Classic modern look

One of the most exciting trends is the move toward a new classic look.

Classic and modern designs meet and mingle to produce the new warm look of today’s interiors.

One of the most exciting trends is the move toward a new classic look.

It combines the best of well-loved traditional design with modern colours and patterns. The impersonal state of minimalism has given way to gorgeous colourways and graphics – rooms are both laid back and luxurious.

The library shown here is located in the Haymarket Hotel in London.

Owner and Design Director Kit Kemp has honoured the building’s noble lineage while updating it with a contemporary English point of view.

The room is charming and homey, a delightful respite that Kemp has infused throughout the bedrooms as well as the common spaces.

Kemp’s award-winning design aesthetic vibrates with life and leads the way in hotel style that can be immediately transferred to our home decor.

Here are a few tips for reproducing the classic modern look in your home.

It begins with colour in all its glory and the fabrics that bring colour to life.

Gray is the new neutral, and ranges from cool pebble to shimmering slate blue gray.

Paired with white (ceiling, moulding and trim) this presents a calm background, which is necessary if you are going to decorate with lots of pattern on furnishings and carpets.

Green is a perennial favourite, although the popular shades change with the times.

Right now grass green and lime are prevalent for accent walls. These shades pop in an otherwise neutral setting such as a bathroom or kitchen. Blue and white are two calming colours that pair up in a refreshing, serene and often fun manner. They can live happily in any room and make the most of patterns large and small.

Upholstery fabrics are bold and full of pattern. Modern motifs are squiggles or scribbles and other haphazard graphics. You can see the scribble pattern on the two couches in the library. It’s both practical and fun, and works with the patchwork sofa.

Note the move from busy pattern to colour blocks that lets the eye rest. A little romance slips into the modern classic style, introducing vivid pastels. Rosy pink and teal blue pop up in old-fashioned patterns where motifs are larger than life.

And finally, there is a return to hand crafts – crochet, embroidery, and hand-painted details.

Debbie Travis’ House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please email your questions to

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