How To Design a Traditional Living Room on a Budget

People are drawn to the traditional decorative style because of its comforting sense of symmetry, balance and order. Because this style is so popular and because its defining elements are adaptable, it can be achieved on a budget. Here are some tips that can help you design a beautiful traditional style living room with a low-cost approach.

Step 1

Mix it Up – Furniture Styles and Fabrics

It’s easy to take a budget-conscious approach when creating a traditional-style living room because all the pieces do not need to be perfectly matched or designed as a set of furniture. For example, end tables can be different from each other and/or the coffee table. Wing back chairs don’t have to be identical in form or fabric. An eclectic approach means that you can incorporate finds from estate sales, antique stores and consignment stores. To keep things cohesive, however, choose a common thread that unites pieces, such as dark tones woods or similarly shaped elegant chairs that can be visually connected with fabric and upholstery.

When choosing fabrics for window treatments, upholstery, throw pillows and chair cushions continue with a mix of patterns that are united by color and intensity of color. Florals can mix with strips and plaids or checks; in fact, keeping the ‘rule of threes’ in mind will create an eclectic but cohesive look. Use three patterns in the room, such as a floral with a stripe and a check, but unite various patterns with the same color. Make sure that all your patterns are of the same scale – small, medium or large.  Don’t forget to mix textures as well. Thrift stores carry lots of charming fabrics in patterns, as well as brocades and plush velvets.

Step 2

Customize used Furniture

The other great thing about traditional style is that you can turn flea market finds into a custom look.  A hunt board for a long wall may have a chipped stained finish, but you can paint it in any accent color that you choose. A chair with curvaceous elegant lines can get new life with some paint and fresh fabric for the seat cushion. However, remember that with major pieces of furniture, such as a couch or wingback chair, reupholstering can be very expensive depending on the size of the piece and details like pleats and tucks. In this case, a slipcover may be a more economical choice. Fabrics in deep shades like navy blue, sage green, burgundy, or gold lend a traditional feel.

Step 3

Traditional Detailing

There are some design hallmarks common to traditional style that should be incorporated in your living room:

• Pairing&Symmetry: Arranging accents like lamps, vases, mirrors and wall art in pairs gives a room a traditional ambiance and brings balance and symmetry to the room. Place identical long wall mirrors on either side of the mantle; pair hurricanes over brass candlesticks on the coffee table or place a wingback chair on either side of a window.

• Classic Pattern: Traditional living rooms have classic patterns on the walls. Wall paper or stenciling featuring traditional designs like the fleur-de-lis can help you achieve the look. Repeating patterns from fabrics and upholstery to other accents or wall décor creates a unified room.

• Classic Accents: Edit your accessories to classically elegant choices such a beautifully framed portrait or landscape painting. Choose from among traditional materials such brass, crystal and glass, silver, pewter and dark woods.

• Traditional Trims: Make plain pieces look high end by switching out plain wood knobs for crystal or adding elegant beaded fringe to a lampshade. Hang a braided tassel pull to a ceiling fan and embellish a leather ottoman or armchair with hammered nail head trim.

This article was provided by Jessica Ackerman, an author at - visit the store for more information on wall pocket vases, wall art plaques and iron wall candle holders.

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