Understated Style Makes a Bold Statement: Traditional Home Decor

Though the adventurous, artistic elite might frown upon traditional home decor as an option for home design, I’m still a huge fan of the traditional style, and for plenty of reasons. Sure, it might be a little predictable and bourgeoisie, but at the end of the day, sometimes it’s best to stick to the tried-and-true, and nothing is more tried-and-true than understated and elegant. What’s not to love about sophisticated colors and big, comfortable furniture, smartly arranged to create a warm and inviting environment, especially when it comes to your home?

Traditional home interior design takes style and sophistication and makes it organized, clean, and comfortable. It’s for people that love warm quilts, pinot grigio, themed dinner parties, black-and-white movies, and comfort food. It’s the best of both worlds: the old and the new, timeless tradition and modern comfort. The end result is classic, perfect elegance guaranteed to never get old or go out of style.

What is Traditional Style?

Traditional home decor is all about grace and sophistication in its resting state. It’s defined by gorgeous antique or antique-inspired furniture set in a symmetrical fashion around the room, ready to serve a purpose. Furniture should be strategically placed to highlight the home’s natural centerpieces—the fireplace, the kitchen, the dining room, that wall fountain that you just had to have installed. Traditional home decor utilizes the space in the most welcoming way imaginable, and focuses on functionality while maintaining a sleek, sophisticated look.

Rich, warm earth tones should contrast with clean white walls and serve to complement bold, antique furniture. As far as accents go, finishing touches like rugs and tapestries will help to bring the room together.

In traditional style, nothing should be too shiny, chintzy, or showy—everything in a traditionally decorated home should go together in an orchestrated yet natural flow. Chairs, sofas, paintings, wall colors, and tapestries work together to create a harmonious environment that stimulates the feeling of comfort, warmth, and calm—predictable contentment.

Traditional Colors

In traditional home decor, earth tones are your friends, and provide the perfect backdrop to make your accent pieces pop—albeit subtly. Warm beige, snow white, deep oak, taupe, and grey are just a few of the conservative colors that define the traditional look. The idea is to create a sleek and refined conventional canvas of color that will encompass the more daring (but not too daring!) colors that you place around the room, in the form of furniture, artwork, and rugs.

Personalizing Traditional Style

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to personalize traditional home decor. The trick is to keep your accent pieces subtle and classy, no shag carpet or lava lamps on your coffee table. Butter yellow picture frames, paisley pillows, or a soft-patterned ottoman can provide character, and give a distinctive touch to the pristine, traditional look of a room.

Who Loves This Look?

Bill and Giuliana Rancic, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kerry Washington, and Martha Stewart are all reported fans of traditional decor styles for their homes. I’ve also noticed how many celebrities use traditional home decor as a starting point for interior design—which makes a lot of sense. Think of it as a safe, neutral jumping board from which you can venture off into different, more eclectic styles. If those don’t work out, you can easily switch back to traditional, which always works.

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