Timeless Design It’s Meaning and Importance for Your Home
We all like trends. It’s fun and exciting to see what clothing fashions, furniture styles, the latest textiles and colors from different industries promote every year. Pinterest and Instagram take trend-finding to a whole new level with the immediate accessibility to the latest; creating a hyper-awareness of what is rapidly coming in, and going out.
Clothing fashion is one thing, and small home décor is another, but creating your home to be timeless and classic in nature is critical. Every era has its stamp on interior design. You can often tell what time period home was built based on the cabinetry stain, lighting, hardware and countertop selections. Also, you can usually tell the same thing based on the fabrics, furniture and wallpaper used. The question is, how do we avoid this?
First off, I don’t think it can be avoided entirely. It’s impossible to fully design your home void of aesthetics that happen to be trendy, and it is fun to incorporate newly stylish elements into your home. I think the key is to use trends as little as possible, and if so, in places that are easily exchangeable such as décor, pillows, lamps, wallpaper, bedding and accent chairs. The foundational palette of the home should remain classic, while the secondary components are interchangeable. Some examples of foundational elements perhaps would be home finishes, lighting fixtures, rugs, case goods, art and if possible, the window treatments.
Furthermore, I think the key is to not select design elements for your home because it is comfortable if the reason for it being comfortable is because you are seeing it everywhere. Everyone seems to have the same interior style on Instagram, similar exteriors for new construction, the same kitchen and bathroom color palettes and the same finishes for hardware and lighting. If you see these styles pervasively across mainstream media and around you, it’s probably not a timeless design.
Below are some examples of what I personally think will be a design timestamp, and what I try to avoid for our clients. I’ll then share with you a few examples of what may be trendy now but is still safe to be timeless.
Trends that are not here to stay:
Faux wood porcelain tile (used in bathrooms and flooring typically)
Everything white. White is classic in certain aspects (white or cream cabinetry for example), but a monochromatic white interior design is definitely a trend. Whitewashed interiors and photos are a huge Instagram and magazine trend
Gray/white kitchen and bath palettes. Avoid using exclusively gray/white combos. I have seen the combo of white cabinets with gray quartz countertops a hundred times in homes throughout San Diego. If you’re not tired of it yet, you will be in five years.
Subway tile: This has been on its way out for a while. Subway tile is very cyclical; it’ll be back but maybe not for a long time. If you do use subway tile, try to at least install it in creative ways and patterns (basketweave or herringbone), or pick a more unconventional size besides 3” x 6”
Industrial/reclaimed look. This is really fun to use as accents, and we see it a lot in restaurants, but try and not over-use these aspects. If you want to incorporate shiplap, reclaimed wood, industrial pendants and/or furniture, then go for it! Just make sure your entire house doesn’t exclusively reflect this look, and try to only use it in very small accents to warm up a space or setting. This has been trendy over the last decade and is on its way out.
Shaker cabinet doors. Unless your home is a craftsman, I would advise doing something different. First of all, it’s tough to clean. Secondly, everyone is using Shaker doors probably because it’s the cheapest type of door panel. Try to add a bevel or raised panel in addition to the Shaker to it’s not so trendy
Trends that are here to stay:
Coffered ceiling, vaulted ceiling and ceiling beams; painted or stained. If you can incorporate this, do so! It’s timeless by nature and will always add a dynamic flair to any home
Marble. Marble will also be classic; particularly in a coastal setting. The downside of marble is its porous nature and has a tendency to stain. If you are concerned about this but love the look, consider a faux marble quartz product for countertops and a faux marble ceramic or porcelain product for bathroom settings
White/cream cabinetry. As long as you avoid using gray as its compliment, then you are in the clear. To complement the white cabinetry, try using stained finishes, creams, linen beiges or other painted colors instead.
Black and white concepts and high-contrast elements. Black and white checkered floors, black cabinets and countertops, and black and white tile mosaics will never go out of style. It’s classic, but the look is not for everyone
Blue and white color palettes. This is also timeless and will never fade. It’s used in almost every culture and region around the world.
Mixing metal finishes. Currently, antique brass seems to be very trendy, however, I also find it is timeless. The key is to mix the finishes throughout the home so that when antique brass/gold goes out of style, your entire home doesn’t look dated.
Grasscloth wallpaper. Particularly in a coastal setting, this will never go out of style. It will always be represented in hotel settings and coastal dwellings, so I think we are clear with this one.