I describe my style as “grandmillenial” and “traditional with a twist.” It suits me. I like formal spaces, but I also like comfort. But, before I started putting my spin on it, I had to learn about actual traditional design styles. With design, I’ve found the easiest way to figure out what you do and don’t like is to look at pictures. Lots of them. Whenever I need some inspiration, there are a few traditional designers whose work I keep going back to. Are they the most iconic, staunchly traditional designers of all time? Not necessarily. But, their styles definitely skew more grand than millennial.
1. Mario Buatta: The Prince of Chintz
Known as the Prince of Chintz, no list of traditional interior designers would be complete without Mario Buatta. His use of color and fabric is inspirational. The man did not shy away from being bold. Above all, his designs are an example of “more is more.”
2. Sister Parish: An Iconic Traditional Designer
Sister Parish started her decorating career at just 23 with no formal training. She went on to work with Jacqueline Kennedy, decorating the Georgetown house they lived in during John F. Kennedy’s time in the Senate. Likely as a result of this partnership, Sister Parish tapped as the designer for the Kennedy White House. She completed the private residence before a falling out led to her being replaced. Sister Parish later joined forces with another renowned designer, Albert Hadley, to create Parish-Hadley. To learn more about the venerable Parish-Hadley, check out this article from Architectural Digest.
3. Bunny Williams: A Traditional Design Legend
Bunny Williams is a little bit of a chameleon. Her style ranges from modern to cottages-y depending on the project. One of her earliest jobs was working for Parish-Hadley, which she has referred to as her “big break.” She is arguably one of the most talented living interior designers.
4. Lee Radziwill: Socialite, Princess, Designer
Lee Radziwill was the younger sister of Jacqueline Kennedy. A socialite, and later, princess, she was also a talented interior designer. Her designs are filled with pattern. She also frequently used one pattern throughout an entire room.
5. Ralph Lauren: Tradition Meets Fashion
Ralph Lauren is perhaps most well known for his fashion line. However, he is also a talented interior designer. His homes tend to feature rich jewel tones and lots of dark wood.