Decorating Traditional Style

Without a doubt, traditional style remains at the top of the popularity charts in Americas home decorating. Gracious and inviting, traditional design evokes images of understated elegance and the grand style of the 18th and 19th century — and the warmth and classical comfort many of us remember from our childhood homes. But if you equate, traditional and grand with old and stodgy, it’s time to take another look. While elegance and history still personify this style, a definite and growing movement to bring traditional design into a fresher, more relaxed realm is well underway.

Some tips on energizing this venerable decorating style include:

Choose Colors Wisely: Softer colors impart a more contemporary, relaxed approach to original traditional style. If you prefer a more formal traditional palette, select jewel tone colors with gold and silver accents.

Pair Old with New: Antiques and antique reproductions can be used together successfully and are key to achieving the best possible traditional look.

Mix and Match Fabrics and Textures: When selecting upholstery, accent and drapery fabrics, choose those that work well together, but do not necessarily match. Keep in mind that upholstery fabrics should be able to withstand years of wear.

Accessorize, but Avoid Clutter: Today’s most successful and elegant traditional interiors, keep accessories to a minimum.

Try an Eclectic Take on Traditional: Every piece of furniture in a room does not have to suit a classic traditional vein. It is common today to find a fantastic traditional interior where something from a different genre — even contemporary art — is successfully utilized.

For the bedroom, Collectors Cherry provides consumers with maximum versatility with several bed, chest and dresser options. In addition to a stately four-poster bed is a sleek sleigh bed accentuated with a high back to accommodate todays thicker pillow-top mattresses. A signature piece is the Susannah bed, a fully upholstered winged channel-back headboard available in 1,000 fabrics and — for a surprisingly contemporary touch — soft and supple leather.

Dining options include an oval and a handsome rectangular double-pedestal table that can be paired with either Queen Anne or Chippendale arm and side chairs, all with graceful cabriole legs. Numerous storage and display options include three china designs: a corner and breakfront china carrying the broken pediment with flame finial motif — which can be conveniently removed to fit the space constraints of homes with lower ceilings — and a canted china with four beveled glass doors. In addition to the classic sideboard, the group includes a mobile server with foldout top for convenience and extra serving space.

The new identity of traditional is sometimes different, but is still of fine woodworking, craftsmanship and graceful lines. Collectors Cherry is just one of the many familiar styles that relax the strict tenets of traditional style. In this new, more relaxed mode of traditional decorating, fabric color and texture may seem less formal, albeit no less elegant. At the same time, wood furniture and finishes are being mixed and matched less strictly. Old and new are paired side-by-side without apology.