Blending Styles: Modern and Traditional, Part II

A few weeks ago, I posted about how I like to use both modern and traditional furnishings in the same space. These styles complement one another beautifully, and mixing them brings an element of surprise to a room.

Beyond blending furnishings from different eras, I also like to place modern furniture and fixtures in architecturally traditional settings. I’ll often use this strategy in older homes that have strong bones and might just need an update. It’s also a great way to bring sleekness to spaces with more ornate elements, such as heavily millworked walls or elaborate plaster detailing.

Below are a few of my favorite examples of how I’ve used this strategy in past projects:

For this New York City townhouse, I brought all modern furnishings into the traditionally mahogany paneled office. I integrated white & chrome file credenzas, two Antoine Proulx clean-lined desks, Eames and Breuer chairs, along with crisp chrome Ralph Lauren task lamps.

To balance the heavy Oak wood island and bar in this Greenwich, Connecticut, kitchen, I installed modern Hector Finch globe light fixtures, and kept the walls and countertops crisp white. The monochromatic scheme gives even traditional elements—such as the built-in cabinetry and display dishes—a modern feel.

Modern draperies, a teak credenza, and a variety of mid-century inspired furnishings (the lounge chair is upholstered in a bold, modern ikat print) help balance the traditional mantle, heavy crown and beamed ceiling in this Washington, Connecticut, living room.

Sometimes, blending modern and traditional is all about creating interesting juxtapositions. The beautiful French casement windows in this Washington,Connecticut, dining room contrast nicely with the modern Parsons style wood dining table, clean lined walnut arm chairs, white-leather-and-chrome bench, and David Weeks modern ceiling pendant.

I hope you find these images and ideas inspiring. I’ll be sharing more from upcoming and past projects, as well as new trends I’m loving, over the coming weeks!

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About

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by design and the subtle impact of our surroundings. Some of my earliest influences still resonate – I think of the dark woods and textured lodens of my father’s shooting club, the smell of fresh paint on a new canvas, and the bold symmetry of the Philip Johnson Glass house just down the street. For me, it was a natural path to become an Interior Designer. I love what I do. I’ve created this Journal to share my thoughts, finds and design inspirations. I hope you enjoy it!

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