gracious (believe sunburst, bull -eye or Venetian).
Make it refreshing: Austere paintings and sculpture will hit an off note in a conventional area, but you do not have to stick with Renoir reproductions and hunting scenes. Tons of modern artwork feels soft and stylish enough to fit in, and, needless to say, black-and-white photography is versatile and timeless. Leaving canvases frameless can make them feel less formal.
Unless you are into fern bars, pass up frilly plants in favor of more sculptural foliage. Consider simple ironstone, Delft or creamware rather than porcelain; balance elaborately patterned pieces with blank white ones.
Tell us: What’s your style? Straight-on conventional, or traditional with a twist?
More: Get more conventional home design ideas