Traditional Style With a Twist

Sticking with the classics guarantees your design will never go out of style. Still, it doesn't mean you have to leave all the fun to those contemporary or eclectic rooms. These timeless spaces show how to nod to the past while staying oh so current.

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March 05, 2019

Photo By: Suzanna Scott Photography

Photo By: WE Studio Photography

Photo By: Mark Lohman


Photo By: Jonathan Rachman

Photo By: Lauren Rubinstein

Photo By: Aaron Leitz

Photo By: Paige Rumore Photography

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Photo By: Dan Piassick

Photo By: Deborah Llewellyn

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Green Immersion

From the wingback chairs and Chesterfield sofa to the upholstered wall-to-wall bench under the window, this living room is a study in classic comfort — all in a brilliant emerald green. The monochromatic color scheme makes for a stop-you-in-your-tracks design moment, but also launches a spirited vibe into what could have been a stuffy formal room.

Casual Formality

In historic homes, proper dining rooms were an integral part of the design. Today's homes don't always need a formal room, but a dining space (or two) are still a necessity. This open floor plan kitchen has an updated sensibility by encompassing both the breakfast nook and a more tailored dining area. Traditional furniture in deep woods renders a richness to the mostly gray and white space.

Relaxed Grandeur

Soft neutrals and whites set a serene scene for this heart of the home. Architectural details, like the beadboard ceiling and glass upper cabinets, create a timeless quality to the room, while a bubble chandelier and gradient mosaic tile backsplash convey a modern aesthetic. Curvy ends on the kitchen island are an unexpected and gentle touch.

Feminine Delights

With time-honored elements, like tufting, floral patterns and cabriole furniture legs, this ready-for-relaxing bedroom is fully romantic. Silvery metallic dressers-turned-nightstands are a glamourous addition, and a low-slung sitting area is the perfect spot to cozy up with a good book or chat with your partner at the end of the day.

Make an Entrance

This entry with its classic white architectural details — flanking Corinthian columns and bay window surrounded by elaborate window moldings — pairs beautifully with the baby blue siding. A brilliant blue front door punches up the color scheme, whereas overhead gold address numbers paint an Old English script to the transom window. A hanging lantern lights up the doorstep to welcome friends into this San Francisco townhouse.

Combining Styles

This transitional living room with its taupe walls, wood and chrome furnishings and eclectic mix of accessories is the perfect combination of contemporary and collected-over-time styles. The coffered ceiling blends down into sleeker, flat wall moldings, and floral curtains match the color tones of the abstract artwork. All tying the new and old styles together.

Back in Black

The right dark shade in a small space makes the walls recede to visually expand the room. Floor-to-ceiling black cabinets make for a dramatic display in this galley kitchen. Standout features, like the rolling ladder, hexagon marble tile backsplash and farmhouse sink, bring in defining character.

All-Embracing Design

The traditional stage is set for this dining room with picture frame moldings, dentil crown molding and parquet flooring. Though a golden damask wallpaper is chosen to cover the ceiling, the nod to classic style stops there and takes a turn for the eclectic. Leopard-printed curtains soften the window, an enticing bubble chandelier hangs above the whitewashed dining table and a three-dimensional sideboard showcases a surprising texture.

Lovely in Blue

The never-goes-out-style color combination of blue and white gets a modern jolt in this kitchen with a brilliant shade of royal blue. Taking a cue from the past, metallic glam in the form of brass light fixtures, accessories and hardware deliver warmth and balance to the simply cool color palette.

Modern Luxury

The rich, glossy wood and simple curved lines of this dining table create instant contrast against the white color scheme and intricate elements throughout the rest of the room. Wallpaper with silvery floral vines floats above the wainscoting, and burnished gold details on the mirror and sideboard allow for the just-right antique touch. And of course, nothing says traditional glam like a chandelier dripping in crystals.

Intimate Patterns

There's just something about gingham that never fails to bring coziness to a room. This breakfast area is grounded in an earth-toned floral rug that pulls the colors of the tan curtains, lemon-upholstered chairs and brown woods together. Louis XVI-inspired head chairs mix with simpler bentwood chairs for a blending of casual and classic styles.

A Graceful Hello

Step into a home that creates a welcoming and time-honored greeting. Cipollino marble tiles seamlessly blend into dark-stained hardwood for a chic transitional flooring. A simple entryway dresser provides handy storage and is topped with Asian-influenced accessories. Candle sconces and urn flush-mounted fixtures add soft lighting and rooted-in-tradition style to the foyer.

Chic Sophistication

Damask wallpaper, crystal cabinet knobs and rich mahogany cabinets all combine for an exquisite bathroom retreat. Yet, pearly tiles in soft shades of gray and white and tiny spherical pendants lights establish notes of contemporary style.

Cue the Florals

The showstopping piece of this dining room is the handpainted floral wallpaper that evokes memories of centuries past while still being completely current. A golden branch-like chandelier is a twist on the traditional candelabra and provides the perfect topper to the timeless table and chairs.

Celebrate Your Neutrals

Floor-to-ceiling windows flood this crisp white living room with natural light. Two separate seating areas, each defined by an Oriental rug layered on top of an oversized natural fiber rug, break up the long open space and make this living room ideal for cozy conversations. A variety of patterns and textures infuse life and interest into the neutral furnishings.

Pared-Down Elegance

Picture-frame molding leads to a timeless sensibility even in the most eclectic of spaces. Traditional elements, such as the tufted furniture and gilded round mirror, feel right at home in this living room. Furniture in subtle shades of pink and blue suit the easygoing atmosphere of the space, which gets a healthy dose of pattern from the pillows and the spindle armchairs.

Sink Into Grays

No snoozing monochromatic scheme in this soaring master bedroom. Serene grays accented by soft blues (that practically read as gray) are sophisticated and perfectly paired for this restful retreat. Antique dressers flank the bed serving as storage and nightstands.

Grab a Seat

The trestle table is surrounded by a diverse mix of chairs: floral red upholstered seats, Queen Anne-styled chairs and an open bench with Greek-key detail. Overhead, a linear candelabra lights up the space with metallic gleam and the coffered ceiling is the definition of character-adding architecture.

Old World Sentiment

A sign of European elegance, the dining room is crowned in an arched planked wood ceiling that calls to mind an Old-World wine cellar. Winged-back armchairs and oiled leather seats make for a cozy gathering spot around the simple wooden table. Built-ins offer so many opportunities for ample storage and will never go to waste in a kitchen and dining space.

Transitional Spaces With Style

Creamy walls pair with elaborate moldings for an elegant walkway through this home. The mix of patterns from the graphic squares on the small dresser to the floral runner follow a playful vibe, while an oversized beveled mirror at the end of the hall elongates the space.