Traditional style interiors are comforting and classic. You may have grown up in a home that was decorated with traditional style furnishings.
What Is Traditional Style Decorating?
- Traditional decorating is calm, orderly, and predictable. There is nothing wild or chaotic in a traditional room.
- Furnishings are classic and might feel outdated. Nothing is a surprise. Pieces match and are consistent.
- Furniture and accessories are placed in pairs and centered in the room. There is nothing out of place or of a different style. Everything has the look that it goes together.
- Traditional rooms are not ostentatious but rather somewhat casual. Furniture pieces are often reproductions. Modern, eclectic pieces have no room in a traditional space.
- Traditional style homes feel comfortable for any age group. It's a familiar look that you'd see in magazines or furniture showrooms. A traditional room is not a place to showcase a piece of modern art or stainless steel furniture.
Elements of a Traditional Room
- Upholstered furniture in a traditional room exhibits classic lines and understated details. It is functional, unfussy, and restful looking. Edges are soft, smooth, and blend into the whole.
- In general, a traditional room will use a mix of vertical lines with more restful horizontal lines. Gentle curves are seen in furniture, pillows, and accessories.
- Fabrics in a traditional room are generally neither too shiny nor too textured. Florals, plain colors, muted plaids, understated stripes, geometrics, tone-on-tone, and small all-over patterns are common.
- Color in a traditional room is often in a mid-range of tones, though very dark and very light colors can also be used. Pretty multicolor florals are often the basis of a traditional color scheme that uses the lightest color on the walls and deeper hues for upholstery and flooring. Avoid neon brights and jarring combinations.
- The overall ambiance of traditional decor is homey, understated, and non-jarring.
- As in formal settings, furniture in a traditional room is often arranged on a straight axis within the room. The sofa will directly face or sit perpendicular to the fireplace and a bed will back up to the center of the longest bedroom wall.
- Wood furniture will usually have a mix of straight and curved lines. There may be light carving details as well. While wood pieces will often be finished with darker stains, a traditional room might also use lighter woods as long as the lines of each piece are classic.
- Interiors in a traditional home will often feature trim and molding that is painted glossy white. Crown molding is common and adds to the formal look. Walls might have a chair rail and simple molding details, with wall surfaces done in a flat painted finish or wallpaper. Ceilings are often white and may have simple beams.
- The dining room in a traditional home is generally a separate room, often with some built-in corner cabinets for china storage. A large area rug sits on top of a hardwood floor. The table is rectangular with a set of matched chairs placed evenly around the perimeter. A matching sideboard, buffet, or china cabinet is centered on one wall.
- Dressmaker details are not particularly important in a traditional room. Trims, tassels, and fringes are used sparingly if at all, in favor of a simpler, calmer look.
- Window coverings in traditional rooms show a classic style. Look for narrow shutters, traverse draperies, and under treatments of pinch pleated sheers. Cornices and valances may also be featured.
- Accessories include pairs of lamps, urns, plants, mirrors, framed prints, china, vases, and collections of books. Pairs of objects are usually arranged in balanced symmetry.
- Light fixtures exhibit classic styling. Lamps with silk shades, wall sconces, and floor lamps might all be used. Shades should be fairly plain and in ivory or white.
- Traditional dining rooms can show off a variety of china, glassware, and silver. Plates might be a classic gold-rimmed style or a simple floral design. Use either beautiful tablecloths or pretty fabric placemats and napkins.