I’m excited to introduce my series for the next few weeks! We are going to decipher some of the most common interior design styles and help you figure out what your interior design style is! We’ll work our way from the traditional style to (my favorite) the transitional and everything in between. Some of you may work in a few different styles in your own homes. But knowing what your tendencies are is a great way to communicate with designers and other design/tradespeople.
Today, lets delve into the world of the traditional interior design style. When you think traditional, think of balance, clean lines, and calm colors.
The Traditional Style: An Overview
The traditional interior design style has roots in many places: 18th and 19th century France and England are the big ones, mixed with a few Eastern locations. You would probably dub it as “classic” or “homey”; there are no surprises with the traditional style.
- All parts of the space match
- Accessories tend to show up in pairs
- Symmetry is EVERYWHERE!
- A casual feel—nothing fussy
- Gentle curves help to create a soft feel and lead your eye around the space
Fabrics and furniture in the traditional style could feel predictable, but, if done well, they can also have a cozy, fresh, and comfortable feel.
- Common fabrics are floral and stripes. Nothing shiny, animal print, or too crazy here! Think muted.
- Furniture: simple lines and curves with some detailed carving
- Crown molding, chair rails, and carved moldings are quite common and dress the space up a bit
- Window Treatments: pleated sheers, cornices, and valances are traditional staples. Long, hanging curtains are also popular in this style, either straight or swagged.
- Colors tend to be in the mid-tones
- Tone-on-tone is popular
- Beige, pearl, and white are very common wall colors, though more muted colors are great for a little surprise in the traditional setting.
- Muted peaches (not quite pink), greens and tans are the most common colors. Pastels are always acceptable!
- Warm woods tones such as mahogany, cherry and maple
Traditional furniture carries on the characteristics of the style that we mentioned before. Fabrics tend to be muted colors in stripes, florals, and plain. While warm tones are popular choices for wood, such as walnut, cherry and maple. You will see a variety of furniture styles but the most popular are:
- The Sheraton style chair. This style is the boxiest of the traditional furniture. Legs tend to be straight or tapered, sometimes looking like Roman columns. Even though it’s a less curvy style, there is a much lighter feel than the Chippendale and Queen Anne styles that are so popular in traditional interior design. The Sheraton style is my favorite because pieces often have secret drawers and compartments!
- Chippendale style furniture is very similar to Queen Anne, which is next on our list. Pieces tend to have curved legs (or cabriole), and an intricately carved back (called a splat).
- Queen Anne furniture also has curved legs, and a pad foot (looking like a squished sphere). Chair seats are generally horseshoe shaped and rather than a carved or intricate back, there is a solid back (usually shaped like a vase or urn).
The traditional style is beautiful and clean. It can be simple or intricate—it’s up to you! In writing this post, I realized that I have a lot more traditional design in my home than I thought. I can’t resist the beautiful curves in the furniture! What do you think? I’d love to hear what your favorite parts of the traditional style are in the comments below.
Make sure to check out my Design Style Vault to see all the different types of interior design styles and how you can pull them off in your home!