Do You Really Know Traditional Interior Design?

traditional, traditional furniture, traditional home decor, interior design styles

[Updated 12/11/2018]

The Home Decorator’s Guide to Traditional Interior Design

You enjoy spending Sunday afternoon in a museum or browsing in antique shops. You understand people who prefer printed books to an e-reader. We would likely find you eating dinner in a cozy dining room with a grandiose rug underfoot.

If these statements ring true, your design soul mate is traditional. Warm, elegant surroundings speak to you, and you strive to create a timeless look and feel in your home. Your space leaves people commenting with words like:

Words to Describe Traditional Style

  • Balanced
  • Lavish
  • Detailed
  • Warm
  • Soft
  • Luxurious
  • Welcoming
  • Timeless
  • Unified
traditional desk

Traditional style is tailored and refined. Pleasing balance and warm color palettes create a comfort zone that truly stands the test of time. And when we say comfort zone, we’re talking serious cozy vibes!

Before central heating, people kept warm by snuggling in a fur blanket next to the fireplace. They layered rugs to avoid walking on a cold floor. Even the furniture was created with comfort in mind. Wingback chairs, for example, have enveloping back panels to capture and surround you in warmth from the fireplace.

traditional sofa

Key Traditional Furniture

  • Canopy beds
  • Sheraton style pieces
  • Chippendale furniture
  • Chesterfield sofas
  • Victorian era furnishings
  • Queen Anne furniture
  • Large, patterned rugs
  • Carved showood chairs
  • Long, heavy curtains
  • Chandeliers
  • Wingback chairs

Think back to the last conversation you had that felt unforced and genuine. That feeling, that personal connection is the cornerstone of traditional design.

Born in an era before digital communication, traditional design values face-to-face communication. Comfort furniture, soft textures and warm color palettes create a soothing environment that encourages natural social exchanges (#realtalk for our modern conversationalists).

Traditional spaces disarm. They encourage friendly gatherings. Notice how the room setups below angle chairs toward a sofa for better eye contact and social intimacy.

traditional dining set

Some people instinctively turn a cold shoulder to this formal design—like the readers who scoff and scroll past this post as soon as they see “traditional.” Many have preconceived ideas of prim, stiff design.

However, traditional style is incredibly warm and inviting. There’s a reason it has endured into the 21st Century. It’s a well-known friend. In fact, you may already be familiar with one of the following traditional landmarks.

Famous Traditional Spaces

  •  The Stanley Hotel (“The Shining”)
  • The White House
  • Von Trapp Villa (“The Sound of Music”)
  • Highclere Castle (“Downton Abbey”)
  • Chicago Theater
  • Buckingham Palace
  • The Neuschwanstein Castle (“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”)
  • Bellagio casino and hotel
  • Biltmore Estate
  • Alnwick Castle (“Harry Potter”)
traditional bedframe

After seeing these examples, you may notice some trends. Wood carvings? Check. Elaborate accents? Check. In fact, if we had to sum up traditional style in three words it might be: details, details, details. Such as:

Traditional Style Details

  • Baroque flourishes
  • Ball and claw legs
  • Roll arms, scroll backs
  • Damask, paisley, floral patterns
  • Rich wood tones
  • Sculptured accents
  • Crown moldings
  • Soft, scalloped edges
  • Turned feet
  • Button tufting
traditional living room

What are your favorite features of traditional design? Share photos of your traditional space with us on our Facebook page or tweet us @ShopHomemakers.

Interested in learning about other design styles? Check out our collection of videos and infographics on all interior design styles. And keep watching our blog for a brand new design style feature coming soon. Hint: it involves charming, nature-inspired trends.

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