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Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals. I'm a recovering former vegan and vegetarian, now healing with a nutrient-dense mostly Paleo diet, and love at-home CrossFit and yoga workouts. I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

New mom to baby Otto born April 2018!

9 favorite modern traditional decor Instagram accounts

My decor style is always changing, but for the past year I have been really into the "modern traditional" style--as defined by Emily Henderson here. You can check out the photos/examples in that post and enjoy Emily's fun writing style, but here's the quick gist before I share 9 fantastic real-life homes/versions of this style!

A quote from that post: "The name may need some work (minimal traditional? modern shaker?), but the style does not...While it may sound like a bit of a contradiction, it’s a little bit traditional (obviously), a little bit rustic, with a hint of modern, and infused with an heirloom and handmade look." Get excited--a lot of those terms also came up in our 2019 home decor trends research for this podcast episode! It's good stuff! And what my design eye has been craving after the colorful beachy boho and farmhouse trends of years past.

I'm going for this look in our current home! So I love soaking up inspiration from real life homes like mine (in addition to the designer home makeovers I'm always pinning). So, here they are...

Julia (jmiller_mpls) has done a major remodel on her 1920's? 40's? federal revival home and given it a modern, very high-end look. She totally redid the kitchen, dining areas, and mudroom and they are BEYOND. Like, is this a real house?!?!?! Or an Architectural Digest feature on a zillion-dollar mansion in New England?! She did an amazing job.

Cathy @thegritandpolish is an inspiration... she and her husband renovate and rent out historic homes in the Seattle area and own a 1910's? farmhouse in a small town that they are skillfully, lovingly updating. I am so impressed by their DIY projects and skills, the way they renovate and remodel while still respecting these special homes, and how they do it all in an incredibly budget-friendly way!! You would be amazed at how affordable their updates are (for how great they look).


Nancy @thehillsidehouse is just the sweetest! And is skilled at DIYs and bringing character to her new build home in California. She also shares plant care tips and some very impressive solo DIY project she does, like building a gate/fence in her backyard garden area and installing grid paneling over her huge open stairwell area.  Also, she has the best taste in lighting!

Sophia @lemontree_interiors is an interior designer and runs an online/in-person shop (full of lots of unique vintage pieces and more), and designed her incredible modern home. She uses rustic and vintage pieces so well, and mixes them with more modern lines like midcentury chairs and this dining room chandelier I also used in our dining room! Plus, those dreamy neutrals...

Alma Chavz is an expert stylist!, and her home is so classy and beautiful! Look closely and you'll see some brands/pieces you recognize, but she makes them feel unique and seasoned. She is just the sweetest too! Oh, and she is also remodeling her kitchen and I can't wait to see more!

Anisa @housesevendesign has an older/classic home and does big reno projects. You have probably seen her, and her living room and entryway console table!, around Instagram a lot. She also did an amazing flip project last year, like a 5,000 SF house! She is also a designer but you will see a lot of her home and family on her feed. (This living room makes me want that big chandelier in our main room!)

Cary Ray is a designer, but her feed is mostly her home. I think her home was built in the 80's? and she has been updating it and giving it that rich, high quality modern traditional feel. I love seeing basic homes given character like that! (Check out a before/after of her kitchen here!)

Carol Estes is a designer, but shares a lot of her own home on her Instagram feed. I have probably pinned the open shelves in her kitchen 1,000 times. They always look so unique and cool! She's also giving a newer (20+ years old maybe?) character and mod trad vibes.

Jenni @ispyDIY has done intense renovations to her 1875 (!) home! She is also great at the neutrals but there are also some beautiful warm colors and greens in her home/projects. (Also, I feel extra close to her since I have been following her since... 2010? 2011? before she wrote her clothing alteration sewing book, which was also before I wrote my clothing alteration sewing book! We have both shifted to blogging about/doing... bigger? DIY projects!)

I don't know about you, but I am often way more inspired by seeing REAL homes, real families, real design challenges and (usually) real people's affordable sources than by flipping through decor magazines. If you like the modern tradition style or are starting to see your eye leaning that way after playing around with midcentury modern, eclectic boho, Fixer Upper/Magnolia farmhouse... or if you just like to learn from designers and DIYers of varying styles!, I hope you enjoyed this list and check out these accounts!

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