With help from eight design industry vets, Jaipur Living breaks down the trend du jour. Defined by its melange of traditional styling meets modern design; light, creamy hues blended with stark blues and blacks; impactful accessories; and touches of vintage throughout, here’s how to get the urban curator look.
Step One: Layer
The jumping off point to any interiors project according to Lori Paranjape, founder of Mrs. Paranjape Design + Interiors, is to get to know your clients lifestyle and needs. “The first step to achieving the urban curator aesthetic is taking into account the space and the client you’re working with,” she says. “Before we can create your perfect home, we need to know you and your lifestyle.” Then, layer, layer, layer to build design personality.
See also: 5 Tips For Perfectly Layered Interiors
Layering textures, patterns, and colors creates a look that’s organic yet polished. “I love developing a design around a piece that a client may already own,” says Sam Cram of eponymous firm Sam Cram Design. “Maybe it’s an antique chest, a vintage light fixture, or a favorite Persian rug. Urban curator means timelessly fusing old and new, while bringing pieces from different styles to elevate the look.”
Notes Paranjape, “Arguably the most important step is in the layering of materials. Different textures, patterns, and colors playing off of each other is what gives a room depth. Layering is what allows a space to feel urban and organic, but still polished and clean. Specifically in the urban curator aesthetic, this interaction is huge—you have to find balance by adding warmth to that moodier, urban vibe.”
Step Two: Curate
Old with new, traditional with modern, smooth with textured—it’s all about the mix. “It’s elevated yet approachable—a comfortable lived in vibe that feels welcoming and warm, not stark,” says Urbanology Designs‘ Ginger Curtis of the urban curator trend. “Think old meets new, and incorporate items that feel lived in or vintage to complement and create a relaxed modern aesthetic.”
Add Meg Crossley and Morgan Michener, stylists, art directors, producers, and design editors at Me&Mo Creative: “We like to think of ourselves as being ‘into the mix,’ meaning the best interiors are a mix of old and new, traditional with modern, throwing in something soulful and meaning such as vintage or things picked up on travels—all things that show a person’s interests beyond decorating.”
Then comes the curation. Pay attention to silhouettes, textures, colors, and the like, the styling duo recommends, to achieve the professionally polished yet effortlessly tossed together aesthetic. “Keep your eyes out for something odd, adding something unexpected creates visual tension that is important to the look,” they advise.
“The urban curator aesthetic is all about reinventing classic and traditional design, in an elevated and organic way,” says Paranjape. “I find contrast to be key in this genre. It’s all about some chic, structured furniture with an effortlessly cool vintage-feeling rug or a more relaxed art piece that makes a statement on crisp white walls. Urban curator is not just one ‘look,’ but the organic, tailored vibe is what defines it most to me.”
Step Three: Finesse
Travel finds, vintage loves, and statement art complete add a needed dose of personality. “It’s all about mixing it up and saying bye-bye to matchy-matchy,” says Sarah McDonald of home design store Light House Co.—a Crossley and Michener collaborator.
With collected, layered decor comes the needs for a sharp edit. Read: Choose your focal point, and choose it wisely. “I love mixing old with new,” says Bonnie Ryan of Ryan Haus Interiors + Design. “The juxtaposition of a traditional or vintage piece next to something bold and modern is so stunning and it makes both pieces more interesting.” In the end, she recommends, “bring in something bold and modern next to something organic and older” for ultimate eye-catching appeal.
“When it comes to mixing styles like modern, traditional, and vintage,” House of Hipsters‘ Kayla Herbes concludes, “you’re really just mixing pieces that speak to you. Some how, some way, when you decorate with are pieces you love, it just works. There are no vital ingredients or rules except sticking to a color palette.”
Get The Look
“Jaipur Living has so many rugs that represent the urban curator look, but the relaxed feel and intricate texture of the entire Nirvana collection definitely tops the list for me! The patterns and color palettes of the Cirque collection also bring such life to a space and don’t compete for attention, which I think is incredibly important.”
“The ability to create rugs with that beautiful traditional modern aesthetic that is so hot right now. Also within that category a wide variety of color and texture options to suit your room uniquely.”
“The Nadine rug collection has that distressed Old World look and feel, and even though the Terra collection is a bit darker in it’s color palette, I think it works with the urban curator style as well.”