Steeped in history, but fashionable in any era, traditional style creates a warm, inviting space that says “make yourself at home.”
One of the main features of traditional design is symmetry. Rather than a single chair, end table, or lamp, choose a matching pair to balance out the room. Arrange furniture in straight lines, perhaps around a coffee table to invite conversation. In traditional spaces, you get the feeling that everything belongs together—think match, not mix-and-match.
Floral to paisley, stripes to plaids, toile to damask—classic patterns let you create a relaxed, layered look. Build your color palette around the most dominant pattern, using the lighter hues for walls and darker ones for flooring or upholstery. Balance patterns with neutrals like taupe, gray, and cream, along with deep tones like navy, burgundy, and sage. Add in pale pastels if you want to lighten the mood.
Traditional furniture features rounded corners and plush cushions to put you at ease. Anything sharp, sleek, or minimalist will feel out of place. Luxurious upholstery like leather, suede, velvet, and chenille elevate your comfort level. And be sure to add cozy blankets and plenty of throw pillows—though you’ll want to place them neatly, of course.
Oriental rugs, crystal chandeliers, elaborate floral arrangements—nothing is too ornate for a traditional room. Feel free to embellish your space with tufted furniture, nailhead trim, tassels, and embroidery. Adorn walls with framed prints, paintings, and elegant mirrors. Just try to avoid modern patterns and bright colors.
When it comes to wood, opt for rich, deep tones like walnut, cherry, and mahogany. For a cohesive look, choose the same wood and finish for all furniture in the room. Antiques or designs with decorative carving add interest, while metal accents in bronze, brass, or copper provide warmth.
Hang a classic oil painting, set the table with grandma’s china, or rock in grandpa’s chair. Whether it’s a family heirloom or something you picked up at an estate sale, you’ll want at least one historical element in any traditional room. Pick any piece that looks like it belongs on “Antiques Roadshow” and you’re set.
Inspired to create a welcoming traditional space? Consider these basics as a guideline and select pieces that make you feel at home.