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Comfort Food: Fresh Traditional Style

by Andrea Doxey April 29, 2020

Comfort Food: Fresh Traditional Style


I find when things don't feel quite right around me, I go back to basics. Comfort food, my favourite music and traditional decorating. It will come as no surprise that traditional design is inspired by the past. "Styles and pieces reflect historical design elements using natural materials and colours," says interior designer Erin Gates. True traditional design may feel boring to some, but it's predictable for a reason. So let's dig in, shall we!

A Nod to the Past

Haters of traditional design will say it's too stuffy and dated, but it can be done in a way that is fresh and new. For example, mixing prints with different scales, adhering to a limited colour palette and not fussing with small accessories are the way to fresh traditional style. If you love this design style, you've probably pinned one of Sister Parish's designs to your inspo board without even knowing it. She was one of the most iconic designers in American history who exemplified traditional decorating, and her style is still clearly relevant today. She was a favourite of the ever-timeless Jackie O and spent much of her time decorating the White House during the JFK era.



Layer Up The Fabrics

"Palettes can be bold and saturated or pale and soft, but tend to be welcoming and not jarring or too graphic," Gates says. Layering fabrics is a pillar of this design style and some of my favourites are below.



Magnificent Millwork

I love millwork. period. It goes the extra mile and brings a lovely room to a new level. Painted all out in a single tone (even the ceiling in some cases!) creates a seamless canvas with instant architectural detail.



Warm Up Your Walls With Wallpaper

Nothing says guts quite like running with wallpaper. Is it a commitment? Yes, but living on the edge is more fun, isn't it? If you want to wallpaper, but don't quite want to jump in with both feet, pick a small room like a powder room. Just look at the impact it can make...



"Be faithful to your own taste, because nothing you really like is ever out of style."

- Billy Baldwin



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