How to Mix Modern With Traditional Design

As these rooms from HGTV Smart Home 2016 demonstrate, a mix of modern and traditional elements strikes the perfect balance. Get design tips and discover furnishings sponsored by Bassett Furniture. 

Photo By: Robert Peterson/Rustic White Pho

Photo By: Robert Peterson/Rustic White Pho

Photo By: Robert Peterson/Rustic White Pho

Photo By: Robert Peterson/Rustic White Pho

Photo By: Robert Peterson/Rustic White Pho

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza/Flynnsideout Prod

Photo By: Robert Peterson/Rustic White Pho

Photo By: Robert Peterson/Rustic White Pho

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza/Flynnsideout Prod

Photo By: Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza/Flynnsideout Prod

Get the Nook Look

If you're concerned that a modern chair or sofa may be too cold or contemporary for your style, a simple accent of modern may be just what you need. This nook at HGTV Smart Home 2016 is traditional overall, but its floor lamp adds the perfect modern-industrial touch to make it new, fresh and current.

Updated Approach

Modern style is not always about lines and materials; it can simply relate to an updated finish on a tried and true traditional piece. This classic occasional table next to the bed in the teen room is classic in style, but modern in finish thanks to its greige-painted wood.

Go White and Bright

Here's a trick interior designers use to make any traditional piece feel more modern: update it with white paint. The desk in the teen bedroom at HGTV Smart Home 2016 feels current and clean even though its overall style is classic and cottage-like.

Change Up the Fabric

One of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to put a modern spin on any form of seating in your home is to reupholster a classic or traditional chair with a modern or transitional fabric. This navy blue desk chair is covered in a small scale leopard print fabric in shades of navy, steel blue and greige.

On Display

Get playful with your home office or library styling by arranging books of the same hue. By assigning bookshelves or tabletop surfaces to one specific color, you can create a color-blocked look that adds tons of personality and can help pull color from other elements such as rugs, upholstery and art.

Find Statement Pieces

Looking for a way to instantly modernize your traditional kitchen? Try rounded pendants above your island. Here, a grouping of transitional counter stools upholstered in a geometric velvet pair beautifully with globe pendants made of antique brass and milk glass.

Mix and Match

Although many geometric fabrics are considered modern, many fall into the transitional category and may be more appealing to homeowners with traditional-style homes. Consider mixing transitional geometric prints with classic nailhead detail.

Art for Everyone

When designing rooms for kids or babies, it's not necessary to only purchase pieces meant for little ones. Instead, get more bang for your buck with art that both kids and adults can enjoy along with dressers or chests that can grow with a child through the years and through adulthood. This gray painted dresser is versatile enough to fit several rooms in the house and also appeal to a wide range of age groups.

Be Thoughtful About Accessories

Accessories make or break a room. Anytime you're looking to add personality with finishing touches, try to juxtapose different moods with accessories for an interesting balance. The light and airy gray painted dresser in this nursery is neutral and simple while a pair of wooden sculptures adds the perfect coarse texture to strike up visual tension.

Minimal Design Details

Parsons-style furniture is ideal for both modern and traditional style interiors. Known for its clean, simple lines, parsons furniture is minimal, and once styled with accessories, the furniture itself recedes, allowing your other objects to stand out.

Casual Meets Practical

Multipurpose design elements are a key component in modern-style interiors. The pantry at HGTV Smart Home 2016 combines practical storage with casual working space for checking email or reading books and newspapers. 

Add Interesting Shapes

Looking to add interesting shape and extra surface space in your living room? Stick with occasional tables that can be moved into different areas as needed. By choosing ones with interesting shapes, they'll double as sculptures.