Photo Gallery: New Traditional Decorating Tips
Achieve the hot look.
Pink and red — formerly cantankerous colours — are just one example of analogous colours that make perfect mates in decorating today. A pop of blue and the mix of contemporary and vintage art add to the eclectic space by designer Miles Redd. “New traditional rooms have many of the hallmarks of timeless decorating, but with a few irreverent twists,” says senior design editor Margot Austin.
In this space — designed by Sarah Richardson — vintage furniture gets a fresh spin thanks to contemporary glass, a neutral palette and lively pillows. This is a new-trad hallmark, explains Austin. “Think of a camelback sofa that’s upholstered in either a plain off-white linen, or a bold ’60s graphic instead of a more expected silk damask.”
Citrine grasscloth wallpaper and a retro-print arm chair exude a Palm Springs air in this room by designer Celerie Kemble. Where drapery scallops of the past were embellished with pompoms and fringe, newcomers are left unadorned, letting their graceful lines stand alone.
“Upholstery and drapery details are back but in a looser way than before,” says deputy editor Hilary Smyth. “Even drapery valances have returned but with stronger silhouettes.” Here, ribbon trim echoes the shape of the valance, creating the effect of millwork and bringing an architectural element to the room. Modern lighting, a neutral chair and a bold ikat pillow look fresh.
“The table is durable, and something you can put your feet up on after a long day,” says designer Sarah Richardson. The sofa is covered in herringbone-style linen and mohair velvet, while the stools and throw pillows are a young and fresh mix of flannels and striped linens. The lively patterns offer contrast to the more traditional mouldings and end tables.
Painterly, feminine fabric covers the seat cushion and pairs well with the water-blue velvet on the main body. Rustic and modern tables give the room edge. “Antique furnishings are still part of the new-traditional look, but now a room is furnished with just one or two quirky antiques, not a whole suite of matching pieces that feels staid and stuffy,” Smyth explains.
Interior designer Joel Bray replaced all of his condo’s flat doors with panelled ones to further the architectural interest. New traditional-style doorknobs are more in keeping with the look than the previous builder-basic ones, as well. White walls and dark wood offer contrast.
Timeless Louis XV-style chairs are painted white and upholstered in a fun mauve hue. Modern bird print fabrics in the same tone pull together the new-yet-old look.
Grasscloth wallpaper envelops this den, creating a warm family space. A tufted, grey flannel ottoman, cerused-oak daybed from the 1930s and stool clad in Mongolian lambskin add texture. “There’s a comfort factor to the new trad that didn’t exist before,” says Smyth.
Mad Men actor and interior designer Bryan Batt featured this gorgeous living room in his recent design book Big, Easy Style. If you’re lucky enough to have large windows and soaring ceilings, consider choosing a fun wall colour that can stand on its own in a bright room. (2012 is seeing shades of tangerine everywhere!) This room features a custom wall colour inspired by Hermès. Polished floors reflect light and make the space seem larger.
Interior designer Scott Yetman believes that every room should have black in it. In the dining room, a contemporary light fixture combines with a Regency-style table and repro white chairs upholstered with black leather and blue gingham fabric. An early-19th-century portrait by the French artist Pigalle overlooks this table. The mix of modern and traditional keeps the look current.
In designer Colette van den Thillart’s London home, a custom-made amoeba-shaped table with a dragged gesso finish complements the sofa and chairs. “I’m a devotee to organic shapes. They can be more forgiving in space planning,” she says. An affordable rug adds bold pattern to the room. Deep lacquered walls set a dramatic tone.
Mad Men actor and interior designer Bryan Batt featured this multicoloured living room in his recent design book Big, Easy Style. Black accents in the artwork, lamps and armchair fabric ground the cheerful colour scheme. “Modern art such as abstract expressionism, black and white photography or pop art is a great way to bring a cool factor to traditional surroundings,” adds Austin.
A simple farm table, heirloom china arranged around a chinoiserie mirror, and a whimsical felt garland strewn through a chandelier create an inviting space for entertaining. The mostly white scheme offers a modern touch to traditional pieces.