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So, guys, here’s the tea. Traditional design gets a bad rap...

It’s unfortunately synonymous with other terms like “old lady,” or “mammaw” or “dated.” It’s easy to see why that happens. Traditional design, by its very definition, is...traditional. It’s been done before, over and over, and, like the sun always rises in the East, it never changes. When someone has traditional design tastes, their style is predictable. There’s no original ideas or unique concepts here. Let’s not mince words, traditional design is basic.

But, there’s another way to look at it. Traditional design is peaceful. It’s always tasteful, palatable, easy to digest. When eyes land on familiar shapes and patterns, they feel, instantly and undeniably home. That skirted sofa might look like your grandma’s, but it will also flood you with joyful memories, rich with guttural laughter and forbidden sugar. When you see a vase etched in paisley, you will remember something special, and therefore, homey. Traditional design is rich in familiarity and plentiful in sanctuary.

You’ll know this safe and soothing design style when you see skirted sofas, curved lines, a warm color palette, rich wood tones, and elegant carvings. Fabrics will be thick, spun with cotton or silk and patterned with gingham, buffalo check, toile, paisley, and jacquard. Tones are likely a delicate dance between a dominant jewel tones and a subservient beige. The overall aesthetic is unintrusive. The result of these timeless design choices is a style that is inviting, homey, and soothing to your soul. Come in, honey, and put your feet up. You’re home.

If your living room is calling to you to create a more sophisticated version of traditional design, cool the color palette with a blue-undertoned gray, a bold tribal pattern, and an added bit of texture. Rather than showcasing the traditional ficus, pot a fiddle leaf fig in your grandmother’s copper hearth bucket. Look for pieces that curve and offer visual interest. Add comfort with warm and snuggly textures. And don’t ever be afraid to add that one piece with a good story. All traditions started somewhere.

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