Traditional Interior Design: A Classic Style Guide for Home Decor

Traditional style kitchen with the Harney Single Light Pendant, Bellevue Bridge Kitchen Faucet With Sprayer in Brushed Nickel Traditional style kitchen with the Harney Single Light Pendant, Bellevue Bridge Kitchen Faucet With Sprayer in Brushed Nickel

What is Traditional Interior Design?

As revealed in its name, traditional interior design references tradition. Though this word means different things to different people, “traditional” in a design context refers to the conventional notions of what a home should look like.

Attributed to Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries, particularly in France and England among the upper classes, this period exuded an overarching elegance and dignity. Rather than appearing overly fancy, this style is rooted in familiarity, balancing sophistication with comfort.

If you’ve heard of styles like new traditional or transitional, it’s because traditional design blends seamlessly with many other styles. If understood fully, it serves as an excellent starting off point for spaces but it doesn’t have to be your end goal. Follow along for all the details on incorporating traditional style into your home.

Traditional design style bathroom with 72" Hawkins Mahogany Vanity in White, Victorian Widespread Faucet in Brushed Nickel

How to Get the Look in Your Home

Familiar Materials Matter

For any traditional design, it’s vital to use furnishings reminiscent of classic European decor. Commonly producing items from woods like mahogany, walnut, and rosewood, this material can be found all throughout traditional interiors from furniture to flooring to decorative accents.

Foundational fixtures like vanities present a perfect opportunity for bringing in these woods, as evident by our Elmdale Vanity in Antique Brown. Crafted from mahogany, this piece fills any room with inviting, natural warmth.

Wood can easily be introduced through smaller accents as well, with wood door sets like our Vanisa Interior Passage Door Set and wood-framed mirrors like our Ranlyn Rectangle Wood Vanity Mirror excellent options.

For an authentic look, simply steer clear of any ultra-modern or trendy materials.

36" Elmdale Vanity for Undermount Sink in Antique Brown

Establish Comfort Through Color

To create the relaxed, inviting atmosphere necessary in a traditional space, opt for a comforting color palette with your selections. Focus on complementary neutrals with plenty of white and earth tones. For your wood finishes, dark, rich browns are quintessentially traditional.

Accent colors are welcome, with muted or pastel hues common in the traditional design style; think deep navy, faded burgundy, subdued green, and powder blue. As displayed by our Elmdale vanity in dark olive green and our Quen vanity in midnight navy blue, these options impart a timeless look as opposed to a trendy one.

While there is a level of restraint to traditional design, don’t feel tied down to highly specific hues—if the color feels comforting to you, that should take priority over conventionality. Just keep the quantity of colors in your palette minimal to maintain a level of authenticity.

48" Elmdale Vanity in Dark Olive Green for traditional design style

Ornate Stylings Rule Supreme

Furniture, fixtures, and accents like hardware tend to have a decorative flair in a traditionally designed home. Not to be confused with flashy, the ornate silhouettes and details of the style should convey an understated sense of grandeur. In your foundational pieces, this means softly curved, exquisite shapes with intricate embellishments reserved for accents.

As exhibited by our Lena Cast Iron Clawfoot Tub, a rounded slipper silhouette with soft transitions meets delicately detailed imperial feet, making an utterly traditional statement.

Achieved through even the smallest of details, consider securing cabinetry, windows, or doors with cremone bolts. From beaded textures to floral motifs, these accents offer a refined, eye-catching touch wherever they’re installed.

59" Lena Cast Iron Clawfoot Tub for traditional interior design

Consider Balance & Symmetry

From material to color to silhouette, it’s all about harmony in classic interior design. For a look that’s easy on the eyes, traditional homes often utilized matching. Matching couches and furniture were mainstays, but today can come off as one-dimensional, so to prevent your space from feeling plucked straight from a showroom you’ll want to use this with discretion.

An instant way to achieve a matched-without-matching look is with a hardware collection such as our classically detailed Cooper Collection. These shared metallic finishes and silhouettes instantly create cohesion in a room. Beyond collections, be sure each addition is unified to other components in the room through color, material, or silhouette.

The idea of creating balance is not only with the items themselves, but with how they are arranged. Use symmetry to guide your placements, such as a pair of mirrors above a double vanity or open shelving flanking a fireplace. Placing your items symmetrically will not only achieve a put-together look, but will help replicate the relaxed, familial atmosphere that defined classic European interiors.

Cooper Widespread Bathroom Faucet in Oil Rubbed Bronze for traditional style

Focus on Functionality

Playing a pivotal role in the comfort factor of this design style, you’ll want to integrate functional pieces. Though this may seem like common sense, many styles put aesthetics over function, while a large aspect of traditional design is to promote easy living.

Ensure your main fixtures and furnishings serve their purpose for effortless comfort and flow from hardworking kitchen faucets like our Bellevue Bridge Kitchen Faucet to multi-purpose pieces like our Claudia Medicine Cabinet—both uniquely designed to streamline tasks.

An additional aspect of functionality? Quality. For pieces that work for you and not the other way around, select those made of premium, durable materials that handle the demands of regular use. This way, repairing or replacing never overtakes actually using and enjoying your pieces.

Traditional style kitchen sink with the Bellevue Bridge Kitchen Faucet With Sprayer in Polished Brass

Traditional Style Tips by Room


Heavily revolved around function, the kitchen is a smart place to implement traditional design. For a sink setup equally practical and eye-catching, incorporate a deep farmhouse sink with a delicately detailed bridge faucet with either pull-down or side spray features.

To accent the dark browns, navy blues, or muted greens commonly found in traditional kitchens, bring in stunning shine and cohesion with cabinet pulls and knobs from a shared collection.

When establishing the flow for your traditional kitchen design, prioritize the placements of each fixture. Does the sink make sense on your kitchen island? Should your upper storage be hidden or open? These essential questions will help lock in the functionality of any kitchen, but a traditional one especially.

Traditional style kitchen 24" Reinhard Fireclay Farmhouse Sink, Toulouse Solid Brass Cabinet Pull in Polished Nickel


In this inherently fixture-forward space, a traditional bathroom is made easy with close attention to metallic surfaces. Select elegant, classically detailed fixtures from your faucet to shower system to bath accessories for an unmistakably traditional look.

When it comes to the finish of your metals, warm tones like polished brass or brushed gold are always encouraged in traditional spaces, as these offer a welcoming, timeless sheen.

For your statement pieces, bring in familial materials through a sturdy wood vanity and classic beauty through a clawfoot tub. For a playful, vintage-inspired touch, be sure to pair your tub with a telephone faucet.

Barbour Widespread Bathroom Faucet & Ceeley Towel Ring in Polished Brass for traditional interior design

Throughout the Home

To bring a sense of tradition to any area of the home, we recommend looking at your doors. Do they represent the style well, if at all? By switching up your door hardware, you can give pantries, walk-in closets, home offices, and beyond the traditional-style entrance they call for.

Next, give the windows in your traditional living room some functional flair with window hardware. From latches to lifts to ornate locks like cremone bolts, you can elevate any window based on your desired usage and look.

To complete a traditional space from ceiling to floor, consider swapping out your wall and floor registers. Carry your favorite classic motif all throughout your home for an instantly unified effect. Combined, these final touches will not only reflect the refinement of the era, but your personal style as well.

Traditional style living room with the Van Noord 5-Light Pendant in Aged Brass

Is Traditional Design Your Signature Style?

Now that you’re acquainted with the traditional decorating style, are you ready to bring it into your home? Whether you’re implementing a full-on authentic look or mixing it with a more contemporary style, make traditional design your own with our curated selection of furnishings and fixtures, built to stand the test of time.

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