Modern, meet Traditional

Seems every where I look, design blogs and magazines are bombarded with wedding features. I figured I'd do my own twist on the topic: marrying traditional with modern. A common issue that always comes up at my internship is the difference in taste between married clients. One always loves modern design while the other opts for traditional. How do you marry the two aesthetics together in a cohesive manner?

Recently, there has been a new trend in over-dying traditional, Turkish rugs. It takes a classic piece with traditional designs and modernizes it with bright, funky, new colors. I adore them! You can find them anywhere right now since they're such a big trend, but ABC Carpet happens to be having a sale at the moment.

ABC Color Reform

This faux wood wall covering by Nobilis is a great choice for something with both a modern and class aesthetic. It takes the idea of traditional wood wall panelling and turns it into a modern, texture-less wallpaper.

And of course....when in doubt, paint paint paint. One of the easiest ways to add a splotch of modern to a traditional room is to paint with bright and loud colors - be it the walls or even the furniture. It's also probably the most inexpensive way too!

House Beautiful

House Beautiful

Elle Decor


Manly Monday

This summer, one of the main projects we've been working on at my internship is a man's town house located on the upper east side. I've entered the project during it's more final phase - visiting the construction site to make sure everything is going along in a timely manner. There are still a few loose ends we have to purchase, but the major design stuff has already been decided. The client's aesthetic taste is very masculine, mixing traditional with industrial chic (quite a difficult mix). I've been dying to do a masculine bachelor pad design for school, but the real thing is even better. Had I been around from the beginning of the design process, here's what I would have suggested:


James Merrell

Nothing says masculine decor like a set of antlers, leather upholstery and over-sized British furniture/decor.

Todd Yoggy
A simple color palette concentrating more on texture and traditional elements such as the nail head trimming on the leather upholstered headboard and brass finished light fixtures resembling Greek columns give this bedroom a sophisticated masculine touch.

Mary McDonald
Deep, dark colors and traditional wall panelling with a modern twist, striped linens and a dashingly handsome bust. All that's missing is a huge fireplace from this man den.

Vogue Living
I love large wall decals such as this image of a roller coaster. Vintage maps and signs are an easy way of adding a masculine touch to a room. Again, notice the use of texture in this room between the wood floor planks, jade glass, distressed leather ottoman, brass lighting fixture and shiny black lacquered console/shelving unit.

Here are my suggestions for a manly decor:

Accessories. Pillows and plaid throw via Pendleton, baroque weathered mirror via Restoration Hardware,  horse head sculpture via Haus Interiors, Safety Deposit via Haus Interior, Vintage inspired scale via Restoration Hardware

Lighting. Flush mount ceiling fixture via Circa Lighting, exterior wall sconce via Interieurs, chain link cargo cluster pendant via Davey Lighting, '67 boom arm floor lamp via Ralph Lauren Home, Blackened bronze flush mount ceiling fixture via School House Electric, vase uplighter via Soane

Furniture. Trunk side table via ABC Home, tufted sofa via Ralph Lauren Home, metal armoire via Interieurs, Chinese inspired rattan cocktail table via Ralph Lauren Home, vinyl poof and leather desk chair via 1stdibs, bascule desk via Soane


Luxury Furnishings

Since my internship began, I've been introduced to something I've never had to face before in school: a budget! It's pretty crazy to think that when I'm browsing online for furniture and fabrics, they're actually going to be bought and placed in a real person's home. Now instead of things just looking right and following a school project concept, I have other things to consider such as price, comfort and dimensions that fit appropriately to each client.

I've discovered a whole new set of vendors that are much more luxurious and traditional than I am used to in my more modern school projects. One of these vendors is the notorious George Smith. I am officially obsessed with his seating. The next sofa I purchase WILL BE a George Smith sofa.

George Smith sofas come in a variety of designs often mimicking Neoclassical pieces. 

Such a traditional piece, upholstered in the right fabric can make these sofas fit any type of decor. They look great in any modern, transitional and/or traditional space. 

What makes a George Smith piece more expensive and more luxurious than the rest? It's all about the stuffing. Most standard sofa cushions are stuffed with a foam core and then wrapped with some duck down to give it softness. These sofas are pure duck down and feather. It is HEAVEN to sit on. The downside? It's a pain in the butt to have to fluff constantly unless you are going for a rustic, eclectic look in your room.

Every George Smith sofa is hand built and can be 100% customized - even down to the castors. As much as I adore the kilim upholstery, I suggest you only upholster an ottoman in this fabric because it is very itchy on the skin.

Ok, so it may be a longgg ways away before I can afford my very own George Smith sofa, but some day...some day!