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Design Recipes: Master modern old-world charm with these tips

by Tribune News Service | October 2, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
Creative use of mirrors helps to highlight architectural features. (Cathy Hobbs/TNS)

As the old saying goes, what's old is new again. This certainly applies to home decor and interior design. One moment a trend is hot, then goes out of style, only to return. Certain styles are also timeless. The expression "old-world charm" can be interpreted in different ways, but it typically signals a design that is classic and timeless. One way to create a look that is fresh and relevant is to modernize these elements. Here are some top tips.


1. Do source locally. Local stores and boutiques are great for one-of-a-kind finds.

2. Do consider the works of artists and artisans. This is a wonderful way to incorporate craftsmanship and customization.

3. Do incorporate greenery, as it can help to create a feeling of coziness.

4. Do bring in texture and tactile elements such as thick rugs and fabrics for upholstery.

5. Do use a classic color palette to create a timeless look and feel.


1. Don't ignore the timelessness of antiques, even if just a single heirloom piece.

2. Don't use elements that are overly modern or trendy.

3. Don't use colors that overly dark or warm. Creating a sense of contrast will help keep a space open and airy.

4. Don't ignore architectural elements and details. Instead of painting or covering up original detail, refurbish, enhance and preserve.

5. Don't overlook the power of mirrors to enhance and open various rooms and spaces.

photo Wood elements help to add warmth to an space highlighted by a wood burning fireplace. (Cathy Hobbs/TNS)
photo An oversized mirror placed above a classic sideboard helps to add a focal point in this living space. (Cathy Hobbs/TNS)
photo A blend of modern and more traditional pieces help to add a sense of timelessness in this living space. (Cathy Hobbs/TNS)
photo An antique is given a modern edge through the use of accessories and surrounding artwork. (Cathy Hobbs/TNS)

Print Headline: Design Recipes: Master modern old-world charm with these tips


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