In interior design, ‘traditional’ is a specific term that though often used to describe a variety of styles that do not obey a particular trend or era, it actually refers to the particular classic décor style of the 18-th and 19-th century European homes. It is practically a timeless interior style that combines elegance and comfort, and is suitable for anyone who appreciates antiques, curved lines, classical art and especially design, rich in history.
Space. Traditional interiors are all about order, coherence and harmony, aimed at creating a peaceful and properly arranged space where every element stands along the others in an orderly, even somewhat predictable fashion. Some may argue that the traditional interior design is “boring”, but as long as one finds comfort in order, there’s nothing “boring” about it at all!
Symmetry and consistency are the key features of the traditionally styled interiors. Furniture and accessories are of matching designs and in carefully premeditated quantities, and are symmetrically positioned around a focal point in the room, which makes the space look coherent, airy and tidy.
Influenced by the splendor of the majestic Baroque and the 18-th c. Europe’s Rococo grace and intimate-coquettish character, architects create traditional spaces featuring high ceilings and sash windows, Roman columns and spacious alcoves, walls wainscoting, intricate plaster moldings, and carvings in wood and stone.
Marble, wood and stone dominate traditional interiors, alongside various elements of wrought iron, natural fibers and leather.
Color. Traditional style colors are usually in neutral, pastel tones of muted vibrance that add character to the cozy feel and elegant, often luxurious ambiance of the traditionally styled interiors.
Cream, café au lait, and soft gray on walls and textile complement and emphasize the elaborate furniture items of beautiful, generally glossy dark wood finish, the dramatic colors of the flooring of natural materials, as well as the spectacular murals, fine-art works and antiques.
Primary colors such as red, blue and green come in softer hues, such as ruby, powder green and sapphire, to add fresh pops of color, while yellow shines on the statement golden frames of pictures and tapestries.
Another popular color palette for traditional interiors décor features organic tones introduced from the beautiful gardens around the aristocratic homes of old. Upholstery, curtains and decoration textile pleases the eye with designs and patterns in warm, inviting, and simple, yet elegant and exquisite tones, from verdant-green, sky-blue and sunny yellow, to all the shades of the English rose, such as peach, pink and crimson.
Furniture. Traditional interiors are furnished with historically valuable and luxurious items designed and fashioned after the grandiloquent style of the 18-th and early 19-th c. stately residences of Northern Europe. This classic design features beautiful furniture made of natural wood (mostly mahogany, cherry and maple) with usually dark, lacquered finish, soft tufted upholstery of fine natural fabrics or leather, and often ornamented with intricate wood carvings. In design, traditional furniture follows the exquisite aesthetics of Chippendale, Queen Ann and Sheraton styles, known for their elegant curved lines, cabriole legs, charming Rococo embellishments, contrasting inlays and decorative veneers of fine wood.
Massive, heavy and meant to provide comfort and practical functionality, but also of exquisite design and ornamentation, traditional furniture items usually come in pairs and matching sets, and are placed around the room in carefully planned symmetry, never failing to create an attractive focal point. Examples of traditional furniture are large dining sets, commodes and chests, canopy beds, and upholstered Wingback fauteuils, tufted Ottomans, puffs and foot stools, but also some more contemporary interpretations featuring items of more casual and humble design and finishes.
Décor. The traditional interior décor draws inspiration from traditional values and long-established, historical customs and beliefs, which makes it timeless.
Epic works of fine art, either genuine originals or high-quality reproductions, and hand-embroidered needlepoint tapestries, exhibited in large, richly embellished frames with often gold or bronze finish, as well as classical and antique sculptures displayed in suitable niches or alcoves around the house, are key décor elements of traditionally styled interiors.
Windows feature impressive treatments such as curtains, drapes, valances and swags of fine fabrics, including velvet, plush, damask, and fine canvas and linen, in rich floral motifs or cozy checked or striped patterns.
Walls are perceived as backdrop “canvases”, either painted in soft neutral colors or showcasing large wall art pieces or wall murals.
Lighting’s functionality has been redefined for traditional décor, where all the multiple lamps, sconces and chandeliers are turned into “show-stopping” decorative items rather than being “just” lighting fixtures.
Early 19-th c. Europe felt the strong influence of the mysterious Orient, and so did interior design. Traditional décor cannot be therefore complete without items of fine Chinese porcelain, such as delicate teapots, vases and various figurines, as well as flamboyant Persian rugs and Turkish kilims, and plenty of damask throw pillows.
Finally, since traditional style is strongly about surrounding yourself with things familiar and ancestral, the décor displays all kinds of family-related objects, such as portraits, inherited antiques and collectibles of historical value passed down in the family for generations.
From façade to furniture, bring a touch of the time-tested with traditional décor and design as embodied by our selection of beautiful traditional homes!