• M+B Design

Traditional to Modern Makeover

One of the neatest things about this job is the freedom to try new styles when designing spaces for our clients.

Back in October I was contacted by a family wanting a BIG change for their home. They wanted their family room and dining room to undergo a transformation from traditional to a more modern look.

Now, sometimes, we get requests from clients for a certain style and after unpacking the elements of that style, the client realizes that isn't what they actually mean. I don't often get a request for modern and thought perhaps that wasn't what this family was wanting. Irregardless, I prepared for our meeting honoring their wishes and to my delight, these clients really did want to go more modern! I love a drastic change!

They wanted their home to reflect their style. They loved contemporary pieces. They desired clean lines, minimal decor and choices that would make an impact. Talk about a fun project!!

One challenge of the project was building around some of their more traditional furniture. They had a few pieces they were going to keep for the time. Understandably so. Having young children, we have clients who often don't want to update the major components of the room until their kids get a little older.

I wanted to marry the existing pieces with the new direction these rooms were going to go.

For the living room, that meant adding in a sleek chair that would pair well with their current choices for sofas as well as whatever choice they make in the future. It also meant being intentional with the other furniture pieces so again, the attention would be on the overall design.

In their dining room, the table and chairs were staying. One simple change I made to the furniture was swapping out the end chairs for fun, statement chairs.

Check out the spaces before I got to work.

Their accent furniture was dark and ornate which made the room feel more crowded than it was. They also had builder grade lighting they wanted to update.

The house has all this beautiful wood detailing. I wanted to showcase the beauty of those details which meant brightening up this room.

The first place I started was lighting. These rooms and the entryway of the home all flowed together. Changing out the lighting to more modern choices was going to help guide some of the other choices I needed to make.

Once I made those choices, I focused on accent furniture pieces for the living room and wallpaper for the dining room.

When doing a big project, break it down into parts. Focus on one part at a time. Then add the next piece. Building these blocks you can see how the whole thing will fit more easily and keep from getting overwhelmed. Start with the big pieces of the project first and then focus on filling in the details. It is always funny how those smaller details seem to make themselves clear and fill in naturally because the direction of the project is set.

Here is a look at how all those parts fit together to transform their spaces.

I traded out the heavy, overstuffed chair for a sleek, straight lined armchair. The color choice plays off all the new textures and colors in the room's design while also complimenting the dark leather.

This room has such beautiful natural light as well that I knew the windows needed dressed up with drapes. These color block drapes are such a fun accent.

Brass is such a fun trend and played so well into the overall design plan.

The accent furniture in this room was so juicy! The coffee table featured a stone, solid surface top, a wood lower shelf and metal legs. I styled it with simple vases and books.

I kept throw pillows to a minimum. This kept in line with their minimalist request but still gave the sofas an inviting look.

Swapping out the heavy side tables, I played off the brass and gold elements throughout the main level now: curtain rods, light fixtures and other finishes, this table was a choice that felt light while being the perfect surface for fun decor accents.

I love that the bottom shelf of this table is mirrored to reflect the decor above.

Ceiling fans do not have to be boring. This modern choice with caged light fixture and dark blades definitely pulled together the various tones within the room.

The family still wanted storage in this space for their media. These low profile tables flanking the fireplace offered a solution. I topped them with simple glass vases filled with dark rock and branches.

This little alcove behind the sofa got an update as well.

I also switched the eat in dining light fixture to coordinate with the new fan. Mixed metals and a modern shape.

The entry of this home flowed into the living room and opened into the dining room. So if was important to style that space to fit with the new style of both rooms.

The entry has tall ceilings which allowed me to choose a really statement-making fixture.

If you remember, the goal for the dining room was to brighten it up, highlight the beautiful wood details and take it from traditional to more contemporary.

A bold, geometric wallpaper + a statement art piece and wide open windows to let in all the light, this room completely transformed!

I love how all the light fixtures are different but complimentary as well.

If there is one thing we can learn from this project. do not be afraid to do something NEW! I love this completely different look and so did the family! What a fresh space!

M+B Design


Entryway Light Fixture

Entryway Runner

Entryway Hexagonal Mirror

Entryway Side Table: Homegoods

Entryway Lamp

Dining Room Light

Dining Room Curtains

Dining Room Curtain Rod


Large Canvas

Accent chairs

Living Room Accent Chair

Coffee Table

Glass Side Table

Table Lamp

Wood Side Tables

Ceiling Fan

Living Room Curtains

Curtain Rods


Wall Frames: HomeGoods

Console Table


Rectangular Wall Mirror

Console Table Lamp: Hobby Lobby

Eat in Kitchen Fixture

Stairwell Sconces

Stairwell Grid Mirror: HomeGoods

Various Decor, pillows, throws and greens: Hobby Lobby, HomeGoods, Etsy, Target

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