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Traditional Style in an Urban High-Rise

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By : Fiona Creech    99 or more times read
Decorating should be a fun and creative endeavor, and part of what makes decorating so much fun is having the opportunity to bend the “rules” and create a space that truly reflects your style and personality. Many people think that if you live in an urban high-rise, you must decorate in contemporary style. However, if you prefer a more traditional style of decor, you can blend that style into a high-rise environment.

Meshing the Two Styles

While contemporary decor is what is expected in a high-rise urban living space, bringing in classic elements of traditional style can bring warmth and elegance to the space. While you may not want to use strictly traditional furnishings, blending classic elements with contemporary can result in a sophisticated and charming look that offers a nod to both styles; and there are many approaches that can be used to get there. For example, you could use traditionally styled furnishings but choose from a modern color palette like gray, blue or sage green to complement the contemporary architectural features of the space.

On the other hand, you can use a warm and traditional color palette like emerald green, burgundy and gold on sleeker styles of low profile, contemporary furniture. Or add modern touches like contemporary metal wall art or present a modern painting in a traditional curvaceous frame, or visa versa. Let the urban skyline into the picture by highlighting the windows with simple window toppers in rich traditional colors. Bring in Art Deco lamps, artwork and furnishings to create an eclectic blend of classic and cutting edge. Such an approach allows you to build a unique look that is yours alone.

Simply Classic Furniture

A great way to marry the two styles is to opt for simple, but classic pieces of furniture instead of ornately carved or curvaceous traditional furniture. Then cover sleek lined furniture with rich upholstery in warm traditional shades. Choosing furniture that is low profile and smaller in scale will also help keep a smaller urban living space open and spacious. Furniture made of dark traditional woods with simple modern styling is another great way to combine the two styles; you can also add traditional fabrics like brocade or velvet in accessories like throw pillows and furniture throws to sprinkle a bit of traditional style onto a contemporary couch.

Defining Style in Detail

Once the major pieces are in place and the color palette is defined, decorative style is truly defined by the details. Lack of detail can make a design fall flat, but a beautifully turned sculpture, perfectly placed painting or wall art or a simple wall shelf topped with interesting accessories can bring a room to life. A focal point is essential, whether it is a painting, wall mirror, tall potted palm or a collection of treasured photographs. Area rugs are ideal for adding color and pattern and they bring a traditional feel to a room; use them even over area rugs to define a seating area or create a warm and welcoming feel in an entry.
Fiona Creech, is a design specialist and writer at, and she offers many suggestions and unique ideas for designing with yard metal wall decor and metal wall coat racks.

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