The New Traditional: A Clean and Luxurious Combination

A sea change is occurring in design emphasizing a light feel with interspersed treasured pieces. Gone are the days of a very traditional space.  The New Traditional has emerged bringing together a simple look of elegance, while paying homage to the past by incorporating heirloom pieces but without the heaviness.

Here are some ways you can incorporate the New Traditional design into your space.



Simplify your life by paring down spaces that feel heavy.  Remove unnecessary items, lighten up a space by replacing heavy drapery with airy-feeling window treatments or paint old and tired walls or furniture and you’ll feel like you’ve gained more square footage.  Plus, this look gives the space a stylish, yet simple aesthetic. Imperfections are okay, too. For example, if you have bead board walls with cracks in them…give the bead board a fresh coat of paint leaving the imperfections.

A Touch of the Unexpected

Simplified doesn’t mean sterile. You still can create a space with drama and luxury.  For example, add a bold chandelier as a focal point to a space that has neutral colored velvet sofas paired with a fur-draped chair to add wow factor into a relatively simple aesthetic.

Nails Not Needed

Leaning a mirror or artwork on an heirloom piece, mantel or even bedside table brings a modern and fresh feel to a space.  Plus, it beats knocking a lot of nail holes in the walls.

The Devil is in the Details

Now that you’ve removed all unnecessary items from the space, it’s time to add in the small details.  Let’s say you have gold-tone vintage chairs and an heirloom buffet in your dining space…add a gold framed elegant piece of artwork above the buffet to compliment the rich gold tones in the vintage chairs.  Removing, repurposing or repositioning pieces of furniture, artwork or accessory can alleviate heaviness from a room.

Going for the Gold


Gold is back, but the most on-trend furnishings and accessories display an almost modest luxury. The secret to good design using gold is proportion: Do too much and you’re in aureate overload; do too little and it’s cute. In between lies the sweet spot of perfection.  Gold pops in a simple, light and airy space. Add gold pendants over your kitchen island, place a gold accessory on your sofa side tables. The possibilities are endless.  Have fun and remember to balance the gold pieces with the other items in your space.

Lighten the Dark

Carpeting, area rugs and curtains with heavy textures combined with dark woods like cherry and mahogany make a room feel weighty.   Balance the space by lightening walls and ceilings with white paint and adding a dark floor.  Dark mixed with light strikes a harmonious note when done properly.

Take stock of your home and look for ways to incorporate the New Traditional look into your design scheme.  Simplify, add the unexpected, be mindful of the details, add gold, and balance light and dark design elements.  Your home will feel lighter and brighter and so will you!

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