Classic Contemporary: A Luxurious Blend of Old and New

by Carlisle Homes


Blending traditional lines with modern touches, the Classic Contemporary look redefines understated luxury

If you love a timeless and sophisticated feel, the Classic Contemporary look could be just the style you’re looking for in your contemporary home design. Deftly blending old and new, it features warm neutrals, beautiful finishes and natural touches to create a home that’s both luxuriously graceful and inviting.

Tempted to try it? Here’s how to imbue Classic Contemporary style into the main rooms of your home.


Set the tone for your Classic Contemporary home by mixing sophisticated furnishings and modern nuances, as shown in the Canterbury Grand at Newhaven Estate with a black glass console, wall light from Beacon Lighting and eclectic patterned vases.

A warm and welcoming entry
Creating a great first impression starts with a stylish and functional entry. Inject classic contemporary chic into this spot by keeping furniture and accessories to a minimum and focusing on gorgeous detailing; think a slimline black console table and mid-tone timber flooring (which has the added benefit of being hardy and easy to keep clean), enlivened with a statement mirror bookended by a pair of glamorous, fluted glass sconces.

Emphasise your home’s classic-meets-contemporary aesthetic by getting creative with your walls. Add traditional panelling to the lower portion of walls and line the upper portion in textured wallpaper in a contemporary shade of grey. Complete the look with bold black and white artworks and a medley of fresh flowers and indoor plants.


The living room in the Canterbury Grand evokes the opulence and luxury of the Classic Contemporary style, featuring textured materials, dark inbuilt joinery in Laminex Domain and floor to ceiling sheer drapes.

Luxurious layers in the living room

A classic contemporary living room strikes the perfect balance between old and new, luxurious and inviting. The look is multi-layered and curated, with warm neutrals and simple, classic furniture punctuated with modern artwork and accessories.

Start with a simple palette of black, white and smokey neutrals. Make your living room feel bright and open by opting for a warm white or gentle grey on the walls and ceiling (we love Dulux Manorborn for this look). Add depth and interest by lining one wall with a textured wallpaper in a mid-tone neutral, such as Philip Jeffries’ Vinyl Seaside Linen in Stone – it’s also a great choice for detracting attention from a wall-mounted television. 

This theme is all about the here and now, so it’s important that you can update it easily. When it comes to big-ticket items, such as the sofa and coffee table, choose styles in simple, timeless shapes and neutral colours that you can easily switch up with accessories down the track, such as a low-line grey modular sofa and a minimalist timber coffee table. Introduce luxurious textured fabrics in tonal shades in cushions and throws on the sofa – think velvet, leather and linen. 

Seek out occasional furniture such as side tables and consoles in simple, classic shapes but in a modern, matt-black finish that contrasts with the predominantly white walls. Meanwhile, traditional touches, such as contrast piping to the sofa and armchairs, makes a subtle nod to old-world style. 

Wow factor is essential to this look. Introduce it here with bold artwork, such as black and white photography and illustrations in slim black frames, and dramatic lighting such as fluted glass wall lights and an ornate pendant in a dramatic, modern shape.
Keep the focus on statement art and lighting by taking a ‘less is more’ approach to the rest of the scheme – for example, simple sheers at the window and decor pieces in tonal shades. Keep clutter at bay with a generous bank of built-in cabinetry in a dark-tone timber finish. Finish off with greenery; indoor plants are all the go right now and what a difference they make to your living room, adding colour, freshness and a natural feel.


Create the perfect ambience in your Classic Contemporary kitchen by introducing statement pendants over your island bench or dining table, as shown in the Canterbury Grand.

Statement features in the kitchen

The most practical and appealing kitchens start with a statement island, and a classic-meets-contemporary cooking space is no different. Make yours stand out by cladding it in a dark and eye-catching finish (Laminex Impressions Black Nuance), contrasted with a paler Laminex Oyster Grey on surrounding cabinets. For benchtops, think luxurious, low-maintenance and hard-wearing – we chose Caesarstone Noble Grey. Specify simple, classic handles, such as ones in oil-rubbed bronze.

Add drama to the space with ornate lighting such as a pair of crystal chandeliers; statement pendants over the island or dining table are elegant and sophisticated, while adding instant ambience.

As the kitchen is the hub of the home, you’ll want to add touches of personality. Incorporate open shelving to showcase your favourite cookbooks and collectibles.


Bring a sense of luxury to your Classic Contemporary bedroom with a sophisticated bedhead and layered bedlinen, as shown in the Crompton at Canopy Estate.

A bedroom that’s all about luxury 

Sumptuous layers of beautiful textures and tones set the scene for a sophisticated bedroom retreat. 

Make a beautifully appointed bed the star of the show by creating a feature wall behind it; opt for subtly pinstriped textured wallpaper or neutral-toned paint. Introduce a plush velvet-upholstered bedhead for instant luxe and a cosy spot to sit up and read. Layer the bed with bedding, cushions and throws in touch-me fabrics, such as linen, cotton, velvet, faux fur and silk.  

Use artwork to showcase your theme. Black and white photography and illustrations are perfect selections for the classic contemporary look and if you shop around you’ll find plenty of pieces that won’t break the budget. Pair it with striking lighting, such as black pendants that hang low or crystal table lamps.

Layer soft, moody tones of warm white, grey, black and nougat on your walls and upholstery. Sheer curtains will let the morning light gently filter in, and by specifying a colour that harmonises with the walls, you’ll keep attention firmly focused on artwork, lighting and that beautifully dressed bed. 

Finish off with cosy, cut-pile carpet underfoot.


Recreate this Classic Contemporary style ensuite in the Sorrento Grand at Aurora Estate with striking black tapware, fresh greenery, beige tiles, and a large mirror to reflect light.

Simplicity and calm in the ensuite

Look to create a sense of luxury and calm in your bathroom so you’ll love spending time there. While hard-wearing surfaces are a must in any bathroom, for this aesthetic you’ll want them to convey a sense of opulence too.

Keep detail to a minimum with sleek, undermounted basins, shaker-style cabinetry and large-format wall and floor tiles (added bonus: they’re easier to clean than small tiles!). Ensure you’ve got plenty of vanity storage to house your bathroom essentials so benchtops remain clear. 

Open up the space with a palette of lighter neutrals and a large-scale vanity mirror that bounces light around. Select mirrors with a contemporary feel or an interesting, classic frame – both will work well with this look.

Inject pops of richer tones in the smaller details such as a tapware and frames – our scheme includes oil-rubbed bronze handles and a black tapware and shower set. 

Good bathroom lighting helps create ambience and allows you to perform detailed tasks such as putting on your makeup with ease. Downlights recessed into the ceiling are a smart choice; they’re discreet and easy to position above your shower head and vanity.

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Come and see the Classic Contemporary look for yourself at the following display homes: Canterbury Grand at Newhaven, Sorrento Grand at Aurora, Chelsea at Eliston or Crompton at Canopy. Or view them from the comfort of your own home with a virtual tour here.


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