Stingley Home Case Study: How to Mix Traditional Elements with Modern Flair for a Bright and Energetic Home Design

At Noble Designs, we’ve come to be known for our signature style of modern classic. Our modern classic style honors traditional design and injects it with the energy of unexpected modern flair. Modern classic interiors place comfort first, but they aren’t afraid to push the envelope with bold colors, fun patterns, and eye-catching accents. Our design team was recently tasked with turning a stuffy traditional Tudor home into a lively showpiece for a young family in our latest Kansas City interior design project. We’re going to take you through the design process and give you 8 tips for combining traditional and contemporary design in your own home.

Making the Decision to Combine Traditional and Modern Style for a Transitional Design

The Stingley family purchased an old Tudor home in their dream Kansas City neighborhood, complete with tree-lined streets, large green lawns, and charming rows of historic homes. This old Tudor drew them in with its welcoming approach, lovely architecture, and picturesque chimney stacks. Once inside, however, the house felt dark, dated, and drab. This young family wanted an interior space that reflected their fun, bright, and upbeat energy. When we took on their interior design project, we knew that we had to modernize the home with a fresh twist while honoring the traditional architecture. So, we decided to go for a bold and new take on transitional design to reflect this budding family and give them a comfortable space to grow.

How to Combine Traditional Bones with Contemporary Luxury

Some homeowners are hesitant to mix interior design styles because they believe everything must match to achieve a cohesive feel. However, this is not the case. Contrasting styles and elements help tell a story in your home’s design, making it feel welcoming and personal. In the Stingley family’s case, they wanted to reflect on their home’s history while creating a clean slate on which to start their next chapter. Here are 8 ways we added a modern touch to the traditional decor of the Stingley home

1. Don’t Be Afraid to Mix Old and New
The first tip to achieving modern classic style in your home is to leave behind the idea of matching furniture pieces, finishes, and textiles. While all the interior design elements should flow together, it’s welcomed to mix modern and traditional furniture for unexpected contrast. In the Stingelys’ gaming room, our interior designers placed clear lucite ghost chairs around an antique game table for the perfect mix of old and new. The chairs add a modern touch and recede into the space to make it feel larger and offer an unobstructed view of the antique table focal point.

3. Reupholster Old Furniture for a Fresh Look
Reupholstering and refinishing vintage furniture is a great way to bring in classic forms while still feeling fresh and updated. In the Stingleys’ dining room, vintage chairs were painted white and recovered in a light patterned fabric with rich red piping. This treatment allows the room to maintain a traditional elegance while embracing a clean and modern feel.

5. Make a Statement with Stunning Light Fixtures
New light fixtures can also help brighten an old home, but don’t stop there. In this project, our Kansas City interior designers chose to bring in new and bold lighting options that make a statement. Bright red lamps from Visual Comfort stand out among the pale blues and whites of the dining room, making a strong impact. A traditional empire chandelier was also brought in and updated with a satin brass finish and luxuriously modern white glass beads.

7. Choose Bold Art to Create Intentional Contrast 
Bold artwork can add instant contemporary contrast to a traditional house. In the Stingleys’ home, modern art selections bring high-end gallery vibes to cozy rooms, sparking conversations and energizing the space. For example, a photograph of a tiger swimming in a pool is showcased over an antique chest. The print by itself looks modern, but the contrasting pairing of the two elements together gives off a rich, almost regency, elegance.

2. But, Know When to Opt for Modern Comforts Over Traditional Charms
When mixing antiques and contemporary pieces, it is important to know when to choose modern comforts over traditional charms. In the living space of this project, we selected plush white sofas with clean lines. This selection offers more comfort and practicality than an antique settee, and it provides a modern contrast to the stone fireplace, stained French doors, and patterned textiles on the pillows.

4. Reinvigorate Traditional Molding with White Paint 
Stained moldings, wainscotting, and trim work can feel heavy and dark. A coat of white paint can freshen millwork and make the room feel larger while still honoring traditional architecture and creating a dimensional look. The Stingleys’ foyer welcomes guests with rich and grounding wood floors and light white trim and walls.

6. Embrace Traditional Wallpapers and Textiles 
For homeowners who err on the side of modern, it can be challenging to embrace traditional wallpapers and textiles. However, when applied in the right way, traditional patterns can take on a contemporary feel. In the Stingleys’ dining room, we used classic Schumacher wallpaper above the wainscotting. This placement showcases one repeat of the pattern, turning a traditional nature pattern into a piece of modern art. Classic floral textiles were also applied to clean-lined bar stools, offering contrast and a small pop of preppy style.

8. Add a Pop of Color
One thing that both the modern and traditional styles have in common is the use of bright pops of color to make a statement. In the Stingleys’ butler’s pantry, we went bold with a bright green finish on their floor-to-ceiling cabinets. The cabinets feature classic lines, but the uniform color paired with clean black counters and a geometric backsplash give a modern edge to the traditional space. The finished product is beautiful, showing that it pays off to go bold with color!

Project Takeaway: Mix Interior Design Styles to Get Exactly What You Want

The Stingleys love their new home! Our team of Kansas City interior designers refreshed this old space with bright color, bold lighting, and new furnishings to achieve the perfect balance of both traditional charm and modern comfort. Once again, we see how contrasting styles can live in perfect harmony with the right application.

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