How To Style Traditional Furniture in a Modern Way

till can’t tell you what my decorating style is exactly, but I know I’ve always loved a good mix.  I feel like it’s especially important as I’ve decorated our current house which is definitely traditional but needs a little bit of modern to keep it feeling young and fresh. We’re not overly stuffy; have you noticed? 😉 Since finishing our recent upstairs renovation, I’ve been looking forward to creating a pretty and functional little landing spot at the top of the stairs.

console styling upstairs landing


When I’m styling any area of my home, I’m always conscious of keeping the traditional/modern mix. I like to think of it as checks and balances. If I’m working with a really traditional piece of furniture, I’ll want to add an unexpected piece of two when I’m accessorizing. For this spot, I started with a wide bombay chest from Arhaus that almost fills the entire wall. I love the classic lines–and I don’t think you can really ever go wrong with black. (If you’re not familiar with Arhaus, they have some really beautiful, well-built pieces with a focus on sustainable materials and functionality. I think this chest will be in our family for a long time to come. I’ve pinned more of my favorite things from their site on this board.)


And, here’s the point where I tell you I bought that lamp for this “vignette” while they were still knocking down walls upstairs. I always have a plan. . .




I placed my next largest piece–a vintage faux bamboo mirror–centered over the chest. Not only are the styles totally different, but I like the contrast of curvy and straight lines when the two pieces are used together.



I knew I wanted to include at least one colorful piece so I painted this really simple art and put it in a white frame to pop against all of the black and gold. I think modern art is the very easiest way to “balance” a traditional piece of furniture–and you can do this yourself quickly. (I’ll show you how in another post.)



I finished it up with a couple of frames, some stacked design books and a pop of fresh green in this brass planter in a traditional finish but in a more modern shape. (Again–checks and balances.)






Another thing I love about having this chest in the hallway is the extra storage it provides. I’m claiming the top drawer for myself and made the bottom one the official “sock drawer” for the house. (No more sorting.)

(This chevron blanket is a great weight for Fall and can be found here.)



If you’re trying to work with a piece you already have or want to create more of a modern/traditional mix in your home, here are a few more styling examples to help you get started. All pieces are from Arhaus.



Written by The Home Designer
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