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A Simple Guide To Modern Traditional Home Interiors

Posted on: 17.05.2021

What is Modern Traditional Interior Design?

(aka; Updated Traditional; New Traditional; Contemporary Traditional!)

A quick Google of “Modern Traditional Decor” and you will quickly discover this is a design concept open to a lot of interpretation.  Your search may list interior design styles labelled as grandmillennialism, matchimalism and neo-traditionalism (try saying those quickly!)  

They all represent a revival in traditional styles and outwardly present very different looks from chinoiserie clad rooms to granny chic. Despite the altogether different translations of this style, the essential character of all Contemporary traditionalism is comfort, beauty and timelessness.  

Modern Traditional design generally evokes a sense of gathering and family in a casual, unfussy way.  It gives you all the timeless elegance but without the stuffiness. 

This is what’s so great about a Modern Traditional design style as there are no rigid set of rules to follow meaning you can get creative with an eclectic mix of vintage and contemporary decor – giving you a style that reflects your personality and is uniquely yours. 

So if you have grandma’s favourite display cabinet sat gathering dust in the corner of your attic or garage, it’s time to get it out and display it proudly in your living room or bedroom.

Modern Traditional combines the classic shapes and vintage appeal of traditional decor, with the clean lines and simplistic hues of contemporary furnishings. It’s the balance (and it is all about the balance!) of old meets new that can make a space feel refined and elegant yet relaxed and cosy at the same time.

We have these helpful ideas for creating a Modern Traditional look:

How to get the right balance

A good way of making the blend between traditional and contemporary work is to let one style dominate and influence your furniture choices.  Introducing accessories and accent pieces of the other style will balance and harmonise your Modern Traditional look. 

If you have a house with Victorian features you might want to introduce the minimalist lines of modern furniture and create a traditional space with modern accents. Alternatively, you may have a new build house but aiming for Regency splendour creating a modern design with traditional pieces. 

Create Symmetry

Symmetry is a key trait of traditional decor, and is pleasing to the eye.

Pairing bookshelves, mirrors, or unique framed portraits are . Placing them opposite one another will give a nice sense of balance in your living room.

There are other easy ways to create a sense of symmetry without the need of a drill or hammer by using home accessories such as lamps or throw pillows. (Not everything needs to be paired up or the room will get that “try hard” vibe that this is all about the relaxed look!)

Harmony or Contrast?

Do you want to create harmony between the two styles or contrast?  Using a neutral palette or blending colours, textures, patterns or shapes creates a more harmonised, calming look, while contrast creates visual interest and excitement. 

Whether you’re striving for harmony or contrast, you can blend your traditional and contemporary pieces in a few different ways. Heritage paint colours can act as a bridge between styles without seeming dated.

Woods in natural, honed or painted finishes will complement and bring added warmth whilst also marrying together modern and traditional furnishings.

As you pick out  your furniture, look at each item in detail. Consider what attracts you to the visual attributes of the piece. Is it the colour, texture or shape? By working out what draws you to each piece of furniture, you can find a way to weave your collection together by adding pieces with similar attributes. This will allow you to tie the styles together seamlessly.

Transcend Time with Houseplants

House plants and floral arrangements add the perfect finishing touch in a Modern Traditional living room.  They’re timeless and beautifully bridge both traditional and contemporary styles  – Go large and tall with sprawling ferns and palms to add regency and Victorian splendour.  Or if you’re looking to add a modern touch to a dominantly traditional room – choose succulents, cacti, Dragon trees or Fiddle leaf fig trees. 

Contemporary and Classic Hues

Many updated traditional spaces often use a muted colour in larger areas, and highlighted by accessories in soft, metallic accents or pops of colour. Wall decor, rugs, pillows, and florals are a great way to add hints of colour… and the best bit is that they’re super easy to change every up every once in a while.

Let your Sofa make the Statement

If you love classic and traditional shapes consider a classic sofa design in a non-traditional colour. Opting for a muted version of one of your favourite shades will add personality and make your living room stand out!

A Chesterfield sofa sets a traditional tone. Matching sets of end tables, table lamps, and accent chairs create a symmetrical arrangement that feels both elegant and effortless. 


Would you describe your style as Modern Traditional?  Are you inspired to get the family heirlooms out and have a go at styling them together with your contemporary furnishings?

We would love for you to share your Modern Traditional homes with us and help inspire other #cabyncrew.

Love from Emma & Emily


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