How a TJH homeowner made her new construction home feel like an old soul.

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Homeowner Maureen personalized her new TJH home with elegant and stylish modern traditional design elements.

How a TJH homeowner made her new construction home feel like an old soul.

A beautiful home with an open floorplan, clean lines, and luxury finishes—like those we build at TJH—is ideal for expressing your personal style. The liveability of a new construction home pairs well with modern traditional home decor when designed and styled with intention. Learn how TJH homeowner Maureen worked with our design experts to seamlessly blend the modern and traditional in her new dream home.

Incorporate high ceilings and natural light

The best way to blend the two styles is to start with the architecture and incorporate traditional design as an added layer. An open layout with large windows and ample natural light is a timeless design element you’ll love. Research shows that natural light improves mood and increases happiness. The spaciousness of the architecture is enhanced by high ceilings.

Although these elements can be difficult to retrofit in an existing home, they’re excellent to incorporate if you’re considering building a new home. Doing so is sure to improve your well-being and will give you a beautiful canvas on which to paint your personal style.

“One thing that’s really special about this area is it gets so much light and we have beautiful high ceilings which just makes it all come together. We really love it.”

Maureen, TJH homeowner, Southern California

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Blending dark wood and white walls and bedding creates juxtaposition, a hallmark of a modern traditional home.


Consider crossover finishes

Maureen personalized her TJH home with beautiful dark marble countertops and a Carrara marble backsplash. She was able to select the slabs with the assistance of her TJH design team. Materials such as marble and wood floors work well in both traditional and modern homes, which make them excellent choices when personalizing a new construction home you’ll love for years to come.

When you build your home with us, or buy a new home early in the construction process, you’ll have the opportunity to work with our design experts at the TJH Design Studio to select many of your home’s finishes.


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Maureen worked with the TJH design team to select contrasting marble slabs for her island and backsplash.


Use a modern material in a traditional style, or vice versa

Maureen selected a herringbone pattern for the contemporary subway tile in her kitchen. White subway tile is timeless and versatile, taking on a more modern, industrial, or traditional look depending on how you lay it. By working with our team on this herringbone detail, Maureen achieved a more old-world aesthetic.

A paneled wall also adds a sophisticated, traditional touch to an otherwise white space. Wood paneling is generally associated with historic homes, but homeowners are increasingly using it in modern ones as well. Maureen lined her stairway with white coffered panels to further incorporate traditional style into her modern home.

“The stairway is one of the features that was very special to me, to add this paneling. And the workmanship that they did is just incredible.”

Maureen, TJH homeowner, Southern California


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White coffered panels add texture and sophistication to Maureen’s stairway, making her new construction home feel timeless.


Embrace dark wood and rich fabrics

Maureen wanted wide dark wood plank floors in her home, which brings a grounding richness and texture to her bright and airy space. Her use of dark leather and stained wood furniture throughout her home further incorporates the elegance of traditional interior design. Vintage rugs also add a traditional touch to a modern home. Maureen uses them throughout to add ornamentation and create interesting texture.

Add soul with oil paintings and vintage and collected items

Another way to make a modern home feel more timeless is with oil paintings and objects rich with tradition and meaning. Elaborate decorations can feel stuffy and dated in an older home, but bring balance and richness to a sunny, new construction home.

One of the key ways Maureen makes her new construction home feel more traditional is by decorating with special pieces passed down and collected through a lifetime of living and traveling. Bringing your collected and heirloom items and art—and the memories that accompany them—into a space is what turns a new home into your home.

“We purchased one of the homes that they had underway, and we were able to be part of the design process. The team really listened and collaborated with us to create a home that’s uniquely ours, with personal touches and memories from our travels, all woven into each space.”

Maureen, TJH homeowner, Southern California

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Family heirlooms—like candlesticks, vases, lamps, and paintings—infuse a new home with history.


Balance modern and traditional light fixtures

Similarly, opting for dark iron or metal chandeliers adds a complementary weight to a bright and airy space. Balance solid wrought iron pieces with delicate chandeliers or sconces with filigree to strike the right chord. Another option is to do as Maureen did and freshen things up with the industrial chrome pendants above her kitchen island, which reflect back all of the beautiful light in the great room. 

Warm up by the fireplace

Maureen used molding to strike a perfect balance between modern and traditional design in her fireplace. Nothing brings tradition into the home like molding. However, the best route for a home that blends styles is molding that’s not overly ornate. A simple white molding, as Maureen used around her fireplace, can add an elegant touch to your walls and built-ins, without pigeonholing your entire home into a traditional style. Her use of marble further elevates the fireplace and works in harmony with the marble in her kitchen.


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The refined molding around the fireplace strikes the right note for a modern traditional home when paired with a vintage rug and dark furniture.


Keep your old growth garden

Blending the modern and the traditional need not stop at your back door. Sophisticated landscaping and outdoor spaces elevate a new construction home. Fortunately, tearing down and rebuilding doesn’t have to mean giving up old growth. Maureen says her family loves sitting in the living room and looking out their French doors at their beautiful old growth orange tree that the TJH team saved during construction.


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Maureen enjoys the tradition of picking oranges from her old growth tree to savor in her new TJH home.


A natural stone and grass driveway, metal roof, and wide entryway are additional outdoor elements that contribute to the modern meets traditional feel of Maureen’s TJH home.

“Our backyard has also become a great place where we spend our free time. Thanks to Thomas James Homes, it has an incredible old growth orange tree that they saved for us. We pick fresh oranges from it daily.”

Maureen, TJH homeowner, Southern California

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