Truly timeless interior design never gives away its age. When you look at a room and can’t tell whether it was done last month or a decade ago, that’s timeless design. Incorporating timeless interior design also means your home won’t require costly renovations every 10 years to keep it looking fresh.
But, timeless design doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy current trends or add character and personality to your home; it just means you incorporate those items in a less-permanent manner. Here are 8 ways to achieve a gorgeous interior that will stand the test of time:
1. Simple is Timeless
Some might call it boring, but the simple choice will always be the timeless choice. The idea is to create a classic backdrop and add interest with your decor. Features such as flooring, countertops and backsplashes are not easy to replace. Avoid bold colors and patterns, and opt for simple, classic finishes that will still look beautiful 10 – or even 20 – years from now.
2. Timeless is Functional
If a piece doesn’t serve a purpose for you, it won’t be around for years to come. When choosing furnishings for your home, don’t fall prey to pretty pieces that don’t function as they should. A sofa should be solid and comfortable. A dining room table should be well-built and large enough to seat your whole family. When shopping for new pieces, consider how your home functions now and what’s missing. Seek out items that will fill a void or work better than the existing piece.
3. Invest in Quality Furniture
It may seem obvious, but in a world where low-quality, mass-constructed furniture is so easy to find, it needs to be said: Furniture should be considered an investment. You’re better off to pay a little more now for something that will last for years to come. Buying budget furniture to save a few dollars will only leave you in need of a replacement in a few years. Look for clean lines and quality craftsmanship that will ensure your investment pieces look as good in the future as they do today.
4. Beautiful Architecture Never Goes Out of Style
If you’re looking for a way to add interest, consider focusing on the bones of your home. Updates such as carpet and tile will eventually show their age. But, classic architectural features – like crown molding, wainscoting and casings – will always be in style. Focusing your upgrades in these areas can elevate both the look and value of your home.
5. Choose Your Hardwood Color Carefully
Popular wood colors and stains are cyclical. When you see dark brown or red wood stain, you know that space was decorated during the brown trend. Likewise, gray and weathered wood will put your home in the gray trend. To ensure your hardwood is timeless and looks good with every trend, stick to medium brown. Medium brown floors and cabinets are like a good pair of blue jeans – they go with almost everything.
6. Keep Busy Finishes to a Minimum
When looking at a counter or tile sample, you’re usually viewing a very small piece. At that scale, most patterns seem safe. But, when you expand that pattern or finish to a large area, it can quickly become overwhelming – especially if you have other competing patterns or finishes in the room. For a look that will last, choose one pattern or busy finish and otherwise keep to solid neutrals for the rest of your hard finishes.
7. Stick to Classic Patterns
Patterns are a great way to add color and interest in a room. But, they can also show the age of your decor. When choosing a fun and trendy pattern, be aware that it may be out of style in a few years. That doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate modern patterns, but you should limit them to easy-to-replace items, such as pillows and curtains.
To use patterns on a larger scale, choose classic prints that stand the test of time. Traditional designs – such as stripes, chevrons, quatrefoil and damasks – will always look chic.
8. Use Fads Sparingly
This is the number one tip to ensure your home will look beautiful for a lifetime. In general, trends have a 10-year lifespan and are often identified by color. As a result, filling your home with the latest trendy colors and finishes will date your decor.
If done right, timeless design is anything but boring. For a home that will look beautiful in any era, stick to a foundation of classic whites, creams and wood tones for your fixed finishes. Then, have some fun incorporating your favorite trends with easy-to-update items, such as paint and textiles.