Traditional Home Decorating
Classic and Timeless Comfort
The classic style of traditional home decorating has a relevance and meaning that over time is never dated.
The furnishings are gracious and inviting. Their designs invite images of understated elegance of the 18th and 19th centuries, plus many other design influences.
But for some traditional home decorating just means the way mom decorated, or in my case Aunt Kay.
Antiques and reproductions are used together successfully. Although it’s common to find a fantastic traditional interior with something from a different genre. Even contemporary art can be effectively utilized.
Decorating in the tradional style is thoughtfully composed and generally has a formal feel.
Furnishings are often arranged centered on architectural features in the room, like a fireplace.
Create an Inviting Interior
Commonly used fabrics are chintz, crewel, velvet, and brocades with classic patterns and minimal texture.
Floral prints are a good choice especially when paired with stripes and/or muted plaids.
Damask is great for the traditional interior, the weave creating a tone on tone, or a (dull and shiny) texture.
The upholstery exhibits classic lines with gentle curves and tailoring. Wing chairs are often a favorite choice.
It is functional, and not too fussy. The emphasis is on comfort with a refined elegance.
The use of trimmings gives a room a traditional look.
Deep bullion fringe can be added to the skirts of sofas and chairs, tassel fringe can edge draperies and novelty trims can add personality to pillows.
Classic style is the perfect finishing touch for windows, and the treatments will feature a tailored look. One possibility would be a formal swag with side panels that work well with a variety of trims, tassels and fringe.
Color for a more formal interior is rich and dramatic such as jewel tones. Warm neutrals and subdued colors are also perfect options.
Red, russets and burgundy, even muted greens are good choices. Those colors can easily be combined with gold and silver accents.
Paint for walls are generally in the mid tone range allowing the color to flow through the home without jarring changes.
These tones are enhanced with the rich gleaming woods that is evident in the traditional interior, such as mahogany, walnut or cherry for the floors, furniture and woodwork.
Most will be stained in rich dark finishes and varnished.
Delicate carving can be seen on the wood furniture, and will have a mix of straight and curved lines .
Queen Anne, Chippendale and Thomas Sheraton furniture designs are recognized to be the universal benchmark of design, with details like gracefully turned cabriole legs.
Some pieces can have an oriental influence with chinoiserie and a lacquer finish.
Traditional Home Decorating Favor Symmetry and Balance
Most successful and elegant traditional interiors keep accessories to a minimum.
An emphasis on using objects in pairs lends itself to a formal feel to a traditional room.
For example lighting is often seen in pairs. Lamps, sconces and crystal chandeliers will have silk shades in pale colors, usually white or ivory.
Wall art and mirrors are arranged in balanced symmetry.
Accessories may include still life paintings, vintage prints, bronze sculpture, silver candlesticks, and framed personal mementos. Some collections are showcased in curio cabinets.
Traditional interiors feature trim and moldings that is painted a glossy white.
Crown molding is common and adds to the formal look.
Walls might have a chair rail and simple molding details with the surfaces done in a flat paint finish or wallpaper.
Traditional home decorating is pleasing and can be very versatile especially when you elect to combine antique with newer replica pieces.
It is what gives traditional home decorating an enduring look and remains the decorating choice for most people.
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