Design Style Spotlight: Traditional - DezignSpace

Design Style Spotlight: Traditional

Style Vibe: Dramatic, stately, warm, elegant, formal, timeless, classic.


Traditional design is a timeless go-to style that exudes refinement and luxurious comfort. It reflects classic European architecture, and styles can hail from France, Italy, the UK, or even Spain. Almost all of the other design styles have their roots in Traditional interior design. It typically incorporates neutrals and rich tones combined with the occasional flash of vibrancy and uses ornate patterns and designs to add an upscale touch. Traditional design aims to create a symmetrical background with rich trappings to draw attention to the room’s focal points.

Want to know which design style matches the vibe you’re going for in your space? Take our quiz to find out! 


What are the Hallmarks of Traditional Design?

The Traditional design style strongly features furnishings with a defined period style or ornamentation, i.e., Queen Anne, the Louis’, Colonial, Victorian, and French Provincial. Other recognizable elements of this style are rich woods, solid colors, formal patterns, and a focus on symmetry, balance, and formality.


Is Traditional Style For You?

This style is a perfect match for those who love antiques, history, and classic art. Because it typically uses larger furniture pieces, Traditional design is ideal for a larger home with plenty of space.


What Does a Traditional Home Look Like?

A home built in the Traditional style will boast elaborate embellishments, such as ornamental molding and trim, cornices, and built-in cabinetry with detailed molding.

How to Design Your Space in the Traditional Style:


Color Palette 

Neutral solid colors, such as gray, tan, beige, brown, white, and pastels, are staples; however, rich colors like saturated jewel tones are also commonly used. 



The Traditional style tends to have heavier, more sumptuous furniture pieces. Wing chairs, Chesterfield seating, claw-footed tables, accents like detailed carvings of leaf or scroll motifs, and furnishings in darker woods are fundamental to this style. Gilt, silver leaf, and inlaid ornamental patterns are easily recognizable Traditional design features. 



Dark hardwoods and ornamental stone are typical of the Traditional style. For even more details on flooring, check the handy dandy resources in The Library!



Classic paintings, ornate vases, and antique lamps should be used throughout your space. Look for accessories that mimic the shape and form of the Traditional architecture and furniture.

Window Treatments

Use ornately detailed hardware to hang dramatic floor-to-ceiling neutral-toned drapery, jewel-toned velvet curtains, or boxed valances with embroidered borders. Check out Drama-free Drapery: Your Detailed Guide to Understanding Window Treatment Basics


What to AVOID When Styling a Traditional Space

The Traditional design style does not typically feature lacquer finishes, laminate, geometric shapes, streamlined hardware, too much black and white, an abundance of bright colors, and asymmetry.


Is the Traditional design style totally your jam? If so, then you are going to LOVE these retailers: 



There’s plenty more where that came from; why not take a peek at another design style spotlight? We think you’ll love the Design Style Spotlight: Transitional.


2 thoughts on this post

  1. The traditional style definitely appeals to me. I love wainscoting, crystal chandeliers, high wingback chairs, and dark wood floors.  But I would say that my style is quite eclectic. I’m not afraid to incorporate the new with the old, in fact, I believe that every home should have a vintage or antique piece, at least in the living room or dining room. I love French country decor, but I also love the very ornate decor, as long as the space doesn’t feel too cramped, dark, or stuffy. I can see and appreciate beauty in any style, even if it is not to my particular taste.

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