Are you traditional?
I frequently come across people that are asking for advise or commenting on different interior design styles, and one thing that I have noticed is that many of these people don’t know exactly what constitutes a particular style. Generally, I try to show people photos of different rooms to see which ones they like, and what about those rooms that they find attractive. I do this because, more often than not, simply taking their word on what interior design styles they want may or may not turn out to be pleasing to them.
Now, I certainly don’t blame the individual for their confusion about design styles. I think the source of the problem stems from misinformation floating around on the internet. But all of this gave me an idea. Why not let everyone in on what it takes to be defined as traditional or contemporary or …… well you get the point. So, I have decided to highlight a different interior design style, hopefully one each week. This first part in the series, of a yet undetermined amount, will focus on the traditional style.
What’s in a traditional look
A lot of people think that traditional style means “old” or “dated.” Probably because their grandparents’ homes were of a traditional style. However, traditional does equal dated. What it does equal, though, is comfort and symmetry. Plush seating with tables and lamps placed just so-so Are very important features, but perhaps one of the biggest hallmarks of the traditional style comes in the curves. Curved furniture pieces and arched doorways are very common.
Furniture and/or rugs generally come in muted or neutral tones, but just as common are damask covered furniture pieces and rugs. Wing back chairs and claw footed pieces are easy to find in these homes. Generally, wood tones for furniture will be of a darker nature – cherry and mahogany are popular choices, and ornate carved details are often found.
Another element within the traditional design lines is it’s tendency to have ornate mill work. Crown molding, columns and trim that lends to an ornate look is quite common. In many older homes, the mill work comes in the form of dark and rich wood, but more modern traditional homes have their mill work done in shades of white.
Traditional kitchens are famous for their elaborate raised panel cabinets; however many traditional homes boast flat panels or even shaker style cabinets. The thing that pulls the design towards the traditional style comes from the other materials paired with cabinets – such as travertine backsplashes or floors, glazed finishes, and elaborate crown molding.
Floors generally consist of wood in a variety of shades – from light honey to a darker chocolate – and in a range of plank width – from 2 inches all the way to 6 inches in width. Other flooring that is popular in traditional homes is travertine or tiles that have a faux travertine look. However, these options are not all inclusive to the traditional design.
Other common design elements are what I think of as the house jewelry. Crystal and/or ornate iron chandeliers abound in the traditional home. Sometime it’s just one or the other, and sometimes the two elements are blended.
Oil rubbed bronze features are regularly seen in todays traditional home. However, many manufacturers are now producing the elegant curved nature of traditional hardware in a variety of finishes, including chrome, brushed nickel, and satin.
So are you Traditional?
You would be classified as a lover of traditional if you gravitate towards curved objects that have an ornate style. Old world furniture styles that have been finished in dark rich tones and/or pieces that have a french flare, such as queen ann legs, would rank high on your must have list. You would fall in love with a plushly tufted chaise lounge that has been finished in a soft neutral chenille, and you prefer highly detail crown molding over a plainer version. Does this sound like you? You could be traditional.
More Traditional Rooms