There’s no question that the traditional design style is here to stay. It’s a timeless, versatile style that works in any room and can be recreated with any budget. The cornerstones of a traditional living room are neutral color palettes, clean organic lines, vintage or historical influences, and classical patterns. Read on to discover some tips and tricks to bring a modern traditional style to your own living room.
17 Traditional Living Room Design Ideas – Beautiful And Simplistic
- Embrace Symmetry
- Work with the Natural Structure of the Room
- Choose an Accent Color for a Coordinated Look
- Steer Clear of Modern Styles and Opt for Vintage Accents
- Have Fun with Patterns
- Take a Risk with an Accent Wall
- Combine Modern and Classic Silhouettes
- Stick to a Light and Neutral Color Scheme
- Metallic Accents Add an Element of Luxury
- Consider Combining Warm and Cool Tones
- Incorporate Natural Textures
- Create a Social Environment with Your Layout
- Choose Items with a Handcrafted Feel
- Eclectic Decor? No Problem
- Go Classic and Formal
- Choose Comfortable, Versatile Silhouettes
- Keep it Natural
1. Embrace Symmetry
The traditional style is all about clean, coordinated silhouettes and there’s nothing more calming and pleasing than a mirrored layout. Create a symmetrical look by centering your furniture around the main focal point of the room and reflecting matching pieces on opposite sides. This example shows how situating doubles of certain elements (like the table lamps and couches) in a mirror-like pattern can create a beautiful and calming atmosphere.
2. Work with the Natural Structure of the Room
If your living room has a bit of character, incorporate it into the design. While a popular focal point in a traditional room is a fireplace, if you have a large beautiful window or alcove, arrange your furniture around it to show it off. This sets the focal point of your room in a creative and interesting way that’s unique to your home.
3. Choose an Accent Color for a Coordinated Look
While traditional designs are generally very neutral, there’s no reason to be afraid of color. In this example, the main color scheme consists of whites and greys, but the pops of yellow and orange tie the look together and make it come alive. Sticking to one accent color can keep your scheme from becoming too overwhelming or chaotic. Incorporate the color you choose into accessories and decor throughout the room.
4. Steer Clear of Modern Styles and Opt for Vintage Accents
Traditional styles fall in the middle between the sharp and harsh lines of midcentury modern and the ornate, opulent curves of baroque. It takes influence from historical lines and shapes but in a more subtle, downplayed way. When choosing your furniture and accents, look for shapes based on vintage or historical pieces and steer clear of sharp, straight lines that make the room feel too modern.
5. Have Fun with Patterns
There’s no reason that a Traditional living room has to be stuffy or plain. While rooms in this style tend to be subdued and muted, if you love a good pattern, don’t be afraid to incorporate it into your look! Choose throw pillows, decorative accents, and soft furnishings in a variety of patterns. To keep the patterns from clashing or looking too chaotic, make sure to stick to just one or two colors.
6. Take a Risk with an Accent Wall
While brightly colored walls are usually reserved for more eclectic styles, there’s no reason to shy away from a beautiful rich color to help tie the room together. I love this example of a green accent wall that pulls together the whites of the fireplace and side cupboards with the rich colors of the art and metallic decor accents. When choosing your color, consider the light level of the room, your existing decor, and whether the color will overwhelm or complement your design.
7. Combine Modern and Classic Silhouettes
If your tastes lean more on the modern side, that doesn’t mean you can’t embrace the serenity of the timelessness of a traditional style. For every modern piece you introduce, add a classic element as well. This example uses streamlines, minimalistic furniture mixed with a crystal chandelier, a traditional rug, and luxurious gold accents. This creates a balance between traditional and modern aesthetics.
8. Stick to a Light and Neutral Color Scheme
While color is an excellent way to liven up a room, a traditional space will always contain several elements of white, off-white, beige, or pale grey. Sticking to pale colors not only brightens up rooms that lack natural light on their own, but also gives a clean, minimal, and high-end feel to your room. Not every element has to be white to create this effect, but try keeping your main elements (sofa, area rug, fireplace, accent chairs, etc) light neutrals in a variety of shades.
9. Metallic Accents Add an Element of Luxury
If you’re looking to add a little bit of glam to your living room without going over the top, the traditional design style may be the one for you. With its calm colors, timeless shapes, and elegant layout, going traditional is the perfect way to subtly elevate your living room. In this example, the main color scheme is pale neutrals and washed-out pastels, and the gold accents in the table, lighting, and chandelier bring the room together with just the right amount of glamour.
10. Consider Combining Warm and Cool Tones
Your living room should be a serene, inviting place to relax and socialize. When choosing a color scheme for this room, you want a cozy, neutral atmosphere that doesn’t overwhelm you. The above example combines a lovely soft grey with a warm cinnamon orange. The overall effect is comfortable and warm without going too over the top.
11. Incorporate Natural Textures
The texture is just as important as color and layout when you’re pulling together your living room design. Traditional themes don’t rely on synthetics, plastics, or acrylics. Think natural fabrics and fibers like cotton, linen, and leather, and don’t be afraid to combine them or incorporate them throughout the room. I love this example above that uses leather in the chair, to tie in with the wooden furniture and natural fabric sofa.
Traditional living rooms are all about entertaining and because of their warm and welcoming atmosphere, they’re meant to be shown off. Instead of facing the chairs in your room toward the television or fireplace, create an open area that facilitates conversations and interaction. In this example, the chairs and sofas are turned to face each other around a statement wooden coffee table and the overall effect is cozy and inviting.
13. Choose Items with a Handcrafted Feel
Traditional doesn’t have to mean tired, old-fashioned, or outdated. The best traditional designs know how to incorporate elements that look and feel timeless. I love in this example that the designer used a variety of wooden elements, from the side table to the rocking chairs and console table. The pieces don’t all match and have different colors and shapes, but they all come together because they’re timeless pieces that will never go out of style. The mismatched look creates a more casual environment.
14. Eclectic Decor? No Problem.
Many people think that traditional style is limited to the minimal decor in classic shapes and that there’s no room to play around with more quirky pieces and items, but this isn’t true. As long as your pieces can coordinate together and blend into the overall scheme without sticking out, there’s no reason why you can’t bring some of your unique styles to your traditional living room. Take a look at this room that combines a variety of different styles of decor by pulling them all together under a cohesive color scheme of gold, white, and silver.
15. Go Classic and Formal
Traditional style can go casual, or it can be the perfect option for a formal sitting room. Choosing the right silhouettes and patterns is crucial to building a stylish and modern yet elegant room. This blue and white design uses soft colors and textures to create a delicate atmosphere while the ornate details like the chandelier and classic damask curtains dress up space and give a refined feel to the room.
16. Choose Comfortable, Versatile Silhouettes
One of my favorite things about the traditional style is its familiarity; there’s comfort in turning toward beautiful and versatile pieces that won’t feel dated in a few years. When picking out furniture, consider if the shape and style are inviting and comforting and whether you’ll still feel that way in five, ten, even fifteen years. Sometimes simplicity wins out over more ornate elements that are more style-over-function.
17. Keep it Natural
Source: (Poster Store)
There’s nothing more timeless and inviting than a natural scheme. Traditional styles will often bring the outdoors in but in a curated and coordinated way. I love this example of a living room in soft, muted greens and grays featuring a wide variety of nature art and photography. The result is a room that showcases the beauty of the outside world while keeping the scheme clean, minimal, and cozy.