Bold patterns and bright updates lift the mood in this traditional style home (2022)

How do you update and refresh a home's interiors, while still keeping the traditional aesthetic of the original building's design? That was the conundrum faced by the owners of this English Tudor estate-style home. The house was built in 1995, in the prestigious Flower Mound suburb of Dallas, Texas, and the owners were looking to update their home and improve its potential for hosting friends and family. The striking results of its recent renovation and redecoration make this one of the world's best homes.

Getting it looking this good was not without its challenges, however, and the homeowners sought professional help from Kim Armstrong Interior Design (opens in new tab) to plan and implement their home's new look. Kim worked her way through all the main living spaces, and came up with new designs for the bedrooms, too. We caught up with her to discuss the highlights of this lighter, brighter traditional English-style home and discovered that fabrics, pattern and color were key to its transformation.

Living room

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(Image credit: Nathan Schroder)

This is the first room you come to from the entrance foyer and, as designer Kim Armstrong explains, it's a central room with views to other areas of the home and even a staircase and galleried landing above. Kim's living room ideas had to take the room's central position into account and set the tone for the home's traditional interiors and fresh new updates.

'We started in the living room, as we did throughout the house, by lightening up the wall color to an off-white cream with some subtle taupe undertones. We got rid of the faux finish that was everywhere throughout the house and we also used traditional prints, but in more vibrant colors, so it felt fresh and not muted or dated,' says Kim. One of Kim's favorite features is the fireplace which was original to the house but was an architecturally reclaimed antique. 'I love the grand scale of it,' she adds.

Bold patterns and bright updates lift the mood in this traditional style home (2)

(Image credit: Nathan Schroder)

'Our client requested color for this main living room, however this is the hub that takes you to the many different wings of the home, so we needed to introduce color here in a very classic, and timeless way, and also in a way that flows with the different colors that are sprinkled throughout the home,' explains Kim. 'The Brunschwig & Fils Le Jardin Chinois fabric was where we started with the design. I love the Brunschwig & Fils drapes and how it lightens the room but still supports the architecture with the more traditional design.'

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The same Brunschwig & Fils fabric has been used for the armchair upholstery, and note how that, together with the pale rug and walls, balances out the dark wood staircase and doors.

Dining room

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(Image credit: Nathan Schroder)

Kim's dining room ideas stemmed from the Chiang Mai Dragon fabric dining chairs the client brought with her from her old house.

'Given the nature of the pattern and the classic blue and white print, we kept with that classic blue and white overall theme,' says Kim. 'The client loves turquoise so one of the blues we introduced had a turquoise undertone. Luckily there are touches of this color in the fabric so it was easy to build in.'

Kim found a grass cloth wallpaper by Winfield Thybony in the perfect shade of blue-turquoise, but decided that too much of this color would have been overwhelming. Building a wainscot and matching the raised panel profile to the gothic arched door proved the best solution. 'This elevated the room and allowed us to use the gorgeous grass cloth without making the room too blue. The white painted wainscot was the perfect balance,' says Kim. 'We added drama to the ceiling by painting it a more vibrant hue of the turquoise blue. It's a little unexpected, and we love the drama it brings to the room.'

Library

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(Image credit: Nathan Schroder)

Every self-respecting, manor house should have a library, and this Flower Mound outpost of grand English-style has this absolute gem of a space.

If you're looking for home library ideas for a more traditional space, this stunning reading spot is full of inspiration.

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There were challenges, however, in updating the look. 'The wood in this room is dark, it’s impressive but to add dark muted colors, would not have given this room the more updated colorful touch that the client desired.' says Kim. 'We tried to lighten and brighten the room with turquoise, off white and touches of coral-orange.' Using these fresher color options ties in with the designer's choices elsewhere in the home and creates harmony and flow from space to space.

Downstairs den

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(Image credit: Nathan Schroder)

When a room has striking architectural features as with this downstairs den – an extra living room – with its rotunda windows with gothic arches, the décor needs to include bold design elements. A piece of furniture, accessory or artwork can often provide the inspiration for a room scheme, but in this room the mural above the fireplace was actually proving problematic. The husband loved the mural and wanted to keep it, explains Kim, but the colors of the mural were rust-red, olive greens, and golds. 'Not exactly your most updated color trio,' she says. 'However when we discovered the Cowtan & Tout red floral fabric, we knew our problem was solved. The bright cheerful red fabric has just enough of the other colors that we needed to pull the whole scheme together.'

Other pieces that Kim introduced to enhance a more contemporary look in her family living room ideas include a Charles Fraudree-inspired scalloped ottoman, covered in leopard print velvet; a custom green sofa with an oversized tape band trim; and an antique settee from Inessa Stewart in Dallas.

Kim was delighted when she found the area rug at Esmaili rugs in Dallas, 'It’s a contemporary design hand knotted wool from Turkey and was the most perfect find of all to complete the room design.'

Upstairs living room

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(Image credit: Nathan Schroder)

This comfortable upstairs living room is where the homeowners display many of their found art pieces, and the different colors and patterns and comfortable furniture make it a cozy get-away den for their overnight guests.

The vintage French armoires is a perfect place to store a blue and white pottery collection, while a second matching armoire stows the TV. Two antique bergere chairs are covered in a Peter Faso fabric and the blue and white plaid fabric for the sofa is from Lee Jofa.

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Bedroom

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(Image credit: Nathan Schroder)

The homeowners love to entertain and wanted to make their guests feel comfortable and welcome. They also wanted to make sure the guest rooms were just as luxurious as the rest of the house. This downstairs guest bedroom offered plenty of scope for new bedroom ideas since it was originally lacking in features. As Kim explains, 'It didn’t flow with the rest of the house, and felt like a bit of an afterthought. It had carpet floors, painted walls, no crown moulding, and the windows had boring sheetrock turned edges.'

Kim and her team installed wood floors, and added blue Thiabaut grasscloth paper to the walls. To give the room some architectural interest, they encased the windows in wood, and added a white lattice to the ceiling.

'We first painted the ceiling a bright grass green that gave the room some depth,' says Kim. 'And we replaced the old boring brown ceiling fan with a custom Colleen Rider lantern – the crown jewel of the room!'

The green print floral fabric is from Thibaut and the bedding is from Williams Sonoma, with custom shams and a bedskirt. The homeowner added a custom monogram to elevate the bought bedding with a look of bespoke luxury.

Guest bedroom

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(Image credit: Nathan Schroder)

This upstairs guest bedroom is one of designer Kim's favorite rooms, with its steps down into the room, a door to the balcony with steps down to the garden, and a sloping loft ceiling – all unique architectural details that make it special.

Kim had no problems coming up with the perfect design details to enhance the room's existing features. She kept the color palette to different shades of blue and white, bringing in a mix of different patterns and textures in the textiles, to give the room that curated over time feeling.

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'The peaked ceilings with the wood trim, provided the perfect foundation for a gorgeous Peter Faso wallpaper,' says Kim. 'We took the wallpaper on the slanted part of the ceiling, which just enveloped the whole sleeping area.'

Bold patterns and bright updates lift the mood in this traditional style home (9)

(Image credit: Nathan Schroder)

'I loved that the bedroom suite was large enough to create a separate lounge area where we used matching Peter Faso fabric to enhance that entire European vibe that this room naturally had,' adds designer Kim.

The owners also had some beautiful French antiques that made the perfect additions to the room.

Children's nursery

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(Image credit: Nathan Schroder)

Although this is a large house, of nearly 7,000 sq ft, it only had four bedrooms, and for people who love to host, this was a problem. They really needed an extra bedroom for the smallest grandchildren and a parent or two to sleep.

Kim's solution was ingenious.

'We created a makeshift nursery cum guest bedroom from a card room that was directly off of the upstairs den, and hung drapes from the ceiling that were fully functional, insulated with bump liner, and decorative on both facing sides,' explains Kim. 'This way this room could have complete privacy when needed. We also added black out shades that would darken the room in daytime if baby needed some rest.'

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The unusual nursery solution typifies Kim's fresh and creative approach to the design challenges throughout this project. And, as we've seen, her new ideas for this previously somewhat dated home have lifted it out of its 90s timewarp into a bright new era, but one that's still very much in touch with its traditional roots.

Interior design: Kim Armstrong (opens in new tab)
Photographs:
Nathan Schroder (opens in new tab)

FAQs

What are the characteristics of a traditional style home? ›

Though these styles differ in origin, traditional homes tend to have several common features. These features include large, open porches with overhanging beams and rafters, dormers, and a tall, pointed roof with one or more gables. They use traditional building materials such as brick, wood, plaster, stucco, and stone.

What is a traditional home style? ›

What Is a Traditional-Style Home? A traditional-style home is the most popular style of home in the U.S. today. The style is a mix of classic elements pulled from homes past with modern elements of home design. Common elements of this style include symmetrically placed windows, simple rooflines, and modest details.

How do I update my traditional style house? ›

How to Modernize a Traditional Home
  1. Mismatched furniture helps keep a space light. ...
  2. Leave some bare space to keep the look clean. ...
  3. Use color to highlight architecture. ...
  4. Use contrasting colors to create sharper lines. ...
  5. Choose one piece of art for more visual impact. ...
  6. Ditch heavy drapes for sheer or natural textiles.
13 Jun 2022

What is a modern traditional house? ›

A modern traditional home marries classical architecture and furnishings with a relaxed, contemporary lifestyle for an inviting space you're happy to come home to. This design style is refined but unfussy and tells the story of your home through curated collections, fabric selections, millwork and more.

What is new traditional style? ›

New traditional style seeks formal furniture with a focus on comfort and a sleeker look. There is a freedom to mix finishes and periods. New traditional has a more personal feel with classic seating plans except for a larger more family friendly scale.

Is an example of traditional design? ›

Florals, paisleys, damasks, stripes and plaids are also standard traditional décor patterns for accent walls, furniture pieces and drapes. Hardwood floors are a staple of this style, and the richer the hue the better! Maple, mahogany, cherry, merbau and walnut are prominent species in traditional spaces.

What is considered traditional interior design? ›

Traditional interior styles are all about curving lines and symmetry to create a sense of luxury. Every line strives towards elegance, every detail work towards consistency and beauty. If pieces work together in both palette and size, you can be more elaborate with décor.

Is traditional style coming back? ›

Traditional and Classic Furniture is coming back.” Due to the pandemic, furniture and home decorating trends have shifted away from the simplicity and sleekness of modern for a return to comfort and coziness and furniture that lasts a lifetime and isn't replaced half a dozen times.

Why do you think people prefer modern houses over traditional houses these days? ›

Answer: Although the traditional houses are full of sense of space and identity, I prefer to live in a modern house. The modern houses are more convenient than those are old. In addition, the modern homes are more safety.

How do you lighten a traditional house? ›

21 Ways to Brighten Up Your Living Room
  1. Wash the Walls. ...
  2. Give the Mantel a Makeunder. ...
  3. Repaint Furniture. ...
  4. Add Brightness With a White Rug. ...
  5. Experiment With Acrylic. ...
  6. Trade In Textiles. ...
  7. Incorporate Metallic Elements. ...
  8. Go All In on the Walls.
21 Sept 2020

Can you put modern furniture in a traditional home? ›

Combining traditional and modern furniture may seem like a challenging blend to perfect. However, when done correctly, the mixture creates a unique, multi-layered space. One of the perks of blending traditional and modern interior design styles is developing a personal style that you won't see in other homes.

What is modern traditional design called? ›

Modern Classic style, also known as Modern Traditional, is the perfect blend of modern + traditional… aka timeless! This style features the sleek, simple, contemporary lines of the modern design style paired with traditional furniture, finishes, and accessories to take what was "then" and make it "now".

What is modern traditional decorating style? ›

Modern Traditional evokes a sense of gathering and family in a very casual, unfussy way. So instead of formal dining rooms with finely detailed paneling like you might find in Modern Victorian, this style will have a large well-loved table in the kitchen that everyone can gather around.

What is the difference between modern and traditional style? ›

Traditional design differs greatly from modern design in the way it uses patterns. Patterns such as florals, paisleys, plaids, and stripes are prominent in traditional design, whereas modern design focuses on minimalistic prints and patterns.

What is difference between traditional and modern? ›

“Traditional” refers to those societies or elements of societies that are small-scale, are derived from indigenous and often ancient cultural practices. “Modern” refers to those practices that relate to the industrial mode of production or the development of large-scale often colonial societies.

How do I update my traditional sofa? ›

Second Lives for Sad Sofas: Budget Ways to Make Them Look New Again
  1. Solution #1: Pick Up a Paintbrush!
  2. Solution #2: Dip It In Some Dye.
  3. Solution #3: Tuft a Saggy Sofa.
  4. Solution #4: Tuck in a Makeshift Slipcover.
  5. Solution #5: Fix It With Fringe.
  6. Solution #6: Spritz It With Spray Dye.
  7. Solution #7: Plump It Up with Poly-Fil.
3 May 2019

What is traditional decor? ›

Traditional décor is an expansive category that includes a wide range of decorating styles from French country to neoclassical. Think classic furnishings, elegant wallpaper, beautiful curtains, antique accents, patterned or textured rugs, statement lighting, and last but not least, thoughtful color schemes.

How do you mix traditional and modern decor? ›

Modern lighting and art can help you incorporate more traditionally styled pieces into a modern interior. A contemporary light sitting on an antique desk for example, can make a dynamic combination. A vintage dresser with a modern painting hung above will help the two styles come together.

What is the difference between traditional house and modern house? ›

What is the difference between traditional and modern houses? There are many differences between modern and traditional homes: space utilization, amenities, windows, lighting, the materials used for construction, even the floorplan are all differentiators that separate these two styles of homes.

What is the difference between traditional designs and contemporary designs? ›

Traditional designers look to the past when making their furniture. Their creations celebrate beauty and history, and use wood as a favored material. Contemporary furniture designers look to the future or present for their ideas. They freely experiment with diverse materials, shapes and functions.

What is the difference between traditional and classic design? ›

Differences between Classic and Traditional Styles

The most notable differences between the two design approaches are: Details: Ornate details are common to classic designs; the style takes every opportunity to provide an elegant touch to common objects. On the other hand, traditional design uses simpler motifs.

What is transitional interior design style? ›

Simply put, transitional interiors are a blend of traditional and modern. This meshing of two interior design styles offers unlimited freedom with the ability to mix and match decor pieces to create a cohesive design.

What defines traditional furniture? ›

Traditional style combines ornate details, warm colors and architectural design elements to bring a piece to life. From turned legs to classic crown molding, traditional style pays great attention to all detail. Bold, rich and timeless colors are used to complement the elegant design features.

Is wood trim Coming Back in style 2022? ›

As minimalism and mid century styles modern fall out of favor, we will be seeing more decorative touches like passementerie and trim in 2022, according to Owens. “The design world is seeing a resurgence of texture, tassels, trim, and passementerie galore.

Are white walls going out of style? ›

IS WHITE STILL A TRENDY PAINT COLOUR FOR WALLS? Yes, based on my Online Paint Colour Consulting clients, white is still going strong. This doesn't mean that every home can pull it off, but white walls are definitely popular and I don't see that changing in the coming year.

Would you prefer to live in a traditional house or in a modern apartment? ›

The modern houses are more convenient than those are old. In addition, the modern homes are more safety. The first reason that I think the modern houses are better is that they have more facilities. In fact, modern places are enjoyable and comfortable rather than the old houses.

How would you describe traditional architecture? ›

What is traditional architecture? Traditional architecture is that way of building which makes serious use of the familiar symbolic forms of a particular culture of a particular people in a particular place.

Why is traditional building important? ›

The building arts—and the traditional architecture they enable—provide an important link to the past and support a strong sense of local identity. Together with other cultural expressions, they provide a foundation for the shared humanity of communities large and small.

How do you make a room look bigger and brighter? ›

Use contrasts and light colors that make rooms look bigger

Light and bright walls are more reflective, making a space feel open and airy, which helps maximize natural light's effect. Dark shades tend to absorb light, making rooms feel smaller. Accenting walls to make a room look bigger is another way to go.

How can I lighten a dark room without natural light? ›

15 ways to fake natural light
  1. Use mirrors. Mirrors' reflective properties can make your room feel larger and brighter. ...
  2. Utilize soft and warm hues. ...
  3. Use neutral colors for furniture and walls. ...
  4. Add gloss to furniture surfaces. ...
  5. Opt for light colors. ...
  6. Keep windows unobstructed from furniture. ...
  7. Avoid clutter. ...
  8. Add subtle light fixtures.
23 May 2022

How do you make old furniture look modern? ›

Updating your furniture is now easy with our simple and creative ideas:
  1. #1. Strip Old Painted Finishes. ...
  2. #2. Clean Stain from Your Chairs, Dresser or Tables. ...
  3. #3. Add a Fresh Coat of Spray Paint. ...
  4. #4. Re-Cover Dining Chairs with a New Cushion. ...
  5. #5. Refinishing Furniture. ...
  6. #6. Go For Milk Paint.

Can I mix and match living room furniture? ›

Absolutely! But when mixing furniture styles, try to create something in common between all of your pieces to help create a unified look and keep your space from looking cluttered or chaotic.

What is transitional traditional style? ›

What Is Transitional Design? Transitional design combines elements of traditional design with elements of modern or contemporary design. The result is a balanced interior, which nods to classic and modern design in equal measure.

What is the difference between modern and contemporary homes? ›

Modern design refers to an era that has passed, while contemporary design is all about the now and the future. The most popular modern design era is the mid-century modern era of the 1950s and 1960s. But Art Deco design of the 1920s or anything from then to the vintage look of the 1970s can also be considered modern.

What is the difference between modern and contemporary style? ›

THE MAIN DIFFERENCES

Contemporary is, by definition, what's happening in design at this very moment in time. This definition makes it more fluid and hard to pin down. Modern design, on the other hand, has a distinguishable aesthetic that emphasizes crisp lines, warm neutrals, and balance.

What are the differences between traditional and modern houses? ›

What is the difference between traditional and modern houses? There are many differences between modern and traditional homes: space utilization, amenities, windows, lighting, the materials used for construction, even the floorplan are all differentiators that separate these two styles of homes.

What is the difference between a contemporary and traditional house? ›

Contemporary homes feature larger doors and windows. The contemporary home interior looks open and spacey with unique natural lighting. Traditional home features have smaller doors and windows which can also provide proper air circulation. The traditional designs are well suitable for our weather conditions.

How would you describe traditional architecture? ›

Traditional architecture is that way of building which makes serious use of the familiar symbolic forms of a particular culture of a particular people in a particular place.

Why do you think people prefer modern houses over traditional houses these days? ›

Answer: Although the traditional houses are full of sense of space and identity, I prefer to live in a modern house. The modern houses are more convenient than those are old. In addition, the modern homes are more safety.

What is traditional method of building? ›

Foundations are laid, walls are built, roofs are added and then the interior of the building begins to be created.

What is the difference between traditional and modern values? ›

modern values (Maercker, 2001; 2004). Traditional values stress collectivism, submissive self-restriction, preservation of traditional practices, protection, and stability. Modern values represent motivations to pursue one's own success and dominance over others or gratification for oneself.

What is the difference between traditional designs and contemporary designs? ›

Traditional designers look to the past when making their furniture. Their creations celebrate beauty and history, and use wood as a favored material. Contemporary furniture designers look to the future or present for their ideas. They freely experiment with diverse materials, shapes and functions.

What is the difference between traditional construction and modern construction? ›

By its very definition, the word traditional means conventional, customary and established. Modular construction, on the other hand, revolutionises everything, from cutting time to changing attitudes. There are pros and cons to each method. Both traditional and modular construction begins in the same way.

What is the difference between traditional and modern architecture? ›

Modern buildings typically opt for the use of glass and steel, while traditional architecture relies on the use of materials like brick, stone, and wood.

What is the importance of our traditional architecture? ›

Traditional architecture is important because it maintains our link to the past. It is this link to the past that keeps us latched to the traditional buildings and styles that can be incorporated into other building designs.

Why is traditional building important? ›

The building arts—and the traditional architecture they enable—provide an important link to the past and support a strong sense of local identity. Together with other cultural expressions, they provide a foundation for the shared humanity of communities large and small.

Is it important to have traditional buildings? ›

Preserving History Through Buildings

Old buildings are witnesses to the aesthetic and cultural history of a city, helping to give people a sense of place and connection to the past. Historic buildings often represent something famous or important to people who live in a city or those visiting.

What are the traditional methods of construction used in architecture? ›

Round Arch creates a tunnel like structure called a barrel vault. -A Vault is a curved ceiling or roof structure, made of bricks, blocks, or stone. -Dome is an arch rotated 180 degrees on its vertical axis.

What is traditional building materials? ›

In construction, traditional materials are those which have been used to construct shelters and buildings for a long time in a locality, region or nation.

What are the types of traditional construction? ›

Construction Types
  • Brick and Block. In modern traditionally built houses the walls are built in two leaves. ...
  • Timber frame. Open-Panel. ...
  • Insulated Concrete Framework (ICF) ...
  • Steel Framed Construction. ...
  • Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS) ...
  • Cob Construction. ...
  • Straw Bale Construction. ...
  • Non Structural / Infill System.

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