What Is New Traditional Design?

The 101 on Seamlessly Blending Traditional and Modern Design Styles

I love the timeless character of traditional furniture and decor. But at the same time, I still crave the clean lines and eclectic materials of modern style. Thankfully, there’s an interior approach that blends the best of both worlds, one we’re well known for: new traditional design.

This happy medium showcases traditional and modern design styles at their finest, creating spaces that are equally classic and contemporary. It also enables you to develop a style that’s truly your own. While some people may lean into a more traditional design foundation with modern touches, others may be inclined to do the exact opposite. It’s completely up to you how you fuse the two design styles together.

New traditional design is a personal favorite of mine, and how I choose to decorate my own home. I’m consistently captivated by its ability to immediately elevate a room and passionate about sharing tasteful ways to incorporate the style into your space. Keep reading to learn all about new traditional design and what makes it so special.

The Differences Between Traditional and Modern Design Styles

Before we can talk about new traditional design, you have to understand what sets traditional and modern design styles apart.

A traditional design scheme is classic and comfortable. There’s something about a good wingback chair, warm metals, and ornately carved wooden pieces that give a cozy, homey feel to any space. Often taking its cues from 18th- and 19th-century European styles, traditional design evokes nostalgia of days past and showcases unique charm.

Modern design is all about simplicity and sleekness. It’s characterized by clean lines and curves that flow seamlessly from one space to the next – like a contemporary living room set that perfectly integrates with your open-concept floor plan. Modern style also offers a rainbow of color possibilities, from monochromatic palettes to trendy and bold patterns.

In its simplest form, new traditional design takes its cues from both styles to achieve a one-of-a-kind look and feel.

How Do I Incorporate New Traditional Design at Home?

One of the things I enjoy most about new traditional decorating is that there aren’t any hard and fast rules. You have a lot of freedom to highlight your personal style and develop a space that’s authentically you. While there are no specific must-dos, I’ve compiled a few new traditional design ideas to get you started.

  • Ensure Traditional and Contemporary Design Styles Work Together: This is the cornerstone of all good new traditional design. A harmony of old and new creates a space that’s full of character, while keeping it fresh and on-trend. How do you do it, though? This is the fun part, because it’s all up to you! If you choose a piece of furniture with a more traditional silhouette, consider upholstering it with an exciting fabric choice. Or try adding a touch of class to a modern space with traditional lighting, decorative pillows, or other home accents. Who could say no to a pair of chinoise table lamps?
  • Mix Colors, Patterns, and Textures: Many new traditional designs begin with a more neutral canvas, so you have plenty of opportunities to play with color, pattern, and texture. Do this by introducing points of visual interest through accent furniture and decor. For example, you can give your bed the extra oomph it needs with fun pillows and throw blankets. You can experiment with textures that aren’t normally paired as well, like a velvet sofa partnered with a leather chair.
  • Bring on the Layers: I’m a lover of layers – you should see my bedroom! And layering different materials that are contrasting, yet complementary is a great way to infuse new traditional design into your space. However, it’s crucial to be intentional with your layers. Too often, people take this to only mean more is more and fill their spaces with extra finishes that don’t really add anything to the overall design. While I’m all for a maximalist approach, it also has to make sense.How about elegant drapes over the top of natural woven shades? Or think smaller – a geometric gold tray with traditionally shaped vases and collectibles adds subtle dimension that can help take a room to the next level.

A Design Style for the Ages

I hope you see why I’m so enamored by new traditional design and are inspired to adopt elements of the style at home. By being intentional with your choices of old and new, you can design a unique and personalized space that delivers on both luxury and liveability. And because your pieces are a reflection of you, you’ll have a deeper connection with your home and all that’s in it.

How will you be making the most of this timeless and trendy design style? I want to hear your vision! Tell me in the comments. Until next time – happy decorating!