Take traditional style into the 21st century with designer Elissa Cullman’s forthcoming book, Founder of the well-established New York firm Cullman & Kravis, Elissa aims to “redefine traditional interiors with a modern perspective.” For those looking to update a classic interior with modern style, but don’t want to do a complete overhaul, read on for a sneak peek of the book’s top tips. From Classic to Contemporary.
For this Hamptons beachfront home, ancient Greece provided the design inspiration — its iconic crisp white and gold motifs are an easy base to build on, and will age gracefully. The combination of colors reads as both classic and modern.
In this living room refresh, Elissa painted the ceiling in a metallic glaze which feels sleek and glam. To modernize ornate chandeliers, Elissa notes, remove the little shades and change the bulbs to a frosted flame or clear torpedo shade.
Boxier modern pieces complement traditional curvy pieces very nicely. Here, custom-designed, wood-framed modernist armchairs look right at home next to a pair of demilune Biedermeier consoles and the ornate scrolls of a Louis XV-style mantel.
In this classic living room, two very different styles of art flank a doorway and keep things feeling fresh. A more abstract pop art-style complements a traditional one with their similar tonal colors.
Bold doesn’t have to mean over-the-top or brash. In this living room, a daybed and chair are upholstered in a matching oversized zebra print. It adds contemporary flair to the traditional room, while matching the beige and ochre room scheme seamlessly.
In her own New York home, Elissa swapped out her heavily colored area rug for one with lighter hues and a quieter pattern.
A bright backdrop for your classical furnishings will elevate the space and keep it feeling modern. Choose a contemporary color that has traditional roots, like this Wedgwood blue-inspired shade that’s just a touch more vibrant than the famed hue.
Here, a vintage metal palm tree sculpture offsets the formality of the antiques. Choose a fun feature and tie it together using a theme or color. For instance, in this room the exotic theme unites all the unique pieces.
If you have a large collection of vintage pieces or eclectic taste, you can be sure that a blank backdrop, like this one that evokes a modern art gallery setting, will match everything. White is a perennial classic for a reason!
In a classically designed space, florals are an inexpensive way to change things up. Traditional hydrangeas are balanced out with bright purple alliums and a statement collection of branches on the table at the back.