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Modern + Classical = Unique Contemporary

Collectors photo featuring Tomasz Rut's art - LUMINARIS

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Have you seen a traditional interior decorated with pop or abstract art? Most likely, you have. And have you seen a modern space featuring classical paintings? Maybe. Or maybe not so much.

We live in the times of trends and fads accelerated by the advertising machines of Internet and social media in addition to fashion magazines and TV. What’s in vogue one day becomes old news tomorrow, sometimes with lighting speed. And don’t we all try to keep up with the latest?

There is nothing wrong with innovation. After all, it brings us not only many new useful products, but also a superabundance of choices, if only by adding new to the old ones. And they all end up coexisting in our contemporary realm.

Collectors photo featuring Tomasz Rut's art - MONA

Click on the image to view details of a similar artwork

Collectors photos featuring Tomasz Rut's art

Click on the images' titles to view details of similar artwork

Artist's Residence

But following a trend or a fad in the name of progress has little to do with innovation. Rather, it connotes a loss of individualism and embraces Orwellian collectivism, wherein mass culture is blindly followed for the sake of the elitist. And as we ‘trend’ to look more or less the same, wearing top advertised brands, driving newest car models and dining in trendy restaurants in an effort to be seen as ‘progressively’ different, we illustrate a picture perfect irony of the pop-culture.

Indeed, pop-art has thoroughly tackled the subject already. There’s not much to add. It’s humor and irony, though still engaging, is no longer unique. Instead, the mass produced pop message becomes no more than a sad commentary on the protested loss of its subscriber’s individuality. “I am different if I am one of ‘them’” is hardly a justification for collecting Warhol or his endless lookalike followers.

Of course, nobody needs to justify their taste, in art or otherwise. One can argue whether we live in truly tolerant society, but one is certainly free to express one’s differences. So why not splurge on being unique?

More paintings of Tomasz Rut featured in modern interiors

Contemporary doesn’t mean pop or abstract or modern. It’s not a trend. As the name suggests, it embraces not only the novelties, but also anything that exists or occurs in the present. And any form of art can become a fad of tomorrow.

Classical art has been around for millennia and despite the all-out assaults from 20th century avant-garde propaganda, neither lost its significance nor disappeared from the contemporary scene. To the contrary, it can be seen surging back in popularity with unique new renditions, while it’s the modern art’s legacy that nowadays brings us degraded, non-innovative repetitions and continues to promote self-abnegation.

The most exceptional interiors I’ve seen contrast the extremes of traditional and modern. A truly creative design is not in piling together trendy ‘stuff’ or following one particular style, but in combining the elements of different styles in a harmonious way that lets them compliment each other.

In an elegant Puck Penthouse, Master Paintings such as Antonio Joli’s view of 18th-century Rome and Lucas Cranach the Elder’s La Bocca Della Verità were installed with contemporary design objects. Photo by Evan Joseph. (Source: Sotheby's)

Architect-Designer Jean Michel Gathy who is the master behind some of the world's most iconic luxury hotels, resorts and landmarks makes his point.

Classical giant mural in a contemporary bedroom by designer Jean Michel Gathy

Classical giant mural in a contemporary bedroom (Source: Pinterest)

Interior designer David Bastos shares the vision

Interior by David Bastos (Source: Belle Vivir)

Classic portrait with Op Yellow Chair


Interior designer Jean-Louis Deniot embraces the same concept

Interior designer Raji Radhakrishnan follows

Classical mural in contemporary condo-living room (Sources: and RajiRM & Associates)

Another Radhakrishnan mural (Source: The New Victorian Ruralist)

The prestigious RALPH LAUREN brand holds on to class even when it comes to home decor

Even though the vastly monotonous ‘developments’ and cookie-cutter shells of contemporary architecture may tend to lack personality and invite repetition, we can still decorate them in a unique way, attesting to our originality and ability to raise above the ebbs and flows of changing trends in recognizing the timeless valors of the old and the new which will always coexist.

After all, modern and classical can live, side by side, in perfect harmony.

Unique contemporary bathroom

(Source: A modern home)

Contrast (Hotel Providence - Paris, France)

Poetic interior

(Source: Diane likes art)

Industrial brick loft condimented with gorgeous classical art

(Source: Pinterest)

BOTTEGA VENETTA home collection (Palazzo Gallarati Scotti - Milan, Italy)

The Divine Office of Massimiliano Locatelli

The architect turned a 16th century church with original frescoes, an altar and a a crypt into the perfect working space (Milan, Italy).

Photographer Massimo Vitali believes in the uniqueness of the "modern-classical" too

A 14th century church (this time) turned into an amazing classical-contemporary living space

The antique look in antithesis with contemporary/minimalist elements

(Source: Pinterest)

Interior designer Tristan Auer combines classical with modern in an original manner

One of the Upper East Side Residences that are nothing but timeless

Centuries of style come together in Marie and Frédéric Malle's New York City living room. Above the 18th-century desk is a 1980s painting by Jean Dubuffet; a Dogon mask stands to the right of the mantel, the photograph is by John Coplans, and the gilt-framed painting is Venetian Renaissance. The sofa and cocktail table are by Cassina, and the Arne Jacobsen Egg chair is by Fritz Hansen. (Source: Architectural Digest)

Apartment in Milan ( interior design by Studio Peregalli)

Interior designer Andrew Flesher creates a mixture of modern and traditional

The Manhattan home of artist Chuck Close

Brazilian architect Guilherme Torres blends harmoniously, vintage elements, design pieces and contemporary materials with luxurious details, all with a minimalist approach in this beautiful house in the city of Londrina.

New and Old, Modern and Classical mix by interior designer Lorenzo Castillo

Interior design by Lorenzo Castillo