A concern among my clients is not knowing if they should decorate traditional homes in a contemporary interior style. They become so conflicted and flustered & feel like they are betraying the house, it’s like some sordid affair!

I hate rules. I hate interior design rules more. I get sad when clients think that there is only one right answer to their homes decor. They study the textbooks ( houzz, pinterest, instagram) & really want to pass the test and find the one right way to do it.

Copying designs from Houzz, Pinterest and Insta is a great way to hate your end result. Sure, take some inspiration- but infuse it with your own tastes & quirky items.  If you have a contemporary personal style, there are ways to make that work in your traditional home.

Here are some tips for decorating & painting your home in a contemporary style if you live in a traditional home:

  • Use a few bold paint colors and modern light fixtures to cheer it all up
  • Paint all trim/built-ins to match the walls it is on, just change the sheen ( satin for trim and eggshell for walls) -This helps take away the traditional feature of bright white trim on a colored wall and lets you see the whole space. This also quiets  visual input and makes the space feel more zen and open.
  • Pick one major traditional feature in the house like, the fireplace, the front door, the chandelier, the coffered ceiling, all the floors- and paint it an amazing color like, Black, Dark Blue/Green, Red or Neon Pink! Let your light shine!
  • Put all the clutter a w a y . better yet, give it away!
  • Take down the upper cabinets in your kitchen and put up wood open shelves. Get bright colored dish ware that all matches and place it artfully on the shelves.
  • Paint all the walls and ceilings and trim a neutral soft white ( with a touch of yellow in it, trust me) and get brightly colored furnishings. Rich red patterned rugs, aqua sofas.
  • Find or make some humorous, playful wall hangings( like a paper mache deer head) for over the fireplace etc.
  • Paint all of the interior doors black.
  • Buy items like lamps and sofas that are a traditional shape but modern in color/texture- like large yellow lacquer bulb lamps- ornate chandeliers that are all one color like pink or aqua or a gold velvet chesterfield sofa.
  • Buy thick drapery with a quirky print.
  • Be bold.

I hope this helps you take the leap!



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