Modern Heirloom Style: 5 Ways to Get the Look


Modern heritage style has a moment, providing reassuring traditional comfort in living spaces, bedrooms and beyond.

The modern heritage style is characterized by floral wallpapers and fabrics, traditional wall panels and historic paint colors combined with more modern artwork, contemporary craftsmanship and all the comforts you expect from houses today.

This is sustainable interior design at its best, relying on upcycled, upcycled, vintage, and antique finds, rather than new furniture. Best of all, it’s inviting, easy-going, and full of personality and personal touches.

Here, stylist and modern heritage style expert Selina Lake shows us the top five elements you can use to capture the look.

Modern heritage styling

If you’re looking for interior design tips to create an inviting and comfortable home that doesn’t have too much of an impact on the planet, you can’t go wrong with the modern heirloom style. The aesthetic is casual and works for both vintage and modern homes, while the upcycled staples offer a wonderful chance to create a home that’s uniquely your own. These are stylist Selina Lake’s top five tips for getting the look.

1. Take a bold approach with stripes

Heritage Style Book

(Image credit: Ryland Peters & Small)

Decorating with stripes is an easy way to create an impactful vintage feel.

“I don’t believe stripes will ever really go out of fashion, but right now they seem to be everywhere and gaining momentum as a design staple.

“These impressive painted stripes (above), created by artist Russell Loughlan in his Georgian cottage in Kent, were made with a steady hand and a few rolls of duct tape. Note the change in tone and shadow effect in the section under the chair rail, which I think softens the look and makes it more appropriate for a bedroom. If you don’t feel like painting, just choose wallpaper.

“These classic monochrome stripes painted on stripes coordinate with the red and white quilt and modern artwork by Russell Loughlan.”

2. Play with the pattern

Heritage Style Book

(Image credit: Ryland Peters & Small)

The modern heritage style relies on room color ideas with historic appeal.

“Richness of color and pattern are key elements of the heritage style and there is a huge range of historic paint colours, as well as wallpaper and fabric patterns, to choose from. Many companies have looked to the past and historic properties for inspiration for new designs, while others have replicated classic wallpapers and revived historic colors for use in modern homes.

“Traditional paper patterns, often inspired by nature like here, are often block printed in the same way as when they were first produced. Classic patterns, such as botanicals, checks and stripes, are perennially popular, while also being particularly trendy right now.

“This fireplace has been painted in cool aqua to match Cole & Son’s Great Vine wallpaper.”

3. Choose bespoke beauty

Heritage Style Book

(Image credit: Ryland Peters & Small)

‘Heritage style is all about creating a classic, timeless and easy-going home, and diligent storage will keep everything simple and under control.

“Once you find a long-term spot, you might be lucky enough to come across an antique cabinet that looks like it was made to fit. Alternatively, hiring a carpenter to build storage to mold to the contours of your property will make the best use of space.

“And these additions don’t have to blend into the walls – you can paint them in a cheerful tone.” Genevieve Harris designed these floor-to-ceiling cabinets to create a traditional style dresser for her kitchen; she chose a cheerful yellow hue to keep things modern and finished the doors with brass knobs.

4. Use the considered color

Dining room with wooden table and green/blue window frames

(Image credit: Ryland Peters & Small)

“What feels particularly contemporary about this combination is the mix of a classic French style kitchen/dining table with 20th century chairs and an oversized, casual woven pendant. The resulting mix is ​​casual yet chic.’

Green room ideas also work well for the modern heritage style.

“When in doubt, when choosing to put color in a room, go for green, the color of nature. Fresh greens work especially well when used in conjunction with untreated woods, natural fiber rugs and washed linens. Little Greene’s Green Verditer was used here to add color blocking to the door and trim. ‘

5. Use salvaged and salvaged parts

Heritage Style Book

(Image credit: Ryland Peters & Small)

“Reclaimed wood and vintage pieces are key to the modern heirloom look. Wood and stoneware, two of the oldest and most durable materials, are used in harmony in Paul West’s kitchen. Paul has created a modern space with a period flair, in keeping with the age of his Victorian property.

‘Warm, natural materials, antique pieces and a balance of neutral tones have come together to create a timeless look. Reclaimed materials have a great sense of history – for example, reclaimed wood display cases may have gouges, stamp marks or nail marks, which will add character to your kitchen.

“Reclaimed and vintage items are key to bringing the heritage look together, as these finds show signs of age and patina that will ground your interior designs. You can pick up salvaged accessories at antique markets, flea markets and online.Heritage items to look out for when decorating your kitchen include painterly artwork, wooden cutting boards, stoneware pots and jugs.

What is the Modern Heritage Style?

Modern heritage styles are a British or colonial look that combines classic furniture, patterns and designs from that period with more contemporary furniture in rustic finishes. So you might see a traditional patchwork bedspread on a vintage bed, paired with more modern bedside lighting, perhaps wicker.


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