"Updated Traditional" Living Room Design Board

Traditional room designs are not something I often get to work on, but it is an aesthetic with which I am very familiar.  I grew up in a home that was/is furnished and decorated more traditionally.  Although my personal design aesthetic leans more modern/eclectic, I have been drawn towards certain elements of traditional design as of late - which translated into my latest mood board!

updated new traditional interior design mood board decorating chesterfield sofa modern blue gray brass gold geometric rug pattern

To prevent traditional spaces from looking or feeling "dated", I tend to infuse contemporary elements into the design.  Doing so can help give a space a fresh and "updated traditional" feel, rather than appearing "stuck in time".

The design board above reflects this combination of traditional and contemporary.  The chesterfield sofa is traditional in style, but the gray upholstery fabric gives it a more current vibe.  The on-trend area rug, plus slipper accent chairs covered in an unexpected contrasting fabric, keeps the overall grouping fresh.  The subtle, modern geometric patterns and brass elements that were sprinkled throughout the design also help keep things  "current".  You can read here for some tips that I've previously shared about giving a room "new traditional" flair.

Need design assistance?  Click here to take advantage of the current promotion I'm running on e-design services.  The package is redeemable at any time, but must be booked by October 28, 2016, to obtain the special pricing.


Five Simple Tips to Customize "Non-Custom" Built-Ins

design decorating tips bookcase bookshelf built-ins diy

When you want built-in cabinets, but don't have the budget for custom woodworking, try doing what we and so many others have done - go the DIY route!  This was actually the very first project we DIY'd in this house.

design decorating tips bookcase bookshelf built-in styling ikea one room challenge

Renovations make you prioritize where to spend your dollars, and custom wood built-ins were not in the cards at the time.  So, we ultimately opted to retrofit different Ikea components to construct our built-ins.  However, as my hubby's carpentry skills have grown, building them from scratch for another room is an alternative possibility.

design decorating tips bookcase bookshelf built-in styling ikea

Here's a recent shot of the built-ins, which incorporates some subtle fall decor:

design decorating tips bookcase bookshelf built-in styling ikea

While we used stock components for our built-ins, we added custom touches to elevate the look.  Here are five simple tips to customize "non-custom" built-ins:

Add moldings

design decorating tips bookcase bookshelf built-in styling ikea

We continued the crown molding from the ceiling/wall to around the top of the built-ins - making them look more intrinsic to the house.  Molding was also installed to the base of the cabinets, while trim molding was added to conceal the areas where components were joined.

Install hardware

design decorating tips bookcase bookshelf built-in styling anthropologie
These pulls were purchased from here.

Stock cabinets don't often come with hardware - or if they do, they usually aren't very interesting.  Adding "pretty" knobs, pulls, or handles are an easy upgrade that will give you some design bang for your buck. 

Mount decorative lighting

design decorating tips bookcase bookshelf built-in styling
Sita Montgomery Interiors

Lighting is so important.  If you have a wall or somewhere to mount it, install decorative sconces or library lights to the unit.  It will provide both function and beauty to your built-in.

Paint it a bold color

design decorating tips bookcase bookshelf built-in styling
original source unknown / image via My Domaine

Bold built-ins are one of my favorite things!

Add "flair" to the back panels

design decorating tips bookcase bookshelf built-in styling

The wallpaper treatment to the back insets of this built-in unit is fun and unexpected.  It adds design-worthy interest and depth to the otherwise dark unit.  (CAD Design Tip: Peel & stick wallpaper is a good option if you don't want to commit to anything permanent.  You can also cut out a thin piece of paneling to fit into the shelving compartments, and wallpaper that instead.  Paint is also a great option in lieu of wallpaper.)

Revisiting My Past ORC Makeovers

The Fall 2016 One Room Challenge has officially kicked off, and I'm excited to see what the twenty featured designers (plus the guest participants) are cooking up!  All participants will be documenting their room makeover progress over the next few weeks, and revealing their transformed spaces in week six.  I'm looking forward to all the design creativity that is sure to be on display.

ORC family living room dining room interior design home decor home improvement

I decided to sit out this round of the ORC due to lack of proper planning and bad personal timing.  But who knows... I could decide to link up later?! :)  After all, this twice yearly design challenge seems to successfully hold me accountable to "finishing up" spaces in our home.

For those of you who are new around here, I participated in my very first ORC exactly one year ago - during the Fall 2015 challenge.  With a very limited decorating budget ($250!!!) due to some big renovations at the time, we still managed to cross the finish line on our family room makeover.

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that the family room has steadily evolved since the initial reveal.  More changes will definitely happen in here once new furnishings are in place.

During the Spring 2016 ORC, I nearly completed our dining room makever.

ORC interior design home decor mid-century farmhouse eclectic modern transitional eating dining area space wallpaper black white brass gold

ORC interior design home decor mid-century farmhouse eclectic transitional modern eating dining space area wallpaper black white brass gold

Some minor tweaks are planned in the dining room (adding host chairs are still in the plan).  A rug switch is also in process, which I'll share the unexpected reason for in a separate post.

ORC family living room dining room bohemian eclectic modern transitional boho chic mid-century farmhouse design

Revisiting these transformations is helping me stay motivated to keep on going with the rest of our home.  Trust me, there is NO shortage of improvements still to be done around here.  Owning a real fixer upper (I'm not just talking dated finishes) can be exhausting and patience-wearing.  BUT it can also be simultaneously rewarding when you look back at everything you've accomplished!