Traditional design is still one of the most popular style trends in interiors, and for good reason. The combination of symmetry, elegant décor and comfortable furniture is a dream come true for many homeowners (and renters). What’s not to love about an interior rich in structure, balance and texture?
Unfortunately, traditional – otherwise known as classic – style has also gained a somewhat bad rap. Some of you may associate it with stuffy nanna living rooms or preposterously formal court-like sitting areas. Or maybe you are of the opinion that this old trend should be confined to the history books. Why delve on the past when there are so many great designs happening in the present?
Negativity aside, classical interiors actually allow for a lot more personality and flair than you might think. So, before you completely boycott them, here are a few ways to create a traditional space that is both fresh and inviting.
From wingback chairs to heirloom rugs, traditional furniture is anything but bland. Shapely curves combine with decorative details like tufting and piping to give this style an air of sophistication – the plush, soft and classic Nottage Armchair is a perfect example. The key to pulling off a traditional interior? Focus on symmetry.
Traditional interiors are all about parallels. That doesn’t mean your space has to be filled with sets of matching furniture – aim to create harmony with even numbers and geometrical placement. You can easily accessorise a traditional sofa like the Camden Chesterfield 3.5 Seater Sofa with its classic form with more contemporary décor to create a modernised twist on the traditional. But forego furniture pairings and you may as well ditch the traditional look altogether.
Add a dash of colour
Traditional interiors typically feature warm, rich colours that are very inviting. Deep shades of blue, green and purple as well as dark wooden tones present a regal, old-world feel. However, too much can quickly turn ‘sophisticated’ into ‘stuffy’ – making even the largest of living areas seem cramped.
What better way to brighten up the traditional style than to inject some colour? Off-white walls paired with light shades of blue and subtle yellows can immediately make your traditional space feel more open. Or opt for brighter tones such as sapphire and teal to de-formalise the room a little.
Even if you are a traditional lover through and through, you don’t have to limit your wall coverings to antique oil paintings. The contrast between the elegant curves of the traditional Espen Scoop Back Dining Chairs and a bold contemporary artwork will do wonders for your dining room. Just don’t overdo it: mix and match complementary shades to make this timeless style feel complete.
Infuse a little contemporary
One of the things that keep traditional furniture well and truly in the interior game is the shape. However, the problem with using too many traditional elements is that it can quickly become suffocating. Too much dark wood, rich colour and regal furniture can transform your airy abode into a legal office from the 60’s. There is also nothing fresh about floral velvet upholstery on the curves of a traditional sofa. Traditional styling feels fresh when contemporary materials and designs are added to the mix.
Keep the classic silhouette but ditch the old school patterns for solid colour or soft leather. Incorporate textural elements such as linen, velvet, silk or even linen to add comfort and aesthetic appeal. Add the contemporary cool of the Marin Round Dining Table in a traditional dining room or the modern flair of the Potter Entertainment Unit in a classic living room – the contemporary design will lighten up the dark woods and heavy fabrics of an otherwise traditional setup. Just don’t let modernising the space be the sole purpose of your décor selection. Look for pieces that you will actually enjoy having around – with contemporary styling being an added bonus.
Bring in worldy charm
Remember the days when traditional living room walls often featured hunting ‘trophies’ consisting of stuffed animal heads? Luckily, that aspect of traditional design has since lost popularity. But there are other ways to spice up a classic interior – and that is by incorporating décor from around the world.
Cultural décor hints at tales of travels and exotic destinations. Instead of a traditional plain-coloured rug, why not opt for the handcrafted Sakri Large Wool Rug 200 x 300cm? From Moroccan bowls to African Juju hats, there is an almost endless selection of global accents to add texture and visual appeal to your home.