Fresher decor blends clas­sic, mod­ern

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LIFE - By Kim Cook

In decor, “tra­di­tional” tends to con­jure up im­ages of matched fur­ni­ture sets, prim pat­terns and but­tonedup for­mal­ity.

But there’s been a revamp, and what’s now be­ing called “new tra­di­tional” is a fresher, freer look that hon­ors the clas­sics. The style blends tra­di­tional ar­chi­tec­tural and dec­o­ra­tive el­e­ments with con­tem­po­rary ones for un­ex­pected, some­times edgy re­sults.

“It’s all about bal­ance,” said New York in­te­rior de­signer Alexa Hamp­ton.

She said the trend started in Europe, where older res­i­dences “are of­ten filled with or­nate ar­chi­tec­ture: her­ring­bone floors, in­tri­cate plas­ter work, French doors. With heavy dec­o­ra­tion, these ar­chi­tec­tural bones can seem fussy.” That led to an “un­dec­o­rated” move­ment — white walls, fur­ni­ture with sharp an­gles, min­i­mal­ism.

“I think this foil of old and new is es­sen­tial to good de­sign,” she said. “The con­ver­sa­tion be­tween mod­ern and clas­sic cre­ates a ten­sion, and when done right, it’s very pow­er­ful.”

Mold­ings, shelv­ing and good hard­ware can give a space a tra­di­tional or con­tem­po­rary “frame” to which con­trast­ing el­e­ments can be added.

“If my ar­chi­tec­ture’s very tra­di­tional,” said Hamp­ton, “I might do an un­ex­pected wall treat­ment like high­gloss lac­quer.”

Like­wise with fur­ni­ture and ac­ces­sories, “It’s nice to com­bine a more curved tra­di­tional piece with a sexy and sleek cock­tail ta­ble.”

The Euro­pean Fine Art Fair, the art and an­tiq­ui­ties ver­sion of Fash­ion Week,


This un­dated photo pro­vided by Made Goods shows the Al­fred chair, The clas­sic wingchair in ham­mered me­tal is a sur­pris­ing take on the tra­di­tional form.

This im­age pro­vided by Made Goods shows the Eti­enne mir­ror. It is cast in tin and painted black, which gives its clas­sic Beaux Arts fea­tures con­tem­po­rary drama.

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