Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What is Traditional?

For some people, traditional = boring. Blah. It's often hard to define traditional in terms of interior design. Attitudes change. Tastes change. I must admit, in the past, I've had less than favorable impressions of what's considered "traditional" decor. However, that might be changing a bit. Why, you ask? Well, it started with this month's issue of Traditional Home. I don't subscribe to TH, but my sister does and when she texted me this photo from this month's issue, it prompted me to buy it off the newsstand yesterday.
My love for sputnik chandeliers is no secret, so I wanted to see more. Here are some more shots from that home in San Francisco's Pacific Heights neighborhood . . .

But the feature that really got to me was the Hollywood home shared by designer Joe Lucas (co-owner of the shop Harbinger) and his partner David Heikka, a visual concept guru for Juicy Couture. 


Isn't it fab?

And there were two other features I found interesting too . . . a home designed by Jamie Herzlinger and one by Andrew Howard, son of Phoebe and James Howard. 

Now, is this traditional design? Or a variation thereof? In the April issue of House Beautiful, the theme was "The Best Traditional Style Now," and Editor Newell Turner wrote that "traditional may be the most misunderstood and misused word in our design vocabulary." I'm starting to agree. He asserts that "traditional is really about the way a room is conceived and put together . . . using ideas and solutions developed over time - it's the sum of all parts." I'm not sure if that clears it up or makes it more confusing. All I know is that I hate labels. I like what I like, often with no rhyme or reason. So, from now on, I'm going to have more of an open mind about things deemed "traditional" and just go with what feels right. How about you?

Oh, and a little off topic, but I did get the arrow sconces on Friday . . . thanks for all your support on that front. 

They're a little battered and bruised, but I've been working on shining them up. I just love their unique shape. Still haven't decided where they'll live, but that's always the fun part. 

14 comments:

Ashley said...

Labels are often too limiting, but if those homes are what passes for 'traditional' these days, call me traditional!

And glad to see those sconces are with their rightful owner.

Sarah said...

I also used to think "Traditional" was a dirty word. It conjured images of all things fussy and over-decorated. Lately I find myself loving this "new" traditional that we're seeing more of these days. Love those classic details mixed with modern style! Can't wait to see what you do with the arrow sconces, I'm sure it'll be fab!

stephanie said...

Glad you got the arrows and love the pics from Traditional home. Will have to pick up the issue!

Mallory | Confetti and Stripes said...

I was actually at a design camp 2 weeks ago with an editor from traditional home mag and she talked about this topic and how broad "traditional" can be and they think of it as each time period or era of having its own traditional style. Ex. Mid century modern, ect.

Kim said...

I agree with Mallory's reflection ... Traditional is almost like "comfort food" what was "in" when you were in your formidable years, or how your mom decorated! Traditional is just "Feel Good"!! xo

stephanie hubbard said...

My husband grew up with Newell, and my MIL gave him art lessons! That is my claim to fame! HA! Love that shout out....and great post!

Heather (love your space) said...

I do subscribe to Traditional Home, and it hasn't been so great lately. But this issue knocked it out of the park!

I have always considered myself to work from a traditional backbone. And I think this is what that quote gets at--the design principles we work from. As such, "traditional" should not be a dirty word!

Heather
loveyourspace.blogspot.com

Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door said...

A great post and a very interesting topic. I'm all about traditional, dirty word or not.

Melissa Crochet said...

I think traditional is another word for classic and you do classic with a twist so well.

designchic said...

I am such a fan of Traditional Home Magazine and these articles certainly reinforce that love. The first image with the sputnik chandelier...fabulous!!

Erin said...

I am SO GLAD you got the sconces! They look great already and I love the little bit of patina. I'm pretty jealous because I think they're better than mine.

Love lots of these rooms... like macaroni and cheese with arugala and crispy prosciutto on top.

Kimberly Lemmon said...

This is a great topic! I think within the realm of "traditional", there are still trends that surface and, in turn, freshen up the look. I think it just goes to show there's really nothing "new", just new perspectives on old ideas. PS. Super excited about the sconces. Hoping they're for your home?

bluehydrangea said...

I am off to get a copy today!!!

Brandy@Chateau À Gogo said...

I hate labels. I say just do what you love. For me, that changes all the time :)