Traditional Interior Design Ideas: What’s to Love?

While I admire multiple design styles, I lean more toward Traditional Interior Design Ideas in my own home and enjoy a lightened up, airy interpretation of the style. Some ideas about what gives traditional its staying power follow, and I’m offering some beautiful options for traditional style decor to consider a well.

Serene European inspired kitchen with Belgian linen upholstered arm chairs, round dining table, and window seat. Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #windowseat #kitchendesign #breakfastroom

I recently shared a peek around my place in July RIGHT HERE.

Before we even begin the traditional interior design exploration, let’s create a mood for it with this incredible work of musicianship from a piano and a cello in an exquisite location…this is well worth your time and attention!

French farmhouse style dining room of Ruth Gay of Chateau Domingue. European antiques, reclaimed stone and fireplace, and exquisite antiques sing in this rustically elegant dining room. #chateaudomingue #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #rusticdecor #frenchdiningroom #antiques #europeancountry #europeanfarmhouse #provencestyle

We toured the timelessly traditional European interiors of Chateau Domingue’s founder RIGHT HERE.

Traditional Interior Design: What’s to Love?

Traditional Style

What is Traditional Interior Design Style: This design style is neither trendy nor stuck in the past. Firstly, traditional style honors the past by incorporating antiques, and beautiful print fabrics with a timeless feel. Secondly, traditional interior design style relies upon comfortable furniture with clean lines, familiar silhouettes, and symmetry. Thirdly, a sense of order and calm arise from classical design choices and familiar decor elements. Finally, comfort is a priority for traditional interior design, and it informs all of the decorating decisions for traditional interiors.

Luxurious double shower with his and hers built in benches. Freestanding tub, marble subway tile, and unique geometric open design. #thefoxgroup #bathroomdesign #luxurybathroom #subwaytile #doubleshower

The Fox Group.  Gorgeous freestanding tubs await RIGHT HERE.

Modern farmhouse kitchen with two tone cabinetry, black granite, coffered ceiling, and industrial stainless work island. #helloloelystudio #kitchendesign #farmhousekitchen #modernfarmhouse #cofferedceiling

Traditional details in a modern farmhouse kitchen…see more of it HERE.

Traditional Origins

How Did Traditional Interior Design Develop? Traditional style developed as a result of furniture designs, interiors, and decor hailing from the 1800s and earlier in European countries. Warm wood tones and rich colors associated with elegance and comfort are associated with traditional decor. A neutral palette or tone on tone is also widely celebrated. Prints such as damask, plaid, paisley, stripe, and floral are all commonly embraced for home decor fabrics, furniture, curtains, pillows, and bedding.

Blue grey painted paneled formal entry with checkered floor in magnificent house by The Fox Group. #bluegray #paneledroom #thefoxgroup #interiordesign #entry #traditional #millwork #architecture

The Fox Group. See a timeless home by them HERE.

Longevity of Traditional Decor

Why does Traditional Interior Design stand the test of time? Timeless and traditional style has proven its value and stood the test of time! There is a warmth, a refinery, and a sophisticated sense of history and context. Rather than push the envelope or experiment, traditional leans into the tried and true. Still, there is a wide range of creative interpretations for traditional interior design style! Traditional interiors can be exciting and fresh without the influence of the latest and greatest new fashions on the runway.

Traditional decor in an elegant room by Studio L in London. #traditionaldecor #interiordesign #studioL

Studio L London. See this London home inspired by “Out of Africa” RIGHT HERE.

Design Elements Traditionalists Love: Firstly, antiques with a story and pleasant lines are important in traditional design. Secondly, hardwood flooring in warm, rich tones is a popular choice. Thirdly, traditional furniture tends to be more comfortable and formal. Furniture details such as claw feet, carvings, medallions, tufting, gilding, and fluting are often present. Fourthly, traditional fabrics tend to be higher end as they intend to stand the test of time. Specifically, linen, velvet, silk, and leather are traditional choices for textiles. Finally, in terms of silhouette, traditionalists admire Gustavian, Queen Anne, Classical French. Chippendale, Sheraton and historical furniture styles that continue to be relevant today.

Black hardwood flooring in a hallway of a historic farmhouse with school house lights and grey painted walls. Paint color is Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray. #benjaminmoorestoningtongray #wallcolor #hallway #blackfloors #farmhouse #interiordesign #schoolhouselighting

Ebony painted hardwood floors in a hallway of a renovated traditional 1875 farmhouse. See more of it RIGHT HERE.

Achieve a Traditional Look

Traditional Interior Design Eye Candy: Firstly, traditional style often honors architectural elements such as crown molding, arched doorways, French doors, and transoms. A modernist might deem the same touches traditionalists admire as elements that are too busy or too ornamental. Traditionalists are rarely minimalists! Secondly, symmetry is honored in traditional interiors. It’s not unusual to see a pair of sofas in a room, equidistant from a focal point such as a fireplace.

Traditional style bathroom with freestanding Waterworks tub, black vanity with carrara marble, and glass tile backsplash. #hellolovelystudio #bathroomdesign #freestandingtub #blackvanity #greywalls #benjaminmoorestoningtongray

A beautiful bathroom in a renovated 1875 historic farmhouse with a mix of traditional design elements and modern amentities. See more of it RIGHT HERE.

Traditional rooms feel balanced and harmonious, and there’s a sense of “the expected.” Thirdly, there is often an elegance factor in traditional interiors that may be absent in other design styles such as country or modern. Traditional charm is rooted in more formal sensibilities than informal ones.

Luxurious bathroom design with marble tile in herringbone pattern. Dark wood double vanities and twin tall glass doored cabinets. Design by The Fox Group. #thefoxgroup #luxurybath #herringbonetile

The Fox Group.

Therefore, you will find more refined details in traditional decor choices. For example, tassels and decorative trim on drapes or pillows, carvings on wood trims, heavy wood trims and architectural moldings, paneling, formal china and glassware, silver and gold objects, bookshelves and built-in window seats, etc.

Farmhouse style bedroom with vintage whit dresser, European linen arm chair, and herringbone area rug. Paint color on walls is Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray. #hellolovelystudio #farmhousebedroom #shabbychic #benjaminmoorestoningtongray

Harmonious Interiors

Create Harmony in a Traditional Style Space…Previously, symmetry was addressed and is an important factor to establish a sense of balance and harmony in a traditionally designed room. Additionally, prints and fabrics are matched thoughtfully for balance. While a traditional space may include some contemporary furniture or art, the majority of the pieces, antique or reproduction, will hail from a common era to avoid an overly eclectic or less harmonious result. Traditional rooms will be graced with a softness derived from elegant and sumptuous fabrics and also classical curves from furniture, mirrors, moldings, and accessories.

French country kitchen with creamy white cabinets, pewter hardware, and breakfast area with harvest table. Design by Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #frenchcountry #kitchen

Traditional white kitchen in our prior French country home. Hello Lovely Studio. Countertop is Silestone quartz in Ivory Coast. Paint color is Benjamin Moore Ashley Gray.

Traditional Elegance Deconstructed

The Role of Understated Elegance…Care is taken in traditional style interior design to avoid excessive formality or garishness. Too much metallic, heavy drapery, laquer, mirror, pattern, gloss, or ornate finery can undo the charm of a balanced traditional design.

Classic kitchen by The Fox Group with brass pendant drum pendants over island and blue accents. Farm sink, white cabinetry, and Parisian counter stools. #kitchendesign #thefoxgroup #classicdesign #coastalkitchen #brasspendants

The Fox Group.

So too can the wrong fabric and upholstery choices lead to overkill. An understated elegance can be achieved when there is a pleasing proportion of shiny with matte, formal with less formal, and bold with subtle. Additionally, mid-range color and muted tones work best in most traditional interiors, as opposed to bright, dramatic, or bold color schemes.

Undermount stainless sink, Silestone quartz in "Ivory Coast," and creamy white cabinets in a traditional French country kitchen with white oak hardwood flooring. Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #kitchen #frenchcountry #silestone #quartz #ivorycoast

I do miss the spaciousness of our former, traditional style kitchen which could accommodate a large crowd! Hello Lovely Studio. Countertop: Silestone quartz in Ivory Coast. White oak hardwood flooring. Paint color: Benjamin Moore White Sand.

Are You Traditional?

You May Love Traditional Style… Firstly, if you love history, are sentimental toward days gone by, and adore old movies, traditional decor may sizzle your bacon. Secondly, traditional may be your thing if you enjoy classical beauty, classical music, and classical art. Thirdly, if you have a comfort level with a degree of formality and appreciate order and symmetry, well…you sure sound traditional to me. Fourthly, if you love turning the pages of a real hard copy book in your hand and have no clue as to what paint color is trending? You may love traditional style.

White classic bathroom with plantation shutters, vintage clawfoot tub, and Louis style tufted accent chair. Stripe Turkish towels and sphere pendant in an antiqued silver finish. Wall color is Benjamin Moore "White.." Hello Lovely Studio. #bathroomdesign #hellolovelystudio #plantationshutters #louischair #clawfoottub #benjaminmoorewhite

Our traditional white bathroom with plantation shutters, vintage clawfoot tub, and Louis style chair.

Favorite Traditional Interior Designers

Pamela Pierce

Darryl Carter

Victoria Hagan

Suzanne Kasler

Markham Roberts

Phoebe Howard

Timothy Whealon

Tom Scheerer

Carrier & Co.

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Getting the Goods: Traditional Style

A Traditional, Tried & True Accessory

Topiary tree set.

Topiary Tree Set of 3: FIND HERE

Traditional Seating Ideas

Tusten Mahogany Linen Chaise, White

French Country Linen Chaise: FIND HERE

French Country Dining Chairs! Renne Alkasen Side Chair

French Country Dining Chairs: FIND HERE

Tawanna Rattan Bar Stool

Aqua Rattan Bar Stool  Breathtaking French Nordic Style Interior Design Inspiration {Part 2}

Traditional Table Finds

Linen Dining & Accent Chairs

Love a classic wing back chair which will work in a variety of decor settings including traditional, French country, coastal, or transitional? Here is a beauty to behold…

Lefebre Wingback Chair

Timeless Interior Design Ideas.  Wingback Chair: FIND HERE.

If you love the convenience of shopping Amazon, then you are going to be happy to discover this gorgeous French linen upholstered dining chair at a friendly price point (if you have priced these or tried to find them in stock, then you know!).

Subtle nailhead trim on the skirt makes me love these even more than the ones we have in our kitchen and dining rooms.

Colleen Dining Chair, Set of 2

Set of 2 Linen Dining Chair: FIND HERE

 

Another option, also through Amazon is this lovely set of 2. The styling features a graceful arch for a slightly more-French-than-Belgian look. It’s a dead ringer for the RH linen slipcovered chair I have in my bedroom and can work as desk chairs, accent chairs with wood chairs at a dining table, or in a living room where you need more finely proportioned seating.

Colette Dining Chairs, Set of 2

Linen Dining Chairs, Set of 2: FIND HERE

Which of these grain sack upholstered chairs would you choose?

Grain sack stenciled Louis arm chair by Lilly + Co.

Louis Style Grain Sack Upholstered Arm Chair: FIND HERE.

Four Lovely Lighting Possibilities

Honore Lantern, Antiqued Zinc

Antiqued Zinc Lantern: FIND HERE

Paris Flea Market 6-Lt Chandelier, Iron

Paris Flea Market 6 Light Chandelier: FIND HERE.

Anchorage 3-Light Outdoor Sconce

English Farmhouse Style Outdoor Wall Sconce: FIND HERE

Orchard Mini Table Lamp, Alabaster

Alabaster Mini Table Lamp: FIND HERE.

Such a broad topic of design, I know – but I’m always interested to hear your thoughts about what makes traditional decor so endearing and enduring? How would you describe your own design style?

Peace to you right where you are.

michele

I’m a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. An easy way to support HELLO LOVELY? Start RIGHT HERE to SHOP for items on Amazon (anything at all – not just products mentioned in the post!) you already intended to buy…it won’t cost a penny extra yet may earn this blog a few pennies when my link is the first you click! To see my favorite gorgeous furniture picks, GO HERE.

You’ll also find a wealth of friendly priced furniture and decor for your home HERE.

Distressed White French Country Chandelier
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
Linen & Oak Settee
Linen & Oak Settee
French Linen Accent Chair
French Linen Accent Chair
French Country Wing Chair
French Country Wing Chair
French Louis Style Arm Chair
French Louis Style Arm Chair
French Linen Upholstered Dining Chair
French Linen Upholstered Dining Chair
Linen Slipcovered Dining Chair, Set of 2
Linen Slipcovered Dining Chair, Set of 2
Campaign Style End Table
Campaign Style End Table
Louis Upholstered Bench
Louis Upholstered Bench
French Country Sofa
French Country Sofa
Alabaster 30″ Lamp
Alabaster 30″ Lamp
French Linen Dining Chair Set of 2
French Linen Dining Chair Set of 2
Antiqued French Lamp
Antiqued French Lamp
French Upholstered Gray Bench
French Upholstered Gray Bench
Venetian Etched Mirror (24″ x 36″)
Venetian Etched Mirror (24″ x 36″)
Linen Modern Wing Chair
Linen Modern Wing Chair
White Slipcovered Sofa
White Slipcovered Sofa
Tufted Headboard
Tufted Headboard
Aged White Writing Desk
Aged White Writing Desk
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Column Table Lamp
Column Table Lamp
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Mini Pendant Light
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
White Vase Set
Arteriors Swivel Bar Stool
Arteriors Swivel Bar Stool
Leather Patchwork Ottoman
Leather Patchwork Ottoman
Tufted Chesterfield Sofa
Tufted Chesterfield Sofa
Modern Brass Sphere Pendant
Modern Brass Sphere Pendant
2-Light Chic Sconce
2-Light Chic Sconce
Black Tray Table
Black Tray Table
Leather Chesterfield Sofa
Leather Chesterfield Sofa
Midcentury Teak & Leather Armchair
Midcentury Teak & Leather Armchair
60″ Round Pedestal Dining Table
60″ Round Pedestal Dining Table
Round Marble Side Table
Round Marble Side Table
Linen Slipcover Dining Chair
Linen Slipcover Dining Chair

I love helping you add style and function to your home with thoughtfully selected product recommendations. Thanks so much for your support as you use independently chosen links, many of which earn me a commission.

 

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6 Comments

  1. Mary
    August 10, 2018 / 8:59 am

    Enjoyed this post so much, Michele. I went back to look at Chateau Dominique. I want to move in, too! What struck me was the importance of the light through the windows, how it played in the rooms. Light is so important in creating atmosphere. Also appreciated your comments on what is traditional, a style I have always embraced. (Love the way you write). To me, Traditional stretches anywhere from Williamsburg to Old World. I love it all, it all inspires me. The beauty comes from the history and the imagination , the gathering of the materials and elements that create the atmosphere, which requires knowledge and talent. Wish I had many homes to express different, loved styles! Thanks for another thoughtful post.

    • michele
      Author
      August 10, 2018 / 10:26 am

      So true! Architects have so much responsibility in optimizing that light and working with it artfully, yes? Light, history, imagination, materials, atmosphere – love the way you think and write as well. Thanks for adding richness to the discussion. xox

  2. August 10, 2018 / 10:15 am

    Very much traditional, Williamsburg style, but with a light touch for summers ~ that’s me!

    • michele
      Author
      August 10, 2018 / 10:22 am

      Love receiving the feedback – summer light-ness greatly appeals to me too! Have a lovely weekend. 🙂

  3. Joanna
    August 10, 2018 / 4:51 pm

    My style is traditional but not fussy or overdone. I believe in breathing space both on your walls and in your smalls. I have light taupe leather, antique chenille, rattan and a modern print but on roll armed chairs. The drapery panels are a stripe in an inverted pleat. I have both new and antique pieces and treasures I have bought while travelling overseas or living in the Middle East. My light fixtures are big for impact. My kitchen windows are bare and look out on my garden. All of these separate pieces come together as a cohesive, serene mix that feels like home.
    I love reading your blog. Both pictures and words speak to me. Enjoy your weekend, Michelle.

    • michele
      Author
      August 10, 2018 / 5:45 pm

      Sounds beautiful and evolved, friend. “walls and smalls” make such good copy – you must be an editor or at least wired for words! Would love to hear more about the experience of living in the Middle East and how that impacted your journey. Thanks so much for reading, and have a lovely weekend.

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