The concept of New Traditional sounds a bit like an oxymoron, don’t you think? By rule, tradition itself is something that must be passed generation to generation, therefore it can’t possibly be new.

Like all good things, traditional design has evolved and changed over the years into the New Traditional variant we have today. New Traditional design is the best of both worlds, classic and fresh, livable and luxe, formal and fun. Using a mixture of traditional elements with contemporary touches creates a space that is full of life and personality. There are many levels and iterations when it comes to bringing this unique style into your home. I’ve pinpointed my favorite additions that make for a stunning New Traditional atmosphere, whether you want to tip the scales toward timeless or trendy.

Shift your shapes

There are certainly many hallmarks of traditional design – English arms, barley twist legs, wingbacks and tufting, pleating and ruffles (oh my!). Rich, saturated colors and warm metals and oh, I could go on. And while we love all these things, we don’t shy away from mixing in clean lines and bright colors when it tickles our fancy. Pairing classic silhouettes with on-trend colors or applying traditional patterns to contemporary pieces is what New Traditional style is all about.

Play with patterns

Color, texture and patterns are something to be celebrated, not something from which to shy away. Every well done New Traditional space needs a mix of hard and soft to truly shine. Instead of going the matchy-matchy route, try unexpected pairings like velvet with leather, or a soft floral with a masculine tweed partner for a look that pops.

The drama is in the details (and the layers)

We live by the mantra here, more is more. While clutter isn’t the way to go for a beautiful space, adding subtle finishes to your rooms is what gives it that oomph of style. That means introducing draperies over woven shades, wool rugs layered over jute and ruffles paired with micro welt to your spaces to give it that formal but lived-in feel for which this style is known.

New Traditional design can be done in many forms. Whether you like the dark and moody traditional side or lean toward the new spin of modern, there are plenty of ways to bring your personality into your home.

(Adapted from nellhills.com. Katie Laughridge is the owner of Kansas City interior design destination Nell Hill’s. For more information, contact Katie at info@nellhills.com.)

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