How to Balance Modern Elegance with Old World Design

3 Tips for Achieving Luxury Home Design at The Cliffs

Old world style is defined by its comfort and elegance, and is reminiscent of manor houses, estates, and villas. The same can be said about our seven luxury communities, where elegance and high standards prevail. 

Details such as hand-carved accents, exposed surfaces, and rough wooden beams are often featured throughout the interiors. The formula for a stately style that’s not afraid to show its age also includes oversized furniture, varying textures, and a rich color palette. 

Modern elegance can be balanced with old world charm for a stunning look that complements your home at The Cliffs in stunning fashion. See our luxury home design tips and decor inspiration for achieving a striking balance below. 

Luxury Home Design Tips for Your Home at The Cliffs

Tip #1: Pay attention to scale

Luxury home design is all about scale. The difference between amateur style and professional interiors lies in knowing how and where to place your decor. 

Various methods can be used to implement this tip in your home. When displaying artwork or wall decor, be sure to fill the wall space utilizing a 60/40 ratio. As such, 60% of the wall can be covered while 40% should be left uncovered. The result is a satisfying proportion that draws the eye to whatever is being displayed. The 60/40 rule also applies to furniture, rugs, and the like. 

Tip #2: Balance functionality and design

Furniture in your home should always be either beautiful or functional, but it is best to find pieces that serve both functions. Side tables and entry tables, for instance, can be just for decoration. Seating must, however, be comfortable above all else. It is of the utmost importance to have a comfortable living room set, especially if you spend a lot of time there. 

Tip #3: Mix old with new

To achieve a beautiful blend of old and new design, select furniture and decor that were made in different time periods. Traditional pieces are a terrific way to incorporate timeless style, whether they come from family heirlooms or an antique dealer you enjoy working with. 

Modern pieces tied in can balance out the intricate feel of old world styling by adding clean lines and sleek detailing. Distribute old and new pieces equally so they are not grouped according to their periods or styles. If you inherit a vintage piece of furniture, it can be easily styled with a few accessories from the same era to blend well.

Decorating Ideas for Each Room


For cabinets, choose natural colorations, such as shades of beige or off-white and natural stains, which nicely complement lake or mountain homes. Wood-burning fireplaces are also a common part of luxury home design. If you take a cue from home designers in the UK and Ireland — where old world style still reigns — you will see many incorporate quaint fireplaces into their designs. Among the best examples of these are the works of DeVol Kitchens based in England and New York.  

In this space, a wine cellar is perfect for modernizing the space while honoring the centuries-old tradition of winemaking. At The Cliffs, wine is an integral part of our culture. Members of The Cliffs also benefit from access to wine-centric perks such as club sommeliers, an exclusive wine consortium, and social events.

Living Areas

The living areas should be as texture-rich as possible as old world style plays off the idea of living without modern comforts such as heat and air conditioning. Several tips can be used to elevate your home’s living areas. For example, make the room more luxurious by tucking plush blankets into seating areas.

Textures of all kinds can be used, but natural elements should be emphasized. Think about natural materials that exist in nature or in ancient times or more recent eras — wood, iron, glass, and natural stone are all excellent choices. Brass and iron can be used as finishes or accent details.

Dark, rich colors can be used in the decor to create a rustic and cozy atmosphere in common areas where guests will linger.


One of the simplest places to introduce luxury home design is in the bedroom. Adding a fireplace to each room is yet another way to bring the coziness of old world charm into your home. Placing brass sconces above your bedside tables adds additional lighting and style to the silhouette. Especially in rooms with hardwood or tile floors, a large rug placed under the bed invites cozy foot-to-floor moments.


In the bathrooms, focus on creating an inviting washroom, featuring tumbled marble or stone floors, nickel and brass finishes with natural patina, and an elegant soaking tub. Cabinet and wall colors should be warm and natural, while lighting fixtures are typically ornate for a hint of old world glamour. Look for vintage-feel faucets, showerheads, and other fixtures that lend a romantic feel to the space as well. 

A Touch of Old World Charm at The Cliffs

Craftsmanship is at the heart of luxury home design, a philosophy rooted in the home-building process at The Cliffs. Whether you are interested in building a custom home through the Preferred Builders program or a built-for-sale opportunity within one of our latest developments, fine craftsmanship is evident throughout all of our homes. To see what this looks like first-hand, browse our latest available listings by clicking the button below. 

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