Interpreting Classic Style in Home Decor

interior designer explains classic style in home decor
 The Paris library of Lee Radziwill has a very classic decor which makes it look regal and sophisticated.
While I was driving around with my husband a couple of weeks ago admiring classic as well as modern architecture, while disliking others, made me wonder why some style or home decor become outdated so quickly?  Which brought me to the conclusion that our eyes love and accept what we recognize, understand and make us feel comfortable.  Whether modern or traditional design, as long as they enjoy classic elements, are more appealing and pleasing due to the fact that we can relate to them.  As much as it is important to be unique and different, it is equally important to not stand too far from the classic or traditional characteristics in order for our home not become antiquated and unappealing too quickly.  Elle Decor has a very interesting article about Classic elements every traditional home should have.  The article doesn't specify choice of color when it comes to a more classic decor, however the home chosen as an example is not in whites or neutral.  Interestingly though, lately I see a pattern where people exclusively attribute only neutral palettes to classic style.   I understand why some people may tend to associate only neutral colors with traditional design.  Neutrals are soothing and they always match but, ever since the Baroque times, classic style rooms have been painted in rich saturated colors.  Classic style can also be found in modern lines such as those found in Mid-Century modern furniture and architecture.  New York Times wrote a very interesting article about Why mid-century design won't die?

10 Characteristics and Elements of Classic Traditional Design in Interiors 


A traditional classic home displays symmetry throughout creating a balance and harmonious environments to our homes.  Symmetry gives us a sense of calmness and peace of mind.  Ways to create symmetry in a home is by repetition of mirroring objects in a room for example a perfectly symmetrical living room with be where one side of the room mirrors the other placing the furniture in ways were they reflect one another.

Decorative Elements

Molding, crown moldings as well as traditional marble floors and or wood parquet floor create a more classic ambiance into a home. Adding picture frames will also help bring traditional details without spending much money. 

Elaborate Fireplace Mantels

Whether the mantle is in marble or wood, opting for an elaborate one will be an easy way to bring some classic elements into any home decor. 

Blue and white accents

Blue and white porcelain is one of the most traditional accessories anyone can incorporate into their homes.  Their nature inspired combination is as classic as it can be. 

Black and White Checked Floor

This may imply more of a permanent change but it's so worthy.  A black and white checkered floor could enhance and bring traditional influences to any home.  An easy way to create a black and white checkered floor without going to go through renovation route is by painting your wood floors.  All you'll need is tape, tape measurements, paint and a long weekend.

Wall Paper

Wall paper especially if they have flower, or scenic design on them is a true classic.  Wallpaper a screen and use it as art if you don't want to commit to wallpaper on your walls or if you live in a rental. 

Window Treatments

A classic home will not be traditional without curtains or fabric shades. 

Decadent Chandeliers

Crystal chandeliers bring glam and grandeur to traditional design in home decor.  

Antique Persian-Style or natural fiber rugs

Rugs are a popular component of traditional homes.  Depending on your style the types of rug can be limitless from Oushak, Turkish, Kurdish rug which are hand woven to form intricate designs or for more casual but still traditional style, there are natural fiber rugs such as Jute or sisal.  


Either passed down from generations or bought at a store, antiques have a main role in classic design.  Even reproductions can be use when originals are not available.

interior decorators explains classic home decor style
 Cynthia Frank's Southampton home has checkered floor and blue and white furniture.  A perfect example of a classic decor.
interior designer defines classic style in home decor
 The red leather of this Louis VXI style chair makes it fresh and up-today.
interior decorator writes about classic home decor
Elements such as sisal or sea grass rug combined with blue and white pottery, white walls and high ceilings are traditional details of Classic American Home Decor.
home decor ideas for classic style
 Jeffrey Bilhuber effortlessly classic style.
Beautiful view of this staircase.  Black and white checkered floor, sisal stair runner.  Designed by James F. Carter.
Regardless of your preference of using color or not for a classic design, it's important to keep the overall result timeless and one way of doing this is by incorporating contrast to keep things up-to-date and interesting.  Successfully mixing the old with the new, refreshing our eyes with a new abstract painting, new sculpture while keeping us comfortable and at ease with a classic background architecture.  
 Suzanne Kasler design.  Love how the high contrast among the furniture brings this entry way up today. 
 Nate Berkus used a mixture of different furniture is refreshing.
Elaborates crown moldings, herringbone floors and mid-century style furniture is another way of expressing classic style.
living room that is modern and classic at once
A much more modern approach to classic style but equally beautiful.  The lucite top tables bring modern classic lines to this space.  Soothing tones of blue in this living room.  Design by Lee Mindel
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