Soft Furnishing Week with Vaishali Sinha – Re-furnishing for a Traditional European Home!!

We received this great query from a customer who just moved to a new home, and is finding it challenging to blend her new furniture and the existing decor. The query and the response covers so many parameters of decor, that we felt it deserved to be a brand new post!! So here you go…


My husband, 5 year old daughter and I just moved into a new home and are planning to redecorate our family room, formal dining and bedrooms.

For our family room, we bought a leather set that includes-  3 seater sofa, loveseat and recliner. We also bought a coffee table and 2 side tables (rose- mahagony color). The sofas were listed as contemporary style and the salesman at the store said that the tables were traditional.

Views of the Family Room


  • So now the main furnishings in my house are a mix of 2 styles!  I want it to blend well and don’t want it to look awkward like we couldn’t make up our mind as to whether we wanted contemporary or traditional!

  • Do you have any ideas as to how I can bring the room together by adding rug (traditionals or contemporary ?) and artwork (traditional or abstract?)

  • In the family room we also have a built in shelves (on either side of the fireplace) where we have lots of space for curios….I ‘d like to use this space too….Should I have a theme (by color or culture?)

I know this is an open question! but even if you could just give me some general guidelines I can follow to mix traditional and contemporary that would be great!

We plan to use the family room as central place for both entertaining and family time since the kitchen opens into the family room and the deck access is also from the family room (the room is empty right now, furniture will be delivered in a couple of weeks).

The Dining Room – We are still unpacking so sorry for the pic with boxes!

  • For the formal dining, we haven’t bought the furniture yet….but I am having a hard time making up my mind….sometimes I like contemporary and sometimes traditional….We don’t do big formal dinners or anything so the idea of formal dining is completely lost on me….so for this if there is some kind of advise you can give to help me arrive at what I want for formal dining that would be helpful!

  • For the bedroom….right now I have furniture in there that were brought as separate pices and together its ugly and I hate it…so I am doing a complete revamp….again all I know is I want a King size bed and I am okay with anything as long as it is not gaudy. So any design ideas that you can share for bedroom would be great! I have a great walk in closet so I don’t need the bedroom furniture to address storage needs.

Thank you for taking the time to read this! Anything that you can share would it be great!

Vaishali’s Response:-

Hi, you seem to be living in lovely green surroundings 🙂
Let us take the rooms one at a time:

FAMILY ROOM: the look is traditional european.
I can see that this room has
– door to the deck on ONE wall
– fire place on wall TWO
– built in TV & media cabinet on wall THREE

Here I see a little issue – you have the ‘door to deck’ which kind of divides the room into two – space A & space B; this will not let you have furniture placed in the central portion of the room. Then you have 2 focal points ( the point where the furniture will face) – ONE fire place & TWO TV cabinet.
I feel your furniture will be better placed in SPACE-A & of-course will be facing the TV cabinet. I assume the other side not showing in the pictures ( space B ) – somewhere has access to kitchen and again assume will have a corner where you can have another small corner seating.

The furniture in spite of being a mix of contemporary & traditional should not be a worry as the color is similar…& I feel will very well sit together.

As all your furniture is ROSE MAHOGANY in colour & look of the room is traditional european, I have suggested some fabric designs you could use for cushions & drapes. You can compliment them with some solid colour cushions too.

I have enclosed some pictures of fire place with shelves – to help visualize the look – some nice painting above fire place is good AND in one of them you will see TV placed above fireplace thus combining the TWO FOCAL POINTS ( TV & fireplace) as one.

Curios get their due attention if they have light focussed on them ( so if possible you could get spot light set inside the shelves OR you could get wall paper placed in the back wall of the shelves to enhance the curios).
I suggest you follow the colour theme – for collection of curios ( don’t have to follow the colour palette too closely)

DINING ROOM: has panelled walls with curtains draped to give traditional european look.

The table could be simple & clean BUT some fun can be added in the chairs.
Pic 1 – the 2 chairs at the head & foot of the table have a design & colour BUT the other 4 chairs have different design & colour.
Pic 2 – the table need not be rustic ( it can be clean mahogany colour table) BUT the chairs have an interesting arrangement of a 2 seater on one side AND the rest as simple upholstered chairs.

This look will keep up with the existing ambience of the room as well as give some informality to the seating.

Wall Decor & Dining Cabinet:
It is functionally important to have a dining cabinet in the dining room. Here as it has panelled walls ; I suggest we keep cabinet matching the height of the panel ( as in pic 2).

We could decorate the wall above the cabinet with a collage of wall arts OR a single big wall art OR have shelves as shown in pic 2
On the wall (common to the kitchen & dining room) can also be a collage of family photos.

You will find a huge variety of designs if you just google the images of KING SIZE BED.
Just few things I can suggest:
– trend now a days is of low beds with 8 inch mattresses.
– I personally prefer 6 inch mattress & higher bedframe as it is easier & more comfortable to sit down & get up from the bed.
– Beds frames are available from 12 inches to 16 inches height + the mattress should comfortably be 18 to 21 inches

Ok so here we are…..I hope I somewhat managed to answer your queries 🙂
Best wishes!

– Vaishali


WOW!!! That one response covered so many tips to learn and try!!! We hope you are having as much as we are!! And yes, we are eagerly waiting for more of such wonderful queries!!

Team Z

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