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.
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?
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).
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).
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.
- 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.
2. A pair of classic jar lamps is a New Traditional essential
3. Find a few interesting antique or lacquered pieces to create surfaces to display vignettes, artwork, and lamps.
4. Don’t forget extra tables and stands to showcase your collected objects and hold more lamps.
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.
6. Try an unexpectedly modern chandelier to keep things current.
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.
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.
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.
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