The Complete Guide to the Traditional Furniture Style

The Complete Guide to the Traditional Furniture Style

The Complete Guide to the Traditional Furniture Style

Posted 18 November, 2015 by Benjamin Gardiner in Get that look...

Traditional and classic furniture is a timeless and sophisticated style that has become one of the signature models in home furniture style. 
If you like the look of Traditional and Classic style furniture, then our guide is for you. We take you through transforming any room to a more traditional style, taking you through each step in our room by room guide. As well as this, we share our top ten tips for achieving a traditional and classic look!

What is the Traditional and Classic Style? 

Traditional and Classic furniture follows themes of simplicity, classic shapes and unfussy details. The style is often associated with warm and dark wood tones and soft to mid range colours. As a style, it evokes a feeling of warmth and ‘homeliness’, but with an element of formality mixed in. It’s no wonder that it remains a popular design, delivering a comfortable and sophisticated look that makes it both unique and timeless.

History of the Traditional and Classic Style

Traditional style furniture covers a wide variety of periods and has been influenced from many different areas of furniture design over the past five centuries. For many, the King Louis IV era (1643) represents the start of traditional furniture design. Other significant periods include Georgian (1714-1760), Chippendale (1750 -1790), Federal (1780 -1820) and Victorian eras (1840 - 1910).

Today a wide variety of traditional and classic modern furniture designs emulate and take inspiration from previous periods. This is an attempt to create a style of room that reflects both the traditional values that period furniture was built to serve and the functionality that the style brings to modern living.   

Traditional furniture is best known for its proud and imposing style. Commonly, furniture was made from deeply carved, thick wood with hand carved decor and featured exotic materials such as brass. Fabrics were often made from silk displaying solid colours and intricate tapestries and patterns. Traditional furniture was often built in an attempt to mimic what royal monarchs used at the time. 

However, over time new materials and technological advancements introduced new ways of designing and building furniture. Traditional furniture designs have now evolved into new formats that celebrate and commemorate older design styles of furniture. 

Our Top 10 Traditional and Classic Style Tips! 

  1. The Style - Traditional rooms are decorated in a calm and orderly way. Chaos is not a theme of the style. Remember simplicity is key.
  2. Problems in Mixing Styles - Traditional and contemporary furnishings should not be used together. Contemporary furniture in a classical setting will look out of place. 
  3. Colours - When considering colours, mid-range tones are mostly used when designing this style.  Walls should be painted with neutral colour schemes.
  4. Furnishings - General furnishings should feel classic. Accessories should reflect the theme of the room and should not look out of place.
  5. Accessories - Accessories such as lamps, candles and vases are often displayed in pairs. 
  6. Wooden Furniture – When it comes to wooden pieces of furniture, the traditional and classic design is often associated with dark woods such as oak, mahogany, cherry, maple and walnut. 
  7. Flower Power - Floral themes have always been strong in the traditional and classic room designs. Using light toned multi-coloured floral patterns on a small area of wallpaper or on upholstery can add a warming ambience. 
  8. Soft Furnishings - Fabrics and textiles are also a major theme in traditional home design. Cushions, pillows and upholstery can consist of patterns such as solid colours, stripes or small prints. 
  9. Organise - The layout of furniture in a traditional and classic setting is often symmetrical and vertical. Large pieces such as sofas, benches and chairs are often matched in pairs facing each other or perpendicular to the focal point of the room (e.g fireplaces, windows or a table).
  10. Flooring - Hardwood flooring is a speciality of traditional and classic home interiors and can add warmth and elegance to any room. It is typically more expensive than other flooring alternatives, but it's typical lifespan is up to 100 years and can be refinished 10 to 12 times. Traditionally Hardwood floors are made from Oak, Maple, Cherry and Hickory due to their durability and ‘hardness’.

Traditional and Classic Furniture

There are many different types of Traditional and Classic furniture. Over the years the traditional and classic style of furniture has evolved to encompass many more designs and styles. Here at Oak Furniture Solutions, we stock and sell a number of different traditional and classic furniture designs. Feel free to browse our collections.

There are three main types of furniture used when designing a traditional and classic styled rooms:

Solid Wood Furniture

Imposing is one word to describe this beautiful Knightsbridge Oak Large Dresser. This piece possesses great character with curved edges and small groove detail on the cabinets and table tops. With the addition of brass handles, this piece is perfect example of how modern furniture designs can emulate the character and build quality of traditional furniture designs. Check out more of the Knightsbridge Oak range here.

Painted Furniture

Simple, solid and timeless. The camden painted pine range is the perfect example of traditional painted furniture. The round wooden handles and unpainted ash top can add a sophisticated feel to the room, whilst the chamfered legs emulates a classic feature  of traditional furniture. Browse our collection of Camden Painted Pine furniture here.

Reclaimed Furniture

Reclaimed furniture has been a popular theme in more modern interpretations of traditional interior designs. This is due to the age and colour of the wood reflecting a character that can’t just be made or designed. The Westbury Reclaimed Oak range is a good example of this. Its light wood tones and attractive grain patterning can help enhance many interiors. Each piece is crafted using traditional artisan methods, this emulates the beauty and quality of build that traditional and classic furniture is most well known for. See more of our Westbury Oak Range here.

Traditional and Classic Furniture by room 


Classic kitchens are timeless but fresh. Warm colour schemes are needed when trying to incorporate wooden furniture into a traditional kitchen design. Using natural finished wood units such as cabinets, islands and dressers can add great style to the room. Painted furniture can also be used to create a traditional look, however this must be matched with the colour scheme of your walls and flooring. It is worth considering how your modern appliances will blend into the setting.

Dining Room

Traditional dining rooms contain large rectangular tables with matching chairs set evenly around the table. Large sideboards and corner cabinets are also a common feature. Showcasing various pieces of china, silver and glassware in these can add to the classy and traditional feel. Rugs can also feature on top of hard wood floors to create a warming ambience in a cold room.

Get the Look!

Get the Look - Traditional dining room

Get the Look - Traditional dining room.

Dark wood furniture adds glamour to a traditional dinning room. Using the image above and the infomation below. This how to get the look:

  1. First, add the glamour and the presence with a Walnut extending dining table.
  2. Ensure you have the storage for all of your tableware needs with our Walnut wide sideboard.
  3. Add a touch of class with a champagne lampshade.
  4. Give your guest's the comfort they deserve with our luxurious linen covered dining chairs.

Living Room

The theme of the living room should resemble a comfortable and organised appearance. Furniture such as sofas, tables and chairs should be placed symmetrically and vertical towards the focal point of the room. Large rugs can be used to bring the variety of colours in the living room together. 


Though traditional design continues to evolve, it consists of a number of features such as symmetry, luxurious textiles and soft warm colours. These features are key to achieving a warm and comfortable classic bedroom. Bedroom furnishings should always be matched to each other to create a cohesive theme. Oak, mahogany or walnut bedside tables and dressers can add a touch of class to the bedroom whilst generating a comforting and luxurious feel. When considering bed frames, opt for wooden, iron or even brass to cement that classic theme whilst using printed or floral textiles to bring comfort to the room.
The tonal grey colour scheme gives this bedroom a contemporary twist keeping it looking clean and sophisticated. We also love the use of proportion and symmetry with the furniture and bookshelves. The room is a good example of how traditional styles can be modernised. Want to get the look of this room? Have a look on our guide below.

Get the Look

Get the Look! - Traditional Bedroom style

Get the Look! - Traditional Bedroom style.

This is how we would get the look:

  1. Invest in a high quality solid Oak bed. Our King size Devon Oak bed should do just fine.
  2. A mirror can add real practicallity to a room. Have a look at our Wallnut Wall Mirror
  3. A bedside table is a must have in any traditional styled bedroom. Why not try this Oak beside Table.
  4. Add some comfort and style with these dark grey velvet cushions.
  5. This light grey cotton throw will provide the finishing touch to your traditional bedroom.


The main difficulty when trying to design this style of bathroom is that actual vintage fixtures are very hard to track down (and install), but happily enough there are many modern bathroom fixtures that can be purchased that retain a traditional and classic appearance and feel.

What Now?

Now it’s over to you. You now have all the knowledge required to create a classic and traditional style home. By choosing the right type of furniture and by following a few simple rules, you can enjoy the benefits of timeless design, a sense of history, with a rich yet cosy atmosphere. Browse our Traditional and Classic range of furniture now.

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