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5 Gorgeous Rooms to Copy: The Hot Trend You Need to Know

I’ve been at the KBIS show this week with Modenus. That post will be coming soon! I finally arrived home this morning after a delay caused me to miss my connection in Phoenix last night! Whew. Whenever this happens I always ask myself how it is that I used to think travelling was glamorous!

Anyway, thank goodness for my fabulous Senior Designer/VA Tricia Firmaniuk who wrote this wonderful post on New Traditional. What is New Traditional you ask? Well I asked her the same thing, haha and here is her post:


It’s the time of year where I peruse a lot of trend reports and think about how my taste has shifted and evolved. I like to scroll through my Pinterest boards to see what I’ve been drawn to, it’s fascinating how patterns emerge. What I’ve noticed about the rooms I’ve pinned in the last couple of years is a shift away from contemporary, bohemian and modern interiors towards the style known as “New Traditional”.

And I’m pretty sure that although it reflects my interest in taking a deeper dive into the history of design, it’s not simply a personal development as I grow as a designer, but rather I think it’s a really interesting and emerging trend.

I’m wondering if you all have noticed it or been drawn to it recently too.

Certainly some of my favorite designers work within this style, and what’s great about it is that it is absolutely classic. The best New Traditional rooms feature some of the best bits of well established decorating ideas and make them look fresh by employing some modern restraint and avoiding all the fussy formality, and then infusing it all with some edginess, whimsy and unexpected twists.

It’s a style that is gaining traction, lead by really smart designers that know the history of their craft but are also steeped in all the most compelling current options, and they’re remixing it all in super clever ways.

Here is a room by an up and coming design star with a creative approach to traditional decor, Jonathan Savage of Savage Interior Design.


The traditional mouldings are painted a clear, raspberry red which is repeated in the way too cute Louis XVI chairs with those amazing zebra print seats. The draperies are pretty, yet casual and repeat the red again, and the art and chandelier are very modern to keep things looking current. It is just such a fun new interpretation of traditional style. And can we talk about that wallpaper? The idea of wallpaper in the main accent colour of the room is very traditional, but the print itself is so unexpected and new. Even the quiet natural fiber rug is perfect to keep the room from feeling overwrought. I love everything about what he’s done here.

A New Traditional Dining Room by Suzanne Kasler

Dining rooms with lovely French chairs are also a specialty of designer Suzanne Kasler. Airy, ornate chandeliers seem to always be present in her work too, immediately giving her rooms a luxurious traditional feel. But the restrained palette and lack of pattern is what gives this room a fresh and current feel, allowing the eye to settle on the exquisite furniture and styling details. The modern sculptural objects and painting give this classic room an edge. Oh and that pale blue lacquered ceiling, it’s just beautiful don’t you think?

William McLure

On the more bohemian side of traditional, this young designer is seriously after my heart. He is both a painter and a talented designer with a firm grasp on New Traditional style.  His rooms are richly layered with interesting thrifted and antique pieces and thoughtful vignettes. And he’s always got fantastic art (mostly his) to give it all an authentic and modern feel.  I love how the trestle table and floor boards are white washed to keep the room looking fresh and casual.

One of my favorite taste makers currently is Mark D. Sikes (below). He’s got an updated version of British Colonial going on that presses all my buttons from inlaid pieces and rattan, to chinoiserie and plush upholstery. He keeps the whole look feeling crisp and current by using a lot of white. (Below).


A Gorgeous Dining Nook in an Unexpected Palette by Summer Thornton

And what about this floral palette by Summer Thornton? When is the last time it occurred to you or me to mix peach and lavender in a room? Maybe never? The classic blue and white window treatments, ginger jars and Chippendale chairs ground this dining nook in tradition but the colour palette and tulip table are oh so fresh and right now. This room is a nice example of what can be done with colourful styling and decorating in a classic white interior with pale greige walls.

And finally, we can’t indulge in some of the best New Traditional rooms without looking at Miles Redd (below).

Miles Redd

The mix of patterns all in the same accent colour and the classic upholstery, symmetry and styling of this incredible room have clear traditional roots, but the saturated cobalt blue with lots of white and graphic hits of black keep the overall look unmistakably current, genius.

What’s so smart about the work of these designers is that they draw from their knowledge and admiration of all the best and most enduring historical decorating ideas and reiterate them through the lens of a more pared down modern sensibility; taking the very best of what the rich tradition of interior design has to offer and making it their own. And what’s more, they are creating rooms that are both fresh and timeless.

The New Traditional look is certainly trending (at least in my mind), but I also think because it’s intelligent and timeless, it’s a new classic.  A great advantage we have in this age of information, is the ability to look back as well as forward and craft new ways of using old ideas. Why not?

If you love it like I do, here’s how to get the look.

  1. Choose a good quality, plush sofa in a classic shape. Go for a natural slipcovered style or a fun colour and pattern. Blue and white is a timeless choice.

The Eton Sofa in a blue and white pattern by Ballard Designs

If you want to go neutral, a slipcovered sofa creates a clean but traditional feel

2. A pair of classic jar lamps is a New Traditional essential


Blue Jar Lamp

3. Find a few interesting antique or lacquered pieces to create surfaces to display vignettes, artwork, and lamps.

Antique (look) Console


4. Don’t forget extra tables and stands to showcase your collected objects and hold more lamps.

Blue and Bone Inlay Demilune

5. To offset all of that gorgeous detail, it’s a good idea to keep the area rug simple and casual. A natural fiber or seagrass rug is an affordable solution that offers some warmth and texture.

Natural Fiber Rug

6. Try an unexpectedly modern chandelier to keep things current.

Try a modern sputnik chandelier to mix things up

6. And don’t forget to hunt for some fabulous art pieces and pretty objects for styling your New Traditional room to inject your own story and personality.


Ashley Mary Art Limited-Edition Painting - Concept 1

Modern Composition by Ashley Mary Art via West Elm

I admit that I’m dreaming of the day that I can finally ditch my vintage furniture and replace it with something more classic, sigh. If you are getting ready to redecorate, it’s a good idea to be thinking about acquiring classic pieces anyway, so consider  creating a room that will endure the test of time by drawing on the very best of the old and new ideas in design, you won’t regret it.

Thanks Tricia!

Update on my Dallas course, we are very close to nailing down a location! We’re still looking for New York so we’d love any leads if possible! Please email [email protected].

We have all the locations in Boca Ratan, Nashville and Chicago! See them all here.

Transform the way you see colour in 2018!

Related posts:

How to Decorate with Black (And how NOT to Decorate with It)

Is Black the New Grey? Trends from Maison & Objet (Why yes as it turns out)

Trendy or Classic? Ask Yourself These Three Questions




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  • Carol says:

    I really like the photos of the rooms to show us the look and I esp like the examples of what to buy to create the look…….that is VERY VERY helpfull!!! Thankyou for a great article on this style.

  • Angie says:

    How is this style different from eclectic?

    • Hi Angie, great question. In my mind eclectic is just a broader term and New Traditional reflects a trend towards a deliberate use of design classics and mixing them up in new ways, if that makes sense.

  • Linda Gingery says:

    I love your ideas and you presented them so well. You love what you do: I can tell by the way you write and by the examples you selected . In choosing these rooms to highlight the “New Traditional”style, you presented impressions that didn’t need explanation, but were enhanced by your descriptions. loved the whole presentation. You made me want to go and redecorate my own house. Thanks for the lively and enjoyable entry.

  • Molly says:

    I love your candor…..example is your 2nd paragraph. Wonderful selection of pictures…..I’ve copied a few to my photo folder. Right now I am working with a client on her “keeping room” in a gorgeous country home in the rustic-elegant traditional style. Variations of traditional are my personal favorite!

  • Muriel says:

    A fantastic article with images of beautiful rooms and your usual clear and informative explanations. Thank you Tricia. Who wouldn’t strive for New Traditional?

  • Emilie says:

    I looove everything that Mark d. Sikes does, just in complete awe. I haven’t come around to Miles red yet, some of the rooms are a bit much, others I think are great. I have been immersing myself in research about this new take on traditional design and it’s been guiding me in my design choices. I just love it. So glad to see this topic pop up on the blog!

  • Really well written and excellent and beautiful examples of this style. You really caught and held my attention!

  • Lucy says:

    Tricia such a nice article. I also love your writing style with humor and narrative!s The pictures you chose are right on! It is funny that they are calling this trend the “New Traditional” because I love this style and have been doing the “look” for a long time. I have always called it “eclectic” meaning a mixture of things. The red room is one of my favorites and the wallpaper is so much fun! I have not had a client that wanted a painted ceiling but the look is stunning! Good job putting together this post.

    Maria when you said that you got “home” after a delay in Phoenix did you mean your home in Canada or Palm Springs?

  • Julie says:

    Dominant thought as I looked and read was something like:
    Whoa… it’s all a sea of references.

  • Wilma Longman says:

    Thanks for your thoughtful post, Tricia. New Traditional definitely appeals to me and probably to many people my age. As a baby boomer who has owned four houses, and just moved into my fifth, I have collected many classic pieces and antiques. Before we moved from Washington state to Florida, I carefully edited my furniture, art and accessories and kept only the best and most meaningful pieces. Now I can arrange those pieces in a contemporary way and add modern furniture, lighting and rugs that really energize the old, but in a respectful way.

  • Ruth M. says:

    I like the format of this presentation: i.e. if you like this style, here are some of the elements. It makes it easier to create a look at your own price point.

  • Beth L says:

    Love, love, love this. As I’m planning for my future retirement home, this is somewhat where I plan to go, but didn’t know it had a name!

    That pale blue ceiling – ooh-la-la!

    Thanks, Tricia!

  • Julie S says:

    I don’t disagree with anything said here, but although I started my decorating journey in this vein I’ve come to find it’s a little stiff and mature for our young SoCal family. I lean traditional or classic in many areas of my life/philosophy, yet in our rural 70’s ranch home I am in love with a more relaxed vibe and organic shapes and colors.

  • Gery S. says:

    What a great post Tricia. Although I have been seeing a lot of it in magazines lately, I had never heard the term the new traditional. Thank you for making design sense of of the latest Veranda for me.
    I love the modern use of Chinoiserie. I also love the zebra pattern in an unexpected color. I see a lot of tongue-in-cheek in the new traditional. If only I had one flat surface to apply that gorgeous blue lacquer on!

  • Martha says:

    Interesting article. I much prefer the simpler, cleaner layouts and the fresh colors. I looked up New Traditional and found I didn’t like HGTV’s examples but do like BH&G. Other than one or two photos, Houzz’ examples just looked traditional.

  • Nancy Simsion says:

    I really loved this article. So we’ll thought out and examples. I have the Miles Redd book and he does have a love of the traditional classic “stuff” that I can now better understand in light of the new traditional. I still don’t want all his antique flea market chotskys but the traditional styling in a new modern freshness is really appealing. I loved the lavender and peach and blue dining room. Thanks!

  • Penny says:

    Beautiful, well written post, Tricia. Wow, Summer Thornton’s dining nook is becoming my inspiration for a Florida vacation home!

  • Mary-Illinois says:

    Great article! I’ve always thought the New Traditionalist was about contrasts. Old with new. Antique with modern. But always with a mix of styles.

  • Very well written post Tricia. I’ve heard “new traditional” recently and you did a great job of explaining it. I’m looking forward to trying it myself. Love the examples you gave on how to achieve the look too!

  • Frances says:

    I only see 2 lamps in the Miles Reed blue & white room on white tables just in front of (blocking) the bookcases. I suppose reading lamps by all the inviting seating would just be clutter? I find adding lamps difficult too.

  • Kate says:

    The Pottery Barn catalog that just came out just calling is calling it “new traditional” as well.

  • Susan says:

    Just reading this great post now. Thanks. I hope you will do a two-year update on New Traditionalism next month.

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