Traditional Front Room Decorating Ideas

Written by angelique de la morreaux
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Traditional Front Room Decorating Ideas
A fireplace becomes the focal point in a traditional front room design. (David Sacks/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Red, white and blue or black and white, a front room gives guests an immediate impression of who you are. Don't muddy the room with a hodgepodge of clutter when a clear design scheme can be yours with minimal effort. Showcase your treasure items for all to see as you build a room decor that reflects your true style.

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Traditional front rooms require symmetry and balance. Although many believe the objects need to be the same to create balance, the trick is to use items that are similar in height, width and design. For example, a pedestal with a floral display on one side of a room can balance a large sculptural piece similar in size and visual weight. Or, a camelback sofa can offset two wingback chairs while a bookcase balances out an armoire.

Window Treatment

Most traditional front rooms have elaborate window treatments. The window treatments usually involve a valance with drapes. The valance can be swag or box pleat, or even a cornice board with fabric that matches the drapes. Drapes tend to fall to the end of the wall and may be tied back with a tassel. Some treatments include a set of sheer curtains beneath the drapes while other treatments consist solely of the valance and drapes.


Furniture in a traditional room is often luxurious. Rich natural wood, usually with a dark stain and an aged patina, become coffee, side and sofa tables. Sofas and chairs made from leather and worn with time may contain brass buttons down the sides or contain slipcovers of damask or striped material. Fabric-covered furniture contains skirts on the bottom to hide the legs, while wood furniture may have a rounded or curved leg design.


Accessories in a traditional room are classic and timeless. A crystal vase can showcase a single flower or a carefully controlled floral arrangement. A pair of brass candlestick holders may sit on the fireplace mantel in front of a mirror or as a table arrangement. A small collection of first edition books can fill a bookshelf next to a collection of illustrated children's stories while several oil paintings or art prints hang on the wall.

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