While we love modern lines and straight edges, we also have big place in our hearts for the traditional. This goes for everything from overstuffed wing chairs to Sunday dinner at Grandma’s house. But, sometimes classics need to be brought into the 21st century. Here’s four tips – and eight examples – of how we’d update the classic oil painting formal portrait.

Go big or go home. Oversized art makes more than an oversized statement and can be the thing that brings life to traditional style.

Skip the wall hangers. Formal art looks much more modern when casually leaned against the wall.

Display it in the bathroom. Commonly overlooked for art, the bathroom can be a fresh gallery for a formal style of portrait.

Play with traditional surroundings. Even little tweaks to a space can make a big difference.