Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Modern Traditional?

I'm traditional.  That's clear to any who have read here.  I like modern in it's place but it is not my place.  Perhaps it is because most of the mid-century stuff I experienced in the middle of the last century was cheap.  No one in my experience was showing an Eames chair and certainly none found sitting in those long-seated Danish Modern chairs very comfortable.  I had a thoroughly obnoxious experience with the formica topped table and chrome chairs that my mother installed in our kitchen space. 

With an open mind, I continue to watch the influence of the period on today's design world.  Just today I caught some photos of a Greenwich Village apartment that surprised me.  It is definitely Modern yet it has a Traditional feel. 

Is it the arrangement of the furniture?  Could it be the snowballs?  Hydrangea, if you will.  Down here in my part of the South we call those snowballs.  Maybe it is quantity.  By that I mean, Modern interiors usually have a more austere look. 

Once again, even with the ultra-modern lines, the room has a traditional feel to me.   Modern Traditional?  It can't be Traditional Modern since that would mean strict adherence to the Mid-Century principles, wouldn't it?

How about this room? 

Very Modern and more open than the ones above.  Window treatments are certainly 'cleaner'.  More space?  Ultra?  I'm not sure.  Does the warmth of the colorful art influence the mood?  Is color scheme a directive of Modern?  Are colors a consideration? 

I like this room.  It may be the touches of chartreuse.  I love that color.  Chartreuse is ultimate Mid-Century right along with red and black.  I've noted before that at one time my mother painted our living room that color.  Something about apples falling from trees might be appropriate here.  I had a chair similar that one in my first apartment and must admit those conical lamps were very effective for space lighting.  I especially like the walls in this room.  The look is just one reason I used to dream of living in a loft.  The shades of taupe to cream are lovely here and not seriously within the color confines of traditional Modern. 

The first two photos are of Anne Hearst and Jay McInerney's Greenwich Village Apartment.  The second two are of Will Ferrell's place in Manhatten.  Photos are from Architectural Digest.


  1. I was always a traditionalist too but have recently begun to appreciate mid-century modern. My eye just keeps being drawn to rooms like yours above. I absolutely love the first room, even the chair that I know I could never get out of. That small wood cabinet to the left side of the chair is something I would love to have, even if it meant redoing everything in the room.

  2. I favor the first two photos, and I've always leaned toward elements of tradtional styling. I especially like classic pieces but I like mixing them into a room with quirky, vintage, or even a touch of boho decorating. I agree with you about modern rooms, I find them a bit sterile. I loved reading your thoughtful words and I look forward to getting to know you. I'm Leslie from Gwen Moss. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such kind words.


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