Tasteful Traditional Design - Inside Interior Crowd

Tasteful Traditional Design

Claire Andreas for InteriorCrowd
by Claire Andreas for InteriorCrowd
July 27, 2015

“Traditional will never go out of style because it’s classic”

– Jolene Lindner, Interior Crowd designer

While homes around the world tend towards more eclectic or modern furnishings, the elegance and comfort of traditional design have captured the hearts of many interior designers in the United States. With a focus on heavy fabrics and furniture, traditional decor is popular in the homes of everyone from millennials in rentals to more senior homeowners.

Queen Anne cabinets
Image: One King’s Lane

Ornate Queen Anne and Chippendale style furniture could easily be associated with your grandparents’ living room, but the decorative carvings and floral patterns that we see on the tables and chairs are also what the younger generation is loving so much about traditional style – “grandma-style” has been on trend in fashion, and that trend is being reflected in home design as well.

English Shield Back Chair Ann Getty House
Image: Ann Getty House

Rich colors like olive green, chocolate brown, Wedgewood blue, and rose warm up traditional rooms, and can also be found in the patterns of the upholstery covering sofas and chairs. Throw pillows in many patterns and full drapes add drama and luxury to the room, and carved wood furnishings create graceful lines in the room that contrast the soft fabrics.

Traditional decor draws on European design influences that date back to before America’s forefathers immigrated from Europe. For a long time after settling, they still looked to Europe (mainly France and England, as most colonies were French and English) for design inspiration. The style has become a “go-to” for many people over time because it feels safest, like it’s the easiest way to design a home without the fear of making a mistake. Our in-house designer, Jolene Lindner, says that people feel like “traditional will never go out of style because it’s classic”.

There are certainly examples of traditional design feeling a bit stuffy or overdone, but there are many ways to decorate your home in the classic design while keeping it tasteful, functional, and stylish.

(Marquette Two Tier Chandelier; Traditional Home)

Carefully choose how and where you use prints. If your couches or bed linens have busy prints, opt for solid throw pillows or fabrics with a more subtle print on the accompanying chairs or blankets. If you are choosing solid upholstery, incorporate patterns into your rugs, curtains, and wall decor.

Jan Showers Sophia Chandelier
Image: Jan Showers

If you’re going to use lots of pattern in the upholstery, keep the rest of the room fairly light and delicate. Use a more wiry chandelier to prevent the room from looking too crowded, while sticking with traditional lighting pieces. Take the art you hang and your floral arrangements into consideration, to help counteract any feeling of “clutter” that may happen.

Consider the finishes you are using in the room, as well, and the tone you are trying to set in the room. Dark wood really stands out against light walls, like powder blue and almond. Chocolate, maroon, or navy walls and leather upholstery with velvet and gold trims will give a room an old, oaky feeling.

(Katherine’s Corner)

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About author
Claire Andreas for InteriorCrowd
Claire Andreas for InteriorCrowd

Claire is the Content Manager at InteriorCrowd. While she was studying Film and Media at Queen's University, she worked as the Photo and Media intern at Dwell Magazine and fell in love with San Francisco's design community. After graduating, she returned home to the Bay Area and joined the team at InteriorCrowd.

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