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2017 New Trad Chad James

Get to know our New Trad Class of '17

Produced by Jenny Bradley Pfeffer

Chad James


Photo: Abby Flittner

Which “traditional” design rule(s) do you swear by? As cliché as it might sound, it is important to think outside the proverbial box. When designing any space, we always keep one foot in the past and one foot in the future, which allows us to produce classic yet forward interiors.

Which design rule(s) do you break? It is important to not be afraid of that one outlandish item, whether it be art, a found object, or Aunt Bessie’s treasured Directoire piece.

Do you have favorite “traditional” design elements? Quite honestly, I have a weakness for a really great plaid. I find that it brings me comfort and reminds me of my childhood.

Which iconic interior designer(s) do you admire and feel are still relevant today? Furniture and/or product designer(s)? Jean-Michel Frank has always been a driving force in my creative path. His designs are still extremely relevant in today’s world.

What design eras inspire you?I feel that the energy and the creative process in our current era brings excitement and enthusiasm as we think forward to what is to come.


Photo: Alyssa Rosenheck

Which antiques or vintage designs do you think have held up over time and play well with today’s updated traditional interiors? French design continues to be prevalent today. If you think about it, all the Louis tend to tip-toe their way into today’s interiors.

Give us a couple of examples of modern and traditional design elements that work well together. As someone who enjoys juxtaposition, I feel that primitive mixed with contemporary always feels comfortable. Throwing in a dash of contemporary art has a way of bringing the look to fruition. Primitive and contemporary, French and modern. A primitive antique table mixed with an Emilio Pucci lamp. An Apparatus fixture hanging over a Neoclassic dining table.


Photo: Alyssa Rosenheck

What is a classic color combination that still feels fresh? Any dark color mixed with lighter tones to create a negative and positive effect.

Do you have a favorite go-to palette at the moment? Ironically with this year’s Pantone color being green, I have been drawn to an extremely dark green palette.

How would you define today’s “new traditional” design? Today’s consumers want to be around things they enjoy and that are comfortable. With this in mind, it is important to collect and surround yourself with things you love.

How would you describe your personal design style? My personal design style tends to nod its head to masculinity through collected items.