New Traditional Decor

The design world is abuzz these days with talk of the "new traditional," but what does the latest catchphrase mean exactly? According to designer Trish Johnston, new-traditional decor is characterized by the formal furniture and classic silhouettes you'd expect but with an emphasis on more comfortable, sleeker forms. Its beauty lies in the push and pull of modern and traditional elements and the interplay of unexpected finishes or styles.

Here are some of Johnston's favourite new traditional trends.

Trish Johnston's favourite new traditional decor trends.

1. Fabric

Pops of colour and new takes on on old designs immediately freshen things up in a new traditional space.

2. Flooring

Whether it's a chevron pattern in oiled white oak or a herringbone done with a washed-grey skinny plank, what's old becomes new again simply by applying a different treatment to a classic pattern.

3. Wallpaper

When it comes to wall treatments, it's all about using them to further that tension between modern and traditional. Whether that be in the wallpaper itself, as above, or in the contrast between the paper and other elements in the room.

4. Rugs

Elte's Second Life rugs are an amazing example of new traditional design. A previously owned, threadbare Persian is redyed in a fun, bright, unexpected colour. They're a great way to add a touch of whimsy to any space.

5. Lighting

Look for unique pieces that have some fun with a classic shape—a bent-arm chandelier recast in washed wood (not pictured), for example. Or achieve that contrast by pairing a more contemporary fixture like the chandelier pictured above with a more traditional wallpaper.