Timeless interior design versus short lived design trends: It’s the ultimate catch-22 for many homeowners who are seeking a design for a new home or looking to redecorate an existing space. Most people want a home that looks current and modern now, but you don’t want it to look outdated in three years. The question is where to invest hard earned money so that it doesn't turn out to be today's version of the avocado and mustard gold appliances from the 1970's.
The good news? Adhering to smart design fundamentals can accomplish both. Particularly with the help of a seasoned interior designer, you can create a home that looks modern and fresh, but one that won't look dated a few years down the road. Here are seven ways to achieve an interior design direction that balances fresh and new with timelessness.
1. Incorporate trends in accent pieces
Trendy patterned furniture is a risky move because you’re going to have to live with it for a long time. Trendy accents, on the other hand? Those are easily replaceable as trends change. If you’re in love with a trendy print or color, use it for throw pillows or accent rugs, not anchor pieces like upholstered furniture. Keep the expensive items more neutral and timeless.
2. Err on the side of timeless
Unless your budget allows for redecorating every few years, always err on the side of timeless. Pick classic furniture pieces with clean and simple lines in neutral fabrics. Thinking about that red velvet chaise or a cow print ottoman? If you even have to wonder whether you'll like it in five or 10 years, that’s probably an indication that it’s not a wise choice. Go for the cowhide rug instead. As we've said, these fun splashes can be incorporated in other, less expensive ways.
3. Stick to clean lines
Almost everything goes out of style eventually, but anything overly ornate or detailed is far likely to go out of style faster. This applies to all interior decor items from furniture to kitchen cabinets. Think about kitchen cabinets with ornate inlays or designs. Almost undoubtedly, these look out of date five or 10 years later. Simpler designs are far more likely to pass the test of time. Remember, you can always repaint or refinish cabinets, but you can’t change the design.
4. Opt for a neutral base
Expensive items that are meant to last - particularly flooring, high quality furniture, kitchen cabinets, appliances and the like - should be neutral if you plan to keep them for 10 years or more. Neutral might sound boring, but it doesn’t have to be. You can introduce a deeply or brightly colored wall - paints are easy to change. Or, you change the accent pieces every few years to keep things fresh. Avoid the temptation of spending a lot of money on anything that is super trendy.
5. Introduce texture
Colors and patterns are not the only ways to introduce trends. Textured pieces can also be trendy, but they tend to have a lot more longevity. A cowhide rug from 15 years ago is far more likely to look modern today than an Aztec print or a floral fabric. Introduce interesting texture with pieces like rugs, window treatments and ottomans for a trendy look that will last far longer.
6. Splurge on some items
Splurge on signature, quality pieces that will stand the test of time. We understand that budgets are important, but certain quality pieces are more likely to afford you years of enjoyment. These include items like dining room tables, beds, kitchen cabinets, solid wood flooring and architectural details like exposed beams and your front door, to name just a few. Again, stick with classic lines and timeless styles when you splurge. Avoid the temptation to splurge on anything super trendy.
7. Pick items you like - regardless of trends
One of the keys to a timeless home is choosing items that make you happy, regardless of what is trending right now. Your goal shouldn’t be to impress the neighbors; it should be to create a beautiful home that makes you happy. If you’ve always liked a particular style or piece, go for it. You’re less likely to get tired of a piece if you’ve always gravitated to that style. Your neighbors will be more impressed if they can tell that you are in love with your home over the long run.
Jessica Dauray Interiors is a full-service, residential and commercial interior design firm with offices in Greensboro and Wilmington, North Carolina. Founder, Jessica Dauray and her design team specialize in custom interior design, as well as renovation and new home construction project consulting and management. JDI' unique interiors can best be described as livable and sophisticated. The designs incorporate classic, clean lines that function to fit your family's lifestyle and design aesthetic. JDI's projects include residences and corporate interiors throughout the New York Metropolitan area.