Traditional with a Twist
Vanessa has officially labelled my decor style as “traditional with a twist”. In fact, it’s kind of become my slogan in meet and greet situations: “Meet Gabrielle, the Australian blogger. She’s traditional with a twist”! I love having my own slogan.
I’m not Australian by the way, but I have lived down under long enough to have a few Aussie quirks up my sleeve. But I digress, let’s talk Traditional With A Twist. TWAT. Terrible acronym. Let’s not use it.
What does “Traditional with a Twist” really mean? I’m sure everyone would have their own two cents to throw in, but to me it consists of taking a classic base (because classic = timeless) and finishing it off with a touch that’s undeniably anchored in the present. There are a million ways to achieve this.
That being said I have nothing against more contemporary interiors, but I enjoy the mix of periods and styles. For example, the bedroom above is traditional, but in a very streamlined way. The traditional elements are merely found in the mouldings, the sofa and the ottoman.
I admire traditional designers for their craft and mastery of colors, textures and shapes. But for a room to really stand out to me, it needs an unexpected element.
My top 5 “traditional with a twist” designers have all understood that rule, and consistently execute it to perfection! Let’s see what tricks they have up their designer sleeves.
1. Celerie Kemble is one of my favorite interior designers. Everything she does makes little braincells in my head explode. Her tagline actually is: “Creating traditional rooms with a modern twist”.
In her own home, a Manhattan penthouse overlooking central park (no less), the is a definite traditional feel, but the details: the geometric rug, the bamboo roman shades and the giant peacock; are undeniably not traditional.
2. Is it too obvious to add Miles Redd to the list? He is the rock superstar of traditional decors with a twist… Redd often achieves his twist through bright colors, high gloss lacquered paint and oversized modern or contemporary art.
3. Not only does she have a heart of gold, Diane Bergeron is serious talent! Her traditional side is largely inspired by the Hamptons, but she updates it with bright grasscloth wallpaper and bold patterns à la Madeline Weinrib or Peter Dunham. Not to mention she caters to a quintessentially contemporary clientele: Australians.
4. When I discovered Luis Bustamante, my jaw dropped ten stories. No kidding. The simplicity yet effectiveness of his designs are mind-boggling. He uses a largely traditional European inspired base, and brings it up to date with a fresh color palette, and a few modern elements.
Are you starting to see a trend here? The items that are often traditional in a room are seating and upholstery. Much of it is due to the high level of quality in traditional upholstery craftsmanship, but also because large items like sofas and headboards with classic lines will stand the test of time.
5. Jeffrey Bilhuber is a bit under the radar in the world wide web, but nothing is under the radar in his stellar interior design career. If fact, if you dig a little, you’ll realize that he’s behind some of the great interiors found in Elle Decor, Architectural Digest and other prestigious shelter mags.
His client list after all includes Iman and David Bowie, Anna Wintour and Michael Douglas’ line of resorts. His style is largely traditional but always updated with subtle elements of surprise: animal prints, bright jewel tones and blown up black and white photography.
Now you know a bit more about my style. I’d be curious to know, what’s yours?
Gabrielle | Savvy Home