Comforting and classic, there’s something very satisfying about traditional style interiors. Though you may have grown up in a home that was decorated with traditional style furnishings, you may still find yourself browsing furniture show rooms and magazines in an attempt to create a traditional look in the rooms of your current home. Here are some traditional interior design fundamentals to keep in mind.
The traditional design style is based on order, symmetry and balance that takes its roots from the imagery and architecture of the Greek and Roman empires. Traditional design uses a focal point in a room and achieves visual balance by designing around it. For example, a grand, marble fireplace in your living room would be the focal point. To add visual balance to the room, designers would flank either side of the marble fireplace with gilded light sconces and crown the fireplace with a gold framed mirror. This also achieve symmetry since splitting the arrangement down the middle has one half of the arrangement an exact copy of the other half.
Once you’ve established the focal point in a room, it’s time to move on to traditional color palettes. Traditional design style color choices are often inspired by nature. Go for yellows, blues, greens and browns. Softer, muted hues like gray, pink and terracotta are also colors that work well in traditional style interiors. To enhance and ground the look, try adding some ebony or black accents within the room.
If you want to make the space in your home have the look and feel of classical décor, consider including Roman and Greek inspired columns, busts and urns. To give the room and old world feel you can add obelisks and other Egyptian design elements. Designers often incorporate these design elements with decorative accessories or a stenciled pattern on the walls. For a more dramatic look, wallpaper styles with strong classical design elements can work.
Texture is another element that plays a big role in the look and feel of traditional design style. Fabrics should be those that are elegant but also embody a quiet strength in a very ordered space. Fabrics like cotton and velvet work well. But if you’re after a more sophisticated look, go for silk or taffeta. These fabrics add shimmer and glamour to your space.
The same materials used in empires throughout history also apply. A traditional style room is a classically inspired space that has flooring made from wood, stone or marble – the same materials seen during the Greek and Roman periods.
When it comes to creating traditional decorating, look to the Greek and Roman empires and their architecture. Like the Parthenon with its balanced columns, make each side of your focal point in your rooms visually balanced. When it comes to decorating your walls or draperies, vertical, tone-on-tone strips work well. Add classical architectural elements to your rooms by using geometric patterns within the stone or marble tile flooring. Using a natural fiber area rug is a great way to define a space in a large room. Finally, when accenting with whites, be sure to select off-white or antique white shades that are more authentic to classical color palettes. Brighter whites are best used in contemporary interiors.