At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Traditional interior design is typically evocative of classic European decor. Hallmarks of this style generally include deep wood tones, architectural details, and elegant furnishings. This style is quite versatile and can be combined with other interior elements to create a unique look in a room.
One of the most important facets of traditional interior design is the silhouettes, also called the lines, of the furnishings. Wing-backed chairs, claw footed tables, and curved furniture pieces that hearken back to the 18th and 19th centuries are examples of this. Common models for such traditional furniture are pieces attributed to the Queen Anne or Chippendale styles. Antiques are also often integrated into this design style, but many companies sell new pieces that mimic the lines of the old.
Architectural embellishments are widely used in this type of interior design. These can include elaborate moldings, beveled wood paneling, and intricate tile and wood floor patterns. Arches, columns, and built-in cabinetry are also frequent features of this type of design.
Rich wood tones are another key element in traditional interior design. Dark woods like cherry, maple, and mahogany are typically used in furniture pieces of this style. These are often carved and lacquered to give them a luxurious, elegant feel. Wood floors are also considered a standard for this decor, although tile and carpet are often used as well.
Color is generally important in any decorating theme. The walls are typically painted neutral colors to visually ground the elaborate furnishings. While such colors may also be used for large upholstered pieces, most furniture in this type of room incorporates rich shades of colors like red, blue, and brown. Artwork and accessories often incorporate more vibrant colors in a traditionally designed room.
Fabrics in traditional interior design often come in solid colors, but many also feature patterns such as florals, damasks, or paisleys. These textiles are often expensive materials like silk, velvet, or cashmere. This style is considered by many designers to be flexible enough to also incorporate more affordable and easy to care for fabrics, such as cotton or linen. Accents, like throw pillows, may then be used to incorporate the more costly textiles.
Although elegant, traditional interior design often also emphasizes simplicity and comfort in its layout. Pairings of furniture and accessories are common in this design scheme. This is often done to create a sense of symmetry around a focal point, such as a favorite work of art, a fireplace, or a large piece of furniture.