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Interiors: Why modern classic design never falls out of fashion

“The design world is never static. But one style manages to stand the test of time while seamlessly incorporating the new. . .” Ryan Windsor, development director and co-founder of Cambridge architecture firm WindsorPatania, looks at the essence and evolution of modern classic interiors

WindsorPatania - How to get the modern classic look
WindsorPatania - How to get the modern classic look

The essence of modern classic design
Modern classic design thrives on the compelling interplay of opposites. This sought-after style embodies the best of two worlds, embracing contrasts in light, shades and patterns, as well as symmetry.
Clean lines, defined spaces, luxurious textures and purposeful elegance create an aesthetic that exudes sophistication; like the history it celebrates and the future that continues to mould it, modern classic draws on a proud lineage of design over the centuries.

Where tradition and modern style meet
Satisfying the eye’s desire for warmth, comfort and familiarity, while adding a layer of sophistication and elegance, modern classic design is inspired by the elegance, grandeur and charm of classic interiors, but adds a modern and minimalist twist.
Classic interior design is itself a blend of historical opulence and contemporary sensibilities, drawing on influences from across Europe, including French châteaux, the villas of Italy, and English manor houses.
What distinguishes modern classic interior design from its classic counterpart is its capacity to cherish tradition and seamlessly unite it with the innovative spirit of the present day, resulting in a space that transcends time.
At its core, modern classic design achieves this visual harmony through the strategic use of specific materials and colours.

WindsorPatania - How to get the modern classic look
WindsorPatania - How to get the modern classic look

Cornerstones for a timeless transformation
Exceptional design:
An unwavering commitment to supreme comfort, where every element is thoughtfully curated to create a sense of home and relaxation.

Aesthetics: Recognising that exceptional design transcends trends, modern classic designers focus on capturing the essence of enduring beauty, which lasts not just for a moment but for a lifetime.

Space planning: Thriving on the union of aesthetics and practicality, designers ensure that every inch of space has a purpose, making it both beautiful and functional.

How these fundamentals come together in a specific space does, of course, hinge on the personal preferences of the individuals who call it home.

WindsorPatania - How to get the modern classic look
WindsorPatania - How to get the modern classic look

Outlining your modern classic space
The transformation from house to home hinges on the magic of personalisation — the distinctiveness of each carefully chosen piece, the fusion of materials and the overall vision all combining to form a design that also honours our affinity with natural environments.
For instance, a modern classic living room can masterfully combine neutral tones with the sumptuous texture of classic furniture upholstered in striking velvet. To inject a dash of style, vibrant hues can be incorporated to contrast with patterned throw pillows.
The key is assembling each element with meticulous precision, leading to a luxurious yet uncluttered final composition.
Evolving tastes may yet steer modern classic interior design in new directions, but within the current iteration of this design ethos, certain trends reign supreme:

1. Natural materials: The foundation is woven from the richness of natural materials. Think of wood, stone, and leather converging to infuse an earthy, organic allure that grounds the design.

2. The palette of sophistication: Picture the serenity of a soothing primary colour palette composed of tranquil neutrals, brought to life with bold accents in rich contrasting hues. These principles will lend a vibrant contrast to any space.

3. Structured lines and defined areas: Clear, well-defined lines create a sleek and organised appearance, while thoughtfully distinct areas help delineate each room’s purpose, ensuring visual harmony and functional clarity.

4. Classic furniture pieces: Iconic staples such as wingback chairs, Chesterfield sofas and antique tables can infuse enduring charm into your space. Classic furniture pieces are always timeless treasures which, when blended with bespoke items, add a feeling of subtle sophistication.

5. Flooring magic: Floors play a crucial role. The trend here is firmly for neutral foundations, often in the form of high-end materials like premium wood and exquisite marble, which gracefully contrast with texture-rich pieces such as Berber carpets, soft-coloured rugs, and artful use of sisal.

6. Elegance in details: The magic lies in the finer touches. Decorative elements such as chandeliers, ornate mirrors, carefully curated artwork, or even a solitary bloom can add a touch of opulence.

7. Modern technology: The beauty of the modern classic approach lies in the merging of art form with contemporary convenience. Seamlessly integrating modern technology, from smart home systems to ambient lighting and energy-efficient appliances, is a modern must, but this must always be achieved while upholding the classic aesthetics of the space. This is not an easy feat to achieve, but taking the time to carefully plan your space ensures a mindfulness of approach.

WindsorPatania - How to get the modern classic look
WindsorPatania - How to get the modern classic look

Envisaging your space
Even before you start thinking about acquiring distinctive furnishings and custom-made elements, take the time to craft a thorough blueprint for your space. This process starts with a thoughtful examination of each area within the room, understanding its intended function, and carefully aligning it with the choice of materials and elements that will harmonise the aesthetics and functionality in your home life.
In cases where your project calls for something beyond the conventional - be it elements that are not readily available or even don’t yet exist - your journey may lead you to skilled artisans and craftsmen capable of bringing your vision to life.

Working with WindsorPatania
Renowned for blending classic and minimal design with cutting-edge smart technology, architectural firm WindsorPatania is headed by Ryan Windsor and Giovanni Patania, with offices in London, Cambridge and Liverpool.
Say the team: “We are inspired by sustainability and nature and believe that every space has the potential to be both beautiful and functional. Our team of experienced architects and interior designers work on projects across the UK and abroad, overseeing the entire interior design and construction management process, and working closely with developers, property investors and private residential clients.”
Visit windsorpatania.com or email ryan@windsorpatania.com for more.

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