August 14, 2016

What Is Traditional Style?

Featured on A Stroll Thru Life
Thank You Marty!

Traditional style comes in so many forms today. To illustrate my point I want to share a few pics from Traditional Home magazine with you today.  

I love to browse pics for ideas, and I suspect you do too. Sometimes we see an idea that resonates with us that we can use in our homes. Enjoy! 

Traditional style used to have more of a colonial flavor.  I still have some in my house. What can I say, federal just makes me swoon! 

Many of you like traditional style too. We have chatted, and I know that you love gorgeous wood, tailored window treatments, chinoiserie, brass, old silver, and Persian rugs. 

Lately I have been looking around at some of the "current" traditional styles. They sure are different from the traditional of thirty or even twenty years ago. But, some of the new clean style paired with pieces of antiques is tugging at me. 

I love to use "opposites" together...and maybe that is why I am looking at this new form of traditional. 

I chose each of the pics in this post for a different reason. I am not sure I could go with each look in my house...but I am stepping forward and beginning to appreciate them. 

The settee above seems like an antique, but it looks contemporary to me with the white paint, neutral fabric, and modern gallery of prints. 

I feel that the grey paint makes this a more modern version of traditional. Nothing in this grey room is 1990s traditional style. 

If you put a floral bedspread on the bed and painted the walls a more pastel would have what I call traditional, traditional style. ha! 

Just a couple of changes can really freshen up a room. 

This wood chest and old style mirror in this image are very traditional in my mind...but still the vignette looks so fresh and almost modern. I am thinking it is the crisp white paint, the up to date lamp style...and the colorful art objects on top of the chest. 

Here is another room that looks fresh and somewhat modern, though the chest and table are very traditional in style. Is it the pale grey wall paint, the chippy painted dresser, and the neutral chair fabric that make this "new traditional?" 

Traditional light fixture and chairs above....but a modern farmhouse table. Could it be the light wood table, floor, and walls that are making the space more modern and fresh? I think so. Imagine this exact same setting but with traditional darker wood tones. It might look "old" to us. ha!

Here is another fresh space. I detect some shiplap with crisp white paint, and contemporary settee, and modern vases on the contemporary hall table. Yet...the space is still somewhat traditional. 

Traditional sure has changed a lot. Do you like it? The modern, fresh side of traditional? What will we think of it in twenty years? Will we love the chippy painted china cabinets, and tables?

Traditional style used to have rules. Things matched. Wood. Finishes. Lamps. Tables. 
Not so much today.

Here is another sleek traditional room. There is white shiplap on the ceiling, navy grasscloth on the walls, and a light more natural wide planked floor. In juxtaposition to those styles are the sleek table and chairs. 

Here is a modern traditional room I might go with. The chair, sofa, and coffee table have traditional lines. The pillows and accessories are also more traditional. The lamps, wall art, and round side table nod to the more contemporary side of traditional. 

Everything is just mix and match today! Does that make it harder or easier for us to style our own homes? 

Was it easier when there were style "rules" we could follow? You back in the sixties when you matched the coffee and end tables with the sofa...and had tall matching lamps on the the end tables? (I am thinking of my grandmothers' living rooms right now, and chuckling.)  

But then...I did that in the late seventies when we bought a house. I can remember buying a living room "suite" at one point. ha! I can still see that ugly sofa and chairs in my mind. ha.

This federal style still speaks to me! Look at the wood. Look at those carved chairs...and table pedestals. Swoon. 

I think, or I hope, that there will always be a place for this "old" traditional style in my house.   My kids' homes...well they are not there! :-) 

My son is more traditional than my daughter (style wise.) My daughter has gone mid-century modern on me. While my son has not purchased a house yet, he is saying he will gladly take my traditional furniture hand me downs. (We shall see. wink.)

Where do you fall on this discussion of traditional style? 

Our old traditional house...The Georgian! My furniture worked great in this house. Now...I am retrofitting everything into a downsized one story. What a design adventure! In progress. 

(Traditional Home pics used with permission.)

Which picture above best reflects the style that you like?

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My Kentucky Living
My Kentucky Living

Hello, I'm Sheila and my house is a giant art project! I enjoy creating an environment where my family can feel safe, secure, and loved. We are empty nesters learning to slow down and enjoy life.


  1. I like traditional style very much and it has stood me in good stead in a salt box, a story-and-a-half, a farm house, an apartment in Germany and many other places. I don't believe that Traditional means 'grand'. When I look at magazines like Traditional Home I think that there are many of us for whom the features are nearly irrelevant. Good pieces and a traditional colour scheme, some silver, good window and floor coverings in a traditional style work just as well in a small home too.

    1. I agree...traditional pieces can travel with us. They make a house a matter what or where that home is.

  2. Beautiful examples, Sheila! I love traditional style and just happened to be paging through my latest issue of Traditional Home yesterday. Enjoy your week!

  3. I have always been a every way I guess....I so love these days that you can mix the classic traditional styles with many other styles, be it contemporary for a great updated look and styles from other countries. I guess you can call it Traditional with a Twist...So happy that the styles have become more eclectic and not so matchy matchy as it was when I was first decorating my home!...

    1. I like the traditional with a twist too. I like fun fabric with more traditional pieces of furniture or as drapes.I love color so it helps brighten up a traditional room I guess.

  4. I'm all in with the federal style dining room! This will always be my favorite style, despite what the style "experts" say is in right now. They make money by trying to get people to constantly buy the newest trendy items and get rid of or paint over their beautiful wood furniture. I love and keep what I have and very rarely buy new furniture; basically, just when something (like a sofa) needs replacing.

    By the way, I recently cancelled my subscription to Traditional Homes because the homes they show no longer reflect my taste.

    1. TH has become more modern these days...which makes me wonder what traditional really is these days. ha! :-)

  5. I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your blog! I look forward to every post, and I love your taste! Your home is gorgeous, your taste is immaculate! Thank you for sharing with us!

  6. Beautiful pictures. I like the wood floor in the second picture. It does seem that today's decorating style gives us the ability to mix a variety of styles whereas years ago we would have stuck with one. I like having the freedom to mix!

  7. pretty! :)

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  8. I would say I lean toward traditional, but I like the more modern tweaks you showed in your pictures. Great post, Sheila. I am not good at having a vision and tend to want to go all 'Matchy Matchy'. These are great photos for inspiration. Thanks for linking with #overthemoon!

  9. That enry way is so quaint. I love it. Thank you so much for linking at #overthemoon! I look forward to seeing what you share every week.

  10. Thank you for sharing at #WonderfulWednesday. I look forward to seeing you next week.

  11. Thank you for sharing at #ThursdayFavoriteThings. I hope to see you share again next week!

  12. Love them all, though I'm not as fond of the sleek traditional.
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  13. lovely inspirations and one of my favorite Magazines. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things link party. xo
    P.S. Pinned and just a heads up I have a traditional home post scheduled. I'll postpone it so everyone can enjoy your lovely post

  14. i'm in it for the long tradtional.
    d from the kansas prairie


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