Traditional Bedrooms

Take the finely finished furniture, elegant appointments, and posh fabrics of traditional bedrooms and give them a nudge with these fresh design ideas.


Beautiful, handsome, sophisticated, comfortable, and gracious are just a few of the adjectives that aptly describe traditional bedrooms. Enduringly charming, traditional bedrooms never shout. Rather, the chic sleeping chambers whisper a warm welcome via familiar fabric patterns, ageless details, and furniture with the look of family heirlooms. When devising traditional bedrooms, pay special attention to floors, walls, and woodwork to ensure your backdrops are visually significant. Install crown moldings, deep baseboards, and wainscoting; incorporate beamed or paneled ceilings; lay hardwood or reclaimed-pine floors; and erect built-in bookcases, drawers, and cabinets to give the space been-around-awhile substance. With bones in place, move in furnishings, textiles, and cherished collections that further your traditional design vision and reflect your personality.

Finely Furnished


Traditional bedrooms should always look collected, so forgo matched bedroom sets. Freely mix polished furniture finishes with pieces wearing primitive patinas. Cherry, walnut, and mahogany bedsteads, dressers, bedside tables, and armoires are good fits for traditional designs, but heirlooms with varying finishes are always welcome additions. Choose wood, iron, or brass bed frames sporting curved headboards, four-posters, canopy frames, sleigh-like forms, or carved designs. Consider upholstered headboards done up in velvet, brocade, or linen fabrics and nailhead trim. Move in end-of-the-bed benches and cushy chaises and club chairs meant for reading and relaxing. Strategically add in touches of Old Hollywood glamour, such as mirrored nightstands, gilded vanity tables, and vintage folding privacy screens. Planning on computing, watching TV, and listening to tunes while in the bedroom? Use a vintage library or farm table as a desk and an armoire or wardrobe as a media center. Before you buy any new piece, think about how it will enhance your bedroom's collected appeal.

Establish New Traditions

serene neutral bedroom

Today's classicists often take a lighter, brighter approach to traditional bedroom designs. Saturated jewel tones and formal-pattern textiles have given way to neutral wall colors and livelier, livable fabrics boasting large motifs, airy overall designs, and relaxed weaves. To achieve a similar look, select breezy color schemes, crisp white bedding, flowery fabrics with white or cream backgrounds, and area rugs presenting up-to-date motifs. Look for tone-on-tone paisley or damask patterns on linen or cotton draperies that present classic motifs in a casual manner. Dress your bed in quilts pieced together from colorful contemporary patterned fabrics. Blend in furnishings with sleek silhouettes, commodious seats, handcrafted patinas, and heirloom qualities to create your own take on traditional style.

Classic Finishing Touches


Though traditional design continues to evolve, it features a number of constant and complementary elements. Include symmetrical arrangements, luxurious textiles, and distinctive accents when devising traditional bedrooms. Hang gold-framed mirrors and ancestral portraits; mount displays of special-occasion china; and finish pillows and draperies with flirty fringes and tasseled cords. Light it right by incorporating vintage chandeliers, pretty-profile sconces, and statuesque table and standing lamps wearing crisp white linen or pleated shades. Include little luxuries, such as monogrammed bed linens, silky chenille throws, and silver vases, that present the fancier side of traditional. Above all else, traditional bedrooms should feature at least a few very fine furnishings and a generous helping of best-dressed appeal.

More Ideas

Related: Traditional Decorating Basics

Related: Tips for Primary Bedrooms

Related: Quiz: Which Decade Captures Your Decorating Style?

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