How to Combine Traditional and Modern Design in Your Apartment

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Do you have a new apartment to decorate? Or are you just a bit tired of the way your old apartment looks? No matter what it is, a stylish interior design can keep your place looking fresh and current, so it’s always good to change things up a bit! However, very rarely can we start decorating with a completely blank canvas—usually, we have a lot of existing old furniture pieces that need to be incorporated into the design. That’s not a problem unless you’re planning to change your style from traditional to modern! But, even though it’s a bit tricky, you can blend those two styles to create a stylish and eclectic mix that will make your apartment ready for the covers! Here’s how to pull that off.

Don’t go 50/50

First things first: let’s brush up on some rules! When it comes to combining any two styles, don’t bother finding a 50/50 balance. Instead, select a dominant style (the main character in your apartment) and use the other one as an accent style (your supporting character.) A 70/30 or even 80/20 combo will make your place coherent, but just eclectic enough to keep visitors on their toes.

Playful Lighting


One of the easiest ways to add a bit of modernity to your apartment is to play with lighting. Even if your home is hard-core traditional with archways and crown molding, you can safely add a modern lighting fixture and end up with a breathtaking space! If you’re going the other way around, feel free to invest in a retro style lighting fixture for your contemporary home. Basically, no matter how untalented you are for interior design, you won’t go wrong with mixing lighting, so be creative and have fun!

Interesting rugs

Another easy way to blend modern and traditional is to turn to your floors! If you only want to add a little splash of modernity without transforming your whole space and spending a lot of money, rugs are the way to go. For instance, play it safe with geometric patterns or large shapes that will boost the modern edge in every room. On the other hand, you can add some warmth to your contemporary space with a Persian rug! But, don’t go too bold (a washed-up look is what you need), otherwise, you’re risking it being overpowering.

Boost Your Bathroom Design


Changing your traditional bathroom layout is quite tricky (you can’t move the plumbing around willy-nilly, especially if you live in an apartment), but what you can do is upgrade the look with some modern fixtures. For instance, minimalist freestanding baths attract all the attention with their simple yet eye-catching design! A model like that will instantly launch your bathroom into the 21st century and give it a modern edge without too much fuss. Combine your tub with a freestanding gooseneck tap and you’ll not only end up with a relaxing bath, but also get an attractive focal point for your bathroom!

Spice up your dining room


Dining rooms, especially the traditional ones, can be a bit boring. So, if you want to add interest to your space, try spicing it up with your seating arrangement! Keep your tradition table, but ditch the chairs for something modern and exciting. Pair your dining table with a set of Panton S seats or Arne Jacobsen Scandinavian-inspired chairs! Finish off the look with a classic crystal chandelier and you’ll be blown away by the mixture of modern and traditional!

Add something new to your bedroom


If you want to try modern minimalism somewhere in your apartment, your bedroom is the place to start! The no-fuss design is perfect for sleeping quarters because it’s peaceful, simple and neutral—perfect for falling asleep. However, that doesn’t mean that bedroom minimalism has to be boring and cold! Create a glam seating nook to add some warmth and interest to your space. Combine classic white armchairs with a contemporary mirror, a lux pedestal table and an interesting sculpture for a perfect mix of traditional and modern design that will not ruin your minimalist aesthetics.

Modern art

If you’re struggling how to blend your contemporary elements with your traditional design, add a few pieces of modern art to your room. Artwork can not only bring those two styles together in a relaxing way, but also introduce some color and interest to your space! If you prefer photography over paintings, opt for pieces with a modern feel and adorn them with large, matte frames. Choose something with non-traditional colors and motifs to add some extra charisma to the room!

Really, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on interior designers and expensive furniture pieces or original art! If you keep it relatively simple and stick to only a few clashing pieces per room, you’ll end up with a beautiful design that accents just the right places in your apartment. And remember to challenge rules, have fun with your remodel and enjoy the fruits of your labor!


Chloe Taylor

Chloe Taylor


Chloe is a graduated journalist from Adelaide and a regular contributor to Smooth Decorator. She loves everything related to decor, aesthetic and lifestyle topics. She is also passionate about photography. Her biggest dream is to travel the whole world and take some stunning photographs of beautiful places. Beside all this, she enjoys drinking coffee and reading a beautiful book from time to time.

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