Whether you’re renovating a cherished family home or bringing personality to your brand-new dream house, the dignity and grandeur of a traditional home can be yours.
In this age of flat-packed furniture and the minimalist aesthetic, why opt for a traditional style? It’s long proven, for one thing, loved by millions of people for hundreds of years. And it originated by designers who created the principles for making a space harmonious and satisfying. Most of the west’s traditional home styles date back somehow to forms used in ancient Greece and Rome. They highlight timeless visual values found in the symmetry and patterns of nature. They are, to put it bluntly, a sure thing.
This long history has given the lover of traditional styles an almost limitless number of ways to build and decorate a home. You can have a traditional home that pays homage to history and also expresses your personal tastes and passions and features your favourite colours. Such a home will please you, your family, and your guests.
There is also nothing akin to the feeling of comfort that a traditional home can give, as you spend year after year with its glorious architecture, décor, and luxurious materials. You don’t have to move to an English manor house or inherit a villa in Tuscany. With Reid’s expert help, you can make your own history right here, close to the people and places you love.
Your whole home can be given a traditional look by applying classic mouldings and baseboards to walls and doorways. This can visually unify the home as well. Wallpaper in traditional patterns can do the trick, too, as can rich old-world carpets. But here are some more ambitious ideas for creating your own traditional home:
Make an entrance
As guests arrive, greet them at an oversized panelled door surrounded on the exterior by a portico and columns or pilasters (half-columns attached to the house). As they step over the threshold they’ll lay eyes on your house’s grand staircase, complete with varnished wood posts and dozens of turned wood or wrought iron spindles and handrails. A traditional staircase says timeless luxury — think of the sweeping staircases at Tara or Twelve Oaks in Gone with the Wind.
High ceilings, like those in the Downton Abbey castle, definitely give a room a classic atmosphere. But even regular-height ceilings can look grand with exposed beams or coffering, ornamentation that dates back to the Renaissance. The indented (coffered) panels of this kind of ceiling can be left as is or painted a complementary colour. Want to go all out? Line your coffered ceiling with pressed-tin tiles in complex floral or architectural patterns and you’ll be right at home in Lady Grantham’s drawing-room!
Be classically cosy
A traditional living room is focused on a fireplace with a big, beautiful mantlepiece, like those at Manderley in the classic film Rebecca. Your fireplace’s stone, brick or tile surround could even echo the architectural features of your house’s exterior. A hearth of marble, porcelain, or slate tiles enriches the look. Are you a more-is-more person? Have a traditional fireplace sculpted, painted, or stencilled with baroque botanical or mythological designs.
Get some old-world sparkle
If you love the romance of Moulin Rouge or Phantom of the Opera, nothing says grandeur like an enormous chandelier soaring over your entranceway or tucked over your dining room table. If hundreds of hanging crystals aren’t your thing, a traditional iron or brass chandelier can be just as monumental and intricate. Coordinating light sconces in hallways reinforce this traditional lighting style. If you want traditional-with-a-twist, hang that chandelier in a marble bathroom!
Whether it’s a big family Thanksgiving dinner or just macaroni on Tuesday, eating in a formal dining room a lá Marie Antoinette can enrich the enjoyment of any time spent together. A traditional dining room can feature chair rail moulding on a lavishly papered wall, a gorgeous wooden sideboard for storing dishes and linens, and of course the traditional large dining table and ornate upholstered chairs. It would be perfected if it also had French doors opening on to a garden or many-paned mullioned windows.
From preliminary sketches to your first family Christmas dinner, Reid Developments can help you realize your dream of a grand, romantic traditional home. Contact us!