How to change your home from traditional to modern / transitional.
A lot of people ask me how to update their interior design from heavy traditional to more modern / transitional. I also have people ask me about changing their ornate heavy traditional furnishings to a clean traditional design (still has traditional elements, just not heavy and ornate). In this blog I will talk about changing from heavy traditional (Old World) to a modern / transitional look. In the next blog I will talk about changing from Old World to Clean Traditional.
What do I have to change? Do I need to change all my furniture? What about the architecture of my house? These are all questions that need to be answered. In most cases you can get by with minor changes to your home. You will almost always need to paint your walls and ceiling. You may not need to paint the trim if it is already off white. If you truly want a more Modern look then you do need to change the furniture (see photos below). I get people that want to make the change, but they want to keep their furniture. I do not have a magic wand. Furniture is the one thing that people think they should keep forever. They will change cars every couple of years, but they want to keep their furniture even if they don't like it anymore. Another thing that you want to avoid is going to a furniture store and buying a bunch of furniture without a plan. I really feel bad for people when I go to their home and I see that they just bought furniture that does not fit in their home. A costly mistake.
I put together the CAD designs below to show you before and after photos of the same space.
The living room below shows the same room as the before photo below it. What did I change? The walls are painted, new window covering, new furniture, new rug, new lighting and accessories.
After Living Room Photo Above
Before Living Room Photo Below
Before photos above and below
After Dining Room Photo Below
The dining room above is the same room as the photo above it. You can see that I lightened up the room with paint. I also took out the wainscoting to give the room a cleaner look. Most dining rooms today are narrow and don't really have room for a china cabinet, although I see a lot of them forced into dining rooms. You need 30" past the table to pull out a chair and another 20-24" for the depth of a china cabinet. On the other hand, if you don't use a china cabinet, you end up with two bare walls. By using a floor to ceiling mirror on one wall, we take care of two problems. We don't need to put anything on that wall and now the room seems twice as wide.
There are other creative solutions that can improve your life and the look of your home.