Design Inspiration

The Beauty of Contrast: Traditional Art in Contemporary Rooms

Spaces with exclusively modern furniture and furnishings can sometimes feel sterile and uninspired, lacking in character and individuality. An effective way to add personality, history, and visual interest to a modern space is through the addition of traditional artwork.

Consider all the traditional mediums, including painting, drawing and sculpture, and the cultures and eras that you can draw from. Whether you anchor your modern space with a gilt-framed painting or accessorize with tribal sculpture, a bit of tradition can add much to a contemporary home.

(Image: Photo by Gary Lee Partners, Courtesy of Houzz)

In this sleek and monochromatic wood-paneled dining area, traditional pastoral paintings in ornate gold frames introduce nature, color and depth.

(Image: Photo by Van Inwegen Digital Arts, Design by Kaufman Seagal Design, Courtesy of Houzz)

A pair of intricate antique Southeast Asian figures in illuminated nooks flank a hallway in this modern foyer, setting a sophisticated and culturally rich tone.

Curate an Eclectic Look With a Patterned Area Rug

(Image: Photo by David Scott Interiors, Courtesy of Houzz)

With its metallic walls and tiger skin rug, this luxuriously eclectic modern living room isn’t lacking for personality; it’s all about drama. The large traditional painting takes center stage, adding a layer of history and intrigue.

(Image: Photo by Jack MacKie, Design by Handman Associates, Courtesy of Houzz)

Old drawings of classic architectural features in gold frames add a sense of history, playing off the Carrara marble, a historically classic material used here in a modern way.

(Image: Photo by Kaufman Segal Design, Courtesy of Houzz)

In this modern gray-toned living room, a traditional still life painting adds nostalgic charm and introduces a warm color palette, which is echoed in the pillows.

Neutral Colors to Paint Every Room in the House

(Image: Photo by David Scott Interiors, Courtesy of Houzz)

A classical Western-style female figure interacts with this Asian elements in this modern space, creating an interesting dialogue between old and new, East and West.

(Image: Photo by Taylor Jacobson Interior Design, Courtesy of Houzz)

An idyllic watercolor landscape painting brings the outdoors in, breathing fresh air, color, and charm into this white-walled, sparsely furnished space.

How to Put Your Own Spin on Midcentury Modern Design

(Image: Photo by Gary Lee Partners, Courtesy of Houzz)

A pair of antique Chinese portraits introduces color and life to this understated, neutral-palette bedroom, while subtly reinforcing the Asian-inspired modern design.