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The stately, traditional dining table seen on the British series, 
Downton Abbey.

Choosing timeless furniture in today’s ever-evolving design world can prove to be as paralyzing as standing in a grocery store in search for the ideal salad dressing. There are simply too many options making it a challenge to know where to begin. Unlike salad dressing however, you will have to live with your furniture for many years. For some, it will be a lifetime commitment.  Luxury furniture shopping doesn’t have to be an overwhelming ordeal, however.  Knowing what you like and what suits you and your family’s lifestyle and taste is the key to finding the perfect elements when furnishing your home.

Look Around You
First, look around to see what you find beautiful. Fashion and trends matter little if you don’t find something pleasing to your senses. Your muse can be a period drama showcasing grand, ornate decor, while your spouse and family might prefer sleek, modern homes displayed on every interior design show on cable. Beauty is a matter of personal preference, but it is possible to blend different tastes with a little research and a lot of inspiration.

Inspiration can stem from a variety of sources, and we’re happy to point you to some trends we currently find inspiring, which can in turn help stir up ideas of your own. Not a trend-follower? No worries, we’ll also fill you in on furniture and design ideas which are as timeless and classic as they are up-to-date. No need to compromise one way or another. We believe you can have the best of both worlds. The latest design movements in furniture combine both traditional as well as modern styles. This is also known as transitional-style furniture, or you may have heard the term, “classic with a contemporary twist”.

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Create your own 21st-century version of this Downton Abbey 
saloon with a few key accent items.

Traditional vs Transitional
tufted sofa
A tufted sofa exudes a contemporary aesthetic, while retaining a classic, timeless elegance.

If you lean towards a more traditional style a la Downton Abbey, but don’t want to take a huge leap by purchasing larger pieces, look to accent your home with stand-alone luxury accents such as occasional chairs, small luxe tables, and ornate dressers and chests. While not all of us may hold a title as Earl or Countess and live in a grand, 19th century English estate, key accent pieces can give a home that additional bit of character, which can lend an air of majesty to your abode. Pieces with a slight modern twist keeps things interesting, or at least from feeling a bit too much like great-grandma’s house. This marriage of traditional and transitional worlds can work beautifully as seen in the image below of the Franklin Occasional Chair.

Savannah Collections High End Furniture Baker Furniture Drexel Heritage
This Franklin Occasional Chair and ottoman displays an effortless 
combination of traditional style with modern details such as the 
nail-head trim.

Mix and Match
dining mixed

Mixing and matching not only styles, but types of furniture in unconventional ways has also been gaining popularity. For example, you can choose two or three different sets of chairs for your dining table to compose a unique, one-of-a-kind ensemble as seen pictured here. Mixing furniture allows one to exercise some creative muscle in selecting pieces that will accent as well as complement each other. A personalized touch to furnishing your space adds a certain charm and depth that can differentiate a house from a home.

dining table - bench

Another popular trend is the use of bench-style seating instead of common chairs at dining tables.  Benches can create an inviting gesture, as the extra seating suggests that sharing a space is welcome and encouraged. Alternatively, you may forgo using a dining table altogether and use a large coffee table for your dining experience. Whether you enjoy standing up to eat or sitting down around the television for a meal, don’t hesitate to draw inspiration from your lifestyle when selecting your furniture.

Color and Texture
Savannah Collections High End Furniture Henredon Lexington Furniture

Your choice of color and texture plays a huge role in the ambiance of a room. It can brighten a space up, alerting and attracting eyes, or create a more calming, subdued atmosphere. The latest tendency for color seems to range from earth-tones in gray, gray-browns to bright shades of tangerine and green. Consider what tone you’d like to create for you, your family and visitors when entering a given room. Texture can also set subtle, yet important tones within a space. Fabric color and texture found on sofas, chairs, pillows and rugs can add a palpable warmth and energy to a room.
ottoman - tangerine
French provincal ottoman

A Meaningful Environment

Savannah Collections Luxury Furniture Chaise Marge Carson Henredon
Considering modern trends is a good start when looking for the furniture you want to buy. But to really designate a place as your own, look to what inspires you. You don’t have to be an interior designer to know exactly what looks good and feels good to you. To quote the well-respected interior designer, Albert Hadley:
“The essence of interior design will always be about people and how they live. It is about the realities of what makes for an attractive, civilized, meaningful environment, not about fashion or what’s in or what’s out…”

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