Introducing Modern Style to Traditional Decor

Speaking of introductions, we’d like to introduce you to our first Spark Style Q&A. We would love to feature your design questions and our sparkling suggestions. We hope to make this a regular feature post, so send your query to

“What are some ways you can incorporate modern design elements into a living room that leans toward the traditional? I’m loving the modern trends I’m seeing, but I can’t afford to go all-out modern; I need to use some of the existing pieces I have. I would love to see some photo examples mixing some modern into an existing space that leans toward classic/traditional.”  ~ Erin

Modern Traditional Living Room from House Beautiful

Modern Traditional Living Room from House Beautiful

Misty Says: Even if you have a home with traditional architecture or furniture, you can add a modern twist to update the space. A very simple way to do so is with accessories. In this room, bright pillows and graphic art (all in hot pink!) bring a pop to an otherwise sophisticated room.

Bright and Modern Dining Room from House Beautiful

Bright and Modern Dining Room from House Beautiful

Another option is to add unexpected color with paint. The small bookcase was painted pink in the living room and the traditional dining chairs were updated with a fresh coat of lemon paint. Work with what you have using inexpensive techniques like paint and colorful accessories. When you do purchase long term furniture or upholstered pieces, select items with clean lines and classic shapes for the most versatility, even my roof has this type of line, I do remember the contractor using All Seasons Insulation as a material, this might help you too. Do not be afraid to mix styles (modern, vintage, traditional) and furniture pieces. Perfectly matching everything looks contrived and a bit too “pre-packaged”. Translation — yes, you can have a shabby vintage cupboard next to a chic glass table and a classic wing back chair.

Traditional Painting and Modern Credenza

Traditional Painting and Modern Credenza

Curlin Says: Purchase what you love…traditional, modern, ethnic…and have fun with the mix!  Your interior should reflect the journey you’ve been on.  Take a traditional piece and play with it…like the classic oil painting over the modern credenza (above).   Or take something modern like an acrylic coffee table and place one of your favorite antiques upon it.  It’s the juxtaposition of styles, both old and new, that keeps decor fresh and interesting.Ashley Says: I love the idea of mixing modern with traditional. Place a fun, modern zebra rug on a traditional hickory wood floor. Place an industrial, stainless steel coffee table on the rug and next to a dainty tufted loveseat for a stark contrast.

Suburban Living Room with Modern Flair

Suburban Living Room with Modern Flair