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If you’re someone who loves classic silhouettes and deep wood in furniture, you’re in for a treat.
This post is all about traditional living rooms.
What Is Traditional Interior Design?
Traditional interior design is the foundation on which many modern interior design styles are built. Detailed woodwork, carved moldings, and sturdy handmade furniture are some of the qualities that make the traditional design so distinguished.
When it comes to colors, the walls are a neutral tone. Alternatively, patterned wallpaper creates a beautiful backdrop for your space as well.
Furniture is often heavily varnished with intricate carvings and sophisticated silhouettes.
Expect to see deep wood grains like cherry, mahogany, and walnut.
Patterns used in curtains, rugs, throw pillows and cushions are florals, plaids, stripes, and chinoiserie.
If you grew up in a home that features a traditional interior design like mine, you will know all too well that it has a feeling of being familiar, predictable, cozy, and comfortable.
Things You’ll Always Find In A Traditional Living Rooms
Traditional living rooms are easy to spot.
Just ask yourself one simple question, does this room look fit for a president or royalty?
If the answer is yes, 99% of the time you have yourself a traditional living room design.
Traditional interior design relies heavily on excellent workmanship, signifying that these were thoughtfully made.
Things that are thoughtfully made and of high quality stand the test of time and earn the coveted badge of being timeless or classic.
It’s always in style and is a symbol of sophistication and class. This is why we see this style so often in places of prominence.
A traditional living room will showcase classic art, antiques, and pieces with history, like a family heirloom.
Furniture is wood, upholstered, or a combination of the two such as a chair with wood arms and legs with a cushioned upholstered seat.
Large display cabinets such as armoires, buffets, and credenzas are very popular and feature a rectangular style with fine details carved into the wood.
It’s common to have furniture that was handed down through the family by a grandmother, mother, aunt, etc.
When it comes to fabrics, heavy and ornate is the signature.
Back in the day, drapery and valances were heavily utilized, matched with heavy curtains.
The upholstery was done in high-end fabrics such as silk, velvet, and leather and with patterns such as plaid, paisley, and even damask.
Today, we tend to shy away from the heavier window treatments, opting instead to let as much light in through our windows as possible.
But, the patterns are still alive and well.
Architectural Details & Accessories
When it comes to the little details, traditional living rooms have it all.
Chandeliers, wall sconces, crown molding, columns, chair rails, panel molding, and wainscoting are all right at home with this style.
10 Traditional Living Room Ideas
This living room screams traditional.
The classic bell lamp shades, deep wood accent furniture, antique pattern on the rug, and vintage armchair come together to make a beautiful look.
This combination of pieces is classic, sophisticated, and homey.
what I like the most about this living room is the wood paneling behind the mounted television. It not only helps pull wood accents into the mantle space, but it also removes the focus from the television.
Traditional With a Twist Living Room
This living room can easily entertain royalty.
The pigeon egg’s blue and navy palette is a gorgeous tone-on-tone combination.
The tiled fireplace flanked by the mirrored dressers gives this living room a more modern feel.
The lamps and gold accessories are a fantastic choice.
The navy-blue drapes complement the bench perfectly, and the traditional patterned rug ties the whole room together.
Lincoln Park, Clifton Avenue
This traditional living room is simply divine.
The light and airy neutral palette with splashes of dark wood tones are an excellent combination.
The result is a timeless, formal room. The fireplace seamlessly blends into the walls, while letting the hand-crafted dark wood furniture do all the talking.
Cathedral Living Room
Look at all the light coming into this room! It’s amazing.
While the cathedral ceilings certainly make this room feel huge, it’s made comfortable by the elegant patterned drapes, mid-tone wood floor, a classic chandelier, and fireplace.
The beige walls and light furniture keep this space light and bright.
You’ll see there is no tv here as is the trend with most traditional living rooms.
They tend to be slightly more formal and conversationally focused.
A feature that I personally love.
Cozy, Ambient Living Room
This traditional living room has a subtle elegance to it, as it coordinates buttery soft tones and calming greens.
The soft floral prints on the curtains and sofa are a signature of the traditional style along with the green and dark wood chairs.
Neutral Traditional Living Room, Philadelphia
This living room features a calming beige palette.
The window treatments are dramatic, with ivory-colored draperies detailed with pom pom fringe.
The comfortable sofas are printed with a lovely tone-on-tone damask pattern.
The dark wood sofa legs coordinate perfectly with the classic round end tables and display cabinet.
The patterned rug brings everything together featuring both the cream and brown tones in the room.
This gives the whole space a beautiful unified look.
Breezy Plains and Prints, Lafayette Residence, San Francisco
What a great example of a modernized traditional living room design.
This dark-walled living room is softened with white windows, ceilings, and a fireplace.
The pairing of solids and patterns in the sofas, armchairs, and rug gives this room a curated, comfortable feeling.
Gray Traditional Living Room with Marble Fireplace, St. Louis
The accent wall fireplace in this gray traditional living room is a real showpiece.
In what would otherwise be a subtle tone-on-tone design, this marble fireplace with a blue accent wall really makes a statement.
It transforms this living room into a romantic, inviting space.
The patterns in the pillows and rug further infuse blue and black into the overall color scheme of the room.
This is another great example of a modern traditional living room.
Artsy Traditional Living Room, Chicago
The citrus and brown pairings in this living room give it an artsy look. It’s very urban chic.
The open floor concept makes this space appear more spacious.
Moreover, the oversized windows and floor-to-ceiling drapes help exaggerate the room as well.
Elegant Neutral Living Room in Atlanta
Okay. This might be my favorite space in this entire list. I am in love with this shade of blue.
This living room smartly mixes traditional furniture with unmistakable modern chevron prints.
The low coffee table creates a minimal focal point and pairs well with the antique silhouette of the ottomans.
The small details are what make this space so elegant. Such as the floor-to-ceiling pleated drapes and the oversized table lamps.
You’ll notice that the lamp heights are all the same.
Take a look at the size of the floor lamp and the picture frames in comparison to the table lamps.
They’re really big and make a huge impact on this space.
In addition, the furniture is expertly mixed and matched. With the exception of the matching ottomans, no two pieces are alike.
This space is so comfortable and cozy looking. You’d never know you were in a high rise in the city.
Styles Similar To Traditional Interior Design
Before I wrap up this post I wanted to take a minute to talk about some of the styles similar to traditional interior design.
As I mentioned earlier, traditional interior design is the baseline for many modern styles.
Most are an evolution of the style in one direction or the other.
Rustic chic, transitional, modern farmhouse, contemporary, and shabby chic are all styles similar to traditional interior design.
Transitional differs from traditional, in that it incorporates contemporary furniture silhouettes and patterns.
The transitional style of interior decorating is very popular right now thanks to designers like Shea McGee and her super successful brand Studio McGee.
This style emphasizes a balance for formality and comfort resulting in a relaxed, inviting space.
Rustic chic is another style that is reminiscent of traditional interior design.
It shares the same love for wood and silhouettes.
The influence from traditional interiors is easy to see.
However, the colors veer more towards distressed light-toned and white-washed wood.
While this is a trend that is on its way out, Modern Farmhouse was everywhere for a very long time. It married the idea of a primitive home life with modern world comforts.
In modern farmhouse interiors, we see lots of wood and white with furniture arrangements that encourage gathering and togetherness.
It’s no wonder this style was so popular for so long.
Contemporary interiors feature furniture sleek smooth lines.
You won’t see a lot of tufting, piping, or patterns with contemporary pieces. The favored shape is rounded.
You’ll see lots of rounded coffee tables, lamps, and end tables featured in contemporary spaces.
Tan, cream, beige, white, and gray are the colors most associated with this style.
Accessories like candle holders, figurines, and other tabletop accents are kept to a minimum.
Also, in contrast to traditional interiors, wall art is more often than not abstract.
Shabby chic takes the antique pieces from the traditional design and creates a timeless vintage-inspired appeal.
It does this with a comfortable color palette and cutesy floral prints, stripes, and polka dots.
Shabby chic initially received some negative reactions. Initially, it was mislabeled as “granny décor” by some. But, that’s not the case at all.
To describe it better, it marries traditional style with soft feminine touches with a nod to the early farmhouse style.
Lace, overstuffed sofas, distressed painted wood in muted colors, dainty floral patterns on linen, and ornate gilt accessories like a gold French mirror are signatures of the style.
Traditional interior design has paved the way for several modern design styles.
It features timeless wood furniture, favors heavy fabrics for draperies, and puts heirlooms on display.
It’s fit for royalty and can be molded into a modernized look with the right mix of plains and prints.
I hope you found this post on traditional living rooms helpful. If you did, please share it with a friend and follow Dianne Decor on Medium for more from me.
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