I adore classic decor. I like the word “classic” so much better for decor than”traditional”. Traditional has a dowdy ring to it! I strive to keep my decor on the classic side, but I certainly don’t want it to look staid or stale. Sometimes these styles can get stuck in decades past. Not in my house! And you should say the same thing too. If you love classic decor like I do here are 10 ways to kick classic up a notch and make it look very updated and chic!
Today is HOME STYLE SATURDAY. My blogging friends and I are pulling out the best of the best archives and sharing them with you! Make sure to visit the posts at the bottom of this page.
Ready to update? My living room is probably the most classically decorated room in my home. Here’s how I kicked it up a few notches…
Add something personalized. Like a pillow, tray, acrylic box or chair back. Add a little punch of color or a fun rug. Something that “looks like you”!
I know that a zebra rug is not for everyone, but it is for me! Do what you love!
ADD SOMETHING FUN
To keep traditional decor from getting too serious infuse a little fun, whimsy or a modern element to a room. One great fun piece will totally change the room!
This fun chair was purchased for an upstairs bedroom but when we unpacked it in the foyer I knew it would never make it upstairs. It really added a fun casual look to my formal living room! Who knew!!!
CREATE SOME VISUAL TENSION
Don’t get too symmetrical. Try offsetting something in your room! Or add a little rustic to your refined. The idea is to have something that looks just a little surprising, a little askew… a juxtaposition. Now that adds interest!
Even pillows can add a bit of asymmetry!
I added a bit of yellow this summer to the front of StoneGable. I really like the way it pops!
STREAMLINE YOUR CURTAINS
Today’s curtains are sleek and not fussy at all. They don’t drip with trim or yards of fabric. Go for a classic fabric and pattern but keep them very simple.
I go back and forth about changing out these curtains. They are simple and I love the pattern and fabric but maybe another fabric would make the room even more updated! What do you think?
ADD A GREAT RUG
Don’t discount the value of a rug!!!! They can often make a room. Try adding a non-traditional rug to a traditional room and see what happens! Instant update!
Try sisal, animal skins, acid washed orientals. All great choices to work with classic decor! Layer rugs too for a very updated effect.
I know my zebra rug may not be everyone’s pick but for me it makes my heart flutter every time I walk in the room! Find what makes your heart flutter and add it to your classic furnishings!
ADD TRENDY ACCENTS
Replace lots of tiny accents with just a few bigger ones. Look for big lanterns, galvanized metal objects, great faux plants and anything that is trendy and works with your room.
Bigger and fewer is better!
On the Curlacue (yes, that’s how the manufacturer spells it) chest I opted for a huge lantern on one side of it. And I gathered up a couple burlap covered books and a plant in a wire basket. Voila, updated classic! All reasonably priced with lots of texture and interest.
REPAINT THE WALLS
I can’t stress enough how much wall paint will make a difference in the look of a room. Take down any wallpaper over five years old or repaint if you have not done it in a while.
The trend right now is lighter walls. Find a color that works with your furnishings!
These walls used to be a butter yellow and I loved them! When I was ready for an updated color I chose a soft bone called Sonnet by Benjamin Moore. Best decor decision I have made in this house hands down!
CHOOSE INTERESTING ART
Art is such a subjective thing. I say if you love it… leave it! But if you are ready for an updated look try hanging architectural pieces, a big clock, or some funky, conversation provoking art!
I have three pieces of art in this room. A painting by a local DC artist, Daniel Kessler I’ve had for a few years. It’s certainly not traditional and has a modern folk art feel. And one of the most asked questions on my blog is about this giclee. It was actually the inspiration for the update of the living room.
The second is the big clock. Yes, I consider it a piece of art. It is unusual and dramatic. You can see it HERE.
And I have a trio of big chippy frames with old architectural pieces hung on burlap covered canvases. You can see how easy it was to make them HERE.
I must confess I have some very good and traditional art hanging around in my basement gathering dust. But I think it really dates the look of my home. So I opt for more quirky pieces!
FIND NEW PILLOWS
Okay, you knew I had to talk about pillows. Whenever a change is needed think… PILLOWS! They are inexpensive and FABULOUS!
I think pillows are the quickest way to update a classic look. Gone are the days of excessive trim and heavy pillows. Think light, fun, and lots of them!
There is nothing too prim and proper about these fun pillows! Black, yellow and white! What a great way to add fun and not so traditional color to my neutral classic room!
BREAK UP MATCHY MATCHY PIECES
Nothing says dated like furnishings that are too matchy-matchy! Or a “suit” (or suite) of anything. But don’t get rid of them. Separate them! If you have all golden oak case pieces paint one, use one and replace one with something that works with the others. It’s really not hard.
Same with that cherry or mahogany dining room furniture. You might keep the table, paint the chairs and replace the hutch with open shelves or a long cement topped buffet. That is just what I did and it worked for several years. Recently I replaced the table too.
In the living room, there is hardly a piece that matches another. But all the fabrics and patterns and finishes work together. The key? Neutrals, lots of texture and patterns that play nicely together! And don’t forget something fun!
Those are my top 10 ways to kick up traditional or classic furnishings!!!! What’s one way you like to update a classic look? Please share.