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How To Incorporate Traditional Style Into a Modern Space


Classic & Modern Style. Image Source: The Spruce
Classic & Modern Style. Image Source: The Spruce

Design trends come and go, but traditional style remains a timeless classic. Traditional style and modern style are often seen as opposites. “The traditional style is known for its ornate details, intricate patterns, and rich textures, while the modern style is all about simplicity, clean lines, and minimalism.” Source.


If you love the traditional design but enjoy the sleek and clean look of modern design, you might find it challenging to decide between the two styles. However, you don't have to choose one over the other! It is possible to incorporate traditional style into a modern space and create a beautiful, cohesive look that balances the best of both worlds.


There are ways to incorporate traditional style into a modern space while still keeping the space fresh and up-to-date. Here are some ideas to get you started:


10 Ways To Incorporate Traditional Style Into a Modern Space


1. Mix Old and New

Mixing Classic & Modern Furniture. Image Source: Stilolinea:
Mixing Classic & Modern Furniture. Image Source: Stilolinea:

Mixing old and new pieces is one way to incorporate traditional style into a modern space. A modern sofa with clean lines can be paired with a vintage rug or a traditional armchair. Combining these elements creates an interesting visual contrast that adds depth and character to your space.


Traditional patterns, such as floral or paisley, can bring a touch of tradition to a modern space. Incorporate them in modern textiles like throw pillows or curtains to seamlessly create a cohesive look that blends old and new. Similarly, using traditional textures, such as velvet or silk, in modern furniture can add depth and character to a space.


2. Decide The Dominating Style

Seamlessly Mix Traditional & Modern Style.  Image Source: Lonny
Seamlessly Mix Traditional & Modern Style. Image Source: Lonny

Deciding on the dominating style for incorporating traditional style into a modern space depends on the desired outcome and personal preferences. If the goal is to create a contemporary space with a hint of traditional style, then modern with traditional accents is the way to go.


If the goal is to have a traditional space with a modern touch, then traditional with modern accents is the right choice. Finally, if the goal is to create a space that merges both styles seamlessly, then equal parts, modern and traditional, is the ideal approach. A suggested ratio for this approach is 80% dominant style and 20% secondary style. But it can be a 50/50 ratio for a more cohesive look.


3. Play with Contrast

Traditional Table With Modern Chair. Image Source: Apartment Therapy
Traditional Table With Modern Chair. Image Source: Apartment Therapy

Contrasting materials and textures can create a dynamic and visually exciting space. Source.

Combining rustic elements with contemporary ones, such as exposed brick walls with metal accents, can add depth and personality to a room. Pairing a traditional wooden dining table with sleek modern chairs can create a striking contrast that adds character to a dining room.


4. Use Warm Colors

Warm Colors. Image Source: Noble Design
Warm Colors. Image Source: Noble Design

Warm colors like beige, cream, gold, and rust are associated with traditional style. Incorporating these colors into a modern space can create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Consider using these colors in your decor, like in your curtains, throw pillows, or even a feature wall. By using warm colors, you can create a space that feels cozy and inviting while still looking modern.


5. Incorporate Architectural Details

Architectural Details. Image Source; Homes & Gardens
Architectural Details. Image Source; Homes & Gardens

Architectural details are an essential element of traditional design. Molding, trim, and paneling can add texture and depth to your walls and ceilings, making your space feel more elegant and sophisticated. Incorporating these details into a modern space can create a striking contrast that adds a touch of old-world charm to your space.


6. Use Traditional Patterns and Textiles

Traditional Patterns & Textiles. Image Source: Real Homes
Traditional Patterns & Textiles. Image Source: Real Homes

Traditional patterns and textiles can add warmth and depth to a modern space. Incorporating these elements into your decor can create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Consider using a traditional rug, like a Persian or Oriental rug, to anchor your space or add a few throw pillows with classic patterns like florals, paisleys, or stripes.


7. Accessorize

Traditional Decor. Image Source: Architectural Digest
Traditional Decor. Image Source: Architectural Digest

The key to accessorizing a modern space with traditional decorative items is to strike a balance between the two styles. Too many traditional decorative items can overwhelm the space and make it look cluttered, while too few may not make enough of an impact.


Incorporate traditional decorative items like vases, sculptures, and artwork to add a touch of history to a modern space. Look for items that have personal meaning or a story behind them. This could be a family heirloom or a piece of art you picked up during your travels. These items add a sense of history and depth to the space.


8. Embrace Classic Furniture

Modern Classic Living Room. Image Source: Elle Decor
Modern Classic Living Room. Image Source: Elle Decor

Furniture is a significant element of any space, and incorporating classic pieces can help create a traditional look. Think of classic furniture like wingback chairs, roll-arm sofas, and spindle-leg tables.

These pieces have been used for decades, and they remain popular today because they work well in any style of space. Consider updating these classic pieces with modern fabrics or finishes to make them feel fresh and new.


9. Incorporate Vintage or Antique Pieces

Modern Space With Vintage Touch. Image Source: Google Photos
Modern Space With Vintage Touch. Image Source: Google Photos

Antique or vintage pieces can add character and personality to a modern space. Adding a vintage rug, an antique chest of drawers, or a vintage light fixture can create a warm and inviting atmosphere. When choosing vintage pieces, look for items that complement your modern furniture and decor and create a cohesive look.


10. Add Traditional Lighting

Traditional Lightening In a  Living Room. Image Source: Houzz
Traditional Lightening In a Living Room. Image Source: Houzz

Lighting is an essential aspect of any space, and traditional lighting can add a touch of elegance to your modern space. Consider using classic chandeliers, table lamps, or wall sconces to create a traditional look in your space. Incorporating these traditional elements into your space can make your home feel more timeless and sophisticated.


Wrap Up

Incorporating traditional style into a modern space can be a great way to add warmth, character, and interest to a room. The key to successfully fusing the two styles is balance - mixing old and new, using color and texture, and accessorizing with traditional decorative items. By carefully combining these elements, you can create a beautiful and unique space that reflects your personal style and adds depth and personality to your home.


Whether you choose to add a touch of history with antique pieces or incorporate traditional patterns and textures, incorporating traditional style into a modern space can create a timeless look that is both elegant and functional.


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