How to Keep Design Timeless
Background Photo Credit by Barbara Barry
One of the most frequently asked questions I get as a designer is, “I don’t want my decor to go out of style; how do I make sure it looks timeless?”
This is a terrific question!
Furniture and decor can be expensive, and if you’re concerned about being green, frequent interior overhauls might not be eco-friendly. Timeless choices will help ensure that you are happy with your furniture and decor for years to come.
So what’s the key to keeping things classic? Keep reading!
Maria Killam, an internationally recognized designer, developed a proprietary system to help people understand the undertones of neutrals (and she trained me to do the same!). Maria discusses trends in terms of the predominant neutral color of the decade. Prior to our current “grey” trend, there was the “Tuscan brown” trend. Depending where you are located in the U.S., you may still be at the tail end of the brown trend. Here in Charlotte, N.C., we are well into the grey trend.
Example of the grey trend.
Example of the brown trend.
Take a look at these next two rooms:
Photo Credit: Mark D. Sikes
These gorgeous spaces were designed by Mark D. Sikes.
Can you tell when they were designed? Do they fit into a color trend? How do they differ from our other examples?
The colors chosen for these timeless designs weren't dictated by the trend of the decade. While there is nothing inherently wrong with brown or grey, if brown or grey dictate your entire color scheme, once the trend is over, your house will instantly look dated.
Warm greys make a lovely backdrop for the cleaner colors that are currently on trend. I chose greige walls for most of my rooms and grey cabinets for my master bathroom. If you want to keep your decor timeless, use those warm, pale greys as a canvas and incorporate COLOR.
Let me help you get started:
Take a look at the colors of the clothes in your closet or at your favorite artwork for hints. I personally love blues and greens and have incorporated these colors into my decor. If you like change, you may find yourself wondering…
But what if I get sick of these colors? I like to switch up my pillows, throws, and bedding from time to time; isn’t it better to pick a neutral for my sofa and drapes?
You can (and most likely will) get bored with your trendy neutral. However, if you want a more neutral backdrop to play around with, creams or whites (depending upon your color palette) work beautifully for both upholstery and drapes. Navy, black, chocolate brown, and even a deep forest green, can work as neutrals as well. I suggest medium-toned, brown wood as a classic neutral for furniture and flooring.
Small doses of the current, trendy neutral work fine too. Love that silver-grey, velvet sofa you’ve been eyeing at Anthropologie? Balance it out with pops of color and pattern on your accent chairs, pillows, and accessories. If you purchase top quality furniture, you can always reupholster a favorite piece later on. If you don’t want a lot of color, you can still do a neutral, monochromatic look. This calming space by Giannetti Home is a beautiful example of using neutrals in a classic way.
How else can you ensure your design is timeless?
Use shapes and styles that have withstood the test of time. There are certain styles and silhouettes in furniture and decor that transcend time such as mid-century modern, Scandinavian contemporary, or chinoiserie. It’s okay to mix styles, as long as they coordinate and look cohesive. In fact, designers strive to achieve a collected look rather than a “big box” (I bought the complete set) look. So, remember that when you buy a sofa, you aren’t obligated to purchase the matching loveseat, club chair, and ottoman. I know the matching set is easier (and often less expensive), but in playing it safe, you may miss out on the opportunity to create something really fabulous!
This is where an interior designer can really help. There are many factors to consider when putting together a cohesive design. There are at least a dozen important questions that you should ask yourself when attempting to pull a room together, and a designer (like me) can guide you through the process.
If you are looking to improve your living space, reach out to me today. I’d love to help you beautify your home!
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