Always & Forever: 7 Crucial Elements of Timeless Interior Design
Timeless Interior Design
If you’re looking to design a new home, or redecorate, you have to choose between following existing interior design trends or opting for timeless design, or do you? If you adhere to the fundamentals of interior design, it is possible to have it all. If you commit to one or the other, there’s a chance that in five years’ time, your home could be the equivalent of a mustard and avocado bathroom from the 1970s. Fortunately, there are fantastic design elements you can use to create a contemporary yet classic feel in your home.
Stick with Neutral Colors for The Most Part
Although it is tempting to fill your home with bright and vibrant colors, they are always going in and out of fashion. A prime example is the 1970s fad of brown, purple, and burnt orange colors which were considered chic back then but would probably burn your retinas if you saw it in someone’s home today!
Neutral colors are always a wise choice because they are capable of accentuating a space without threatening to overpower it. If you have a traditionally styled home, greys, off-whites, and beiges always flatter a room, and you can add crisp white colors to doorways, ceilings, and arches. It is also okay to use navy blue, dark greens, and blacks, as these colors serve to complement neutrals. By all means, add a ‘trendy’ color but make sure it does not set the room’s tone.
Functionality is the epitome of timeless design. Ideally, your style is neither ostentatious or dull. It should exude a quiet confidence and steer clear of excessively busy patterns, spaces, decoration, or shapes. As a simple rule of thumb, make sure all your furniture fits in the room comfortably. No item of furniture should be so small as to be insignificant, nor too large as to completely dominate a room.
Use Clean Lines
Admittedly, most items go out of style at some stage, but detailed and/or ornate objects are likely to become obsolete much faster. This rule applies to everything from your kitchen cabinet to your furniture. If you have ever seen, or bought, a cabinet with an ornate design, you’ll realize that it passed its style sell-by-date within a few years. Simpler designs are far more likely to become ‘timeless’, and while you can add a coat of paint to an item, you can’t really change its design.
Focus on Classic Patterns
In case you’re wondering, the list of ‘classic’ patterns include Damasks, Stripes, Botanicals, and Plaids. The Damask pattern, for instance, is known as a traditional, formal, and glamorous option commonly used on side chairs and wallpaper. It pairs well with subtle florals, and stripes. Plaid is classic and conservative and is used in upholstery and curtains. It pairs well with florals.
You should avoid trendy prints such as animal prints and chevrons for example. Although these designs can look stunning in certain cases, they are not guaranteed to remain ‘timeless.’
Most design experts recommend using at least three patterns in a room with varying scales. For example, you could try a large damask, medium plaid, and small botanical. As long as the patterns are evenly distributed, your design should stand the test of time. It is a mistake to keep the majority of patterns on one side of the room as this creates an unbalanced look and ruins the symmetry.
Be Wary of Placing Technology Front & Center
The increasing importance of technology in our lives has given interior designers an interesting dilemma. Nowhere is this better emphasized than in the placement of your TV. Although fewer people use televisions, there are still hundreds of millions of them in use. Rather than using your TV as a focal point, decorate around it to soften its presence and reduce its importance in the room. The same goes for your other technological items. Few things eliminate the feel of ‘timelessness’ than a computer from the Tech Stone Age!
Add a Focal Point
Creating a focal point is interior design 101 as it gives the eye something to focus on. In some instances, your room will have a built-in focal point such as giant picture windows or a huge mantlepiece. Otherwise, you’ll have to create your own which is possible via the addition of architectural elements, artwork, or large pieces of furniture.
If you’re not sure how to create a focal point, begin by entering the room and taking into account the area(s) where your eye naturally wanders. After you’ve decided upon your focal point, arrange all your furniture around it. Above all, stick with one focal point. Adding a second or third creates chaos and defeats the entire purpose.
Invest in Antiques
No matter how stylish you think a piece of modern furniture or collectible is today, it is likely to look outdated in the next ten years or so. If you’re serious about implementing timeless design in your home, look for an antique piece or two. For example, even reproductions of furniture that is over a century old are classified as ‘antique.’ As a consequence, you don’t have to pay a fortune to add an antique to your home, and it will add some class and elegance to boot.
Final Thoughts on Timeless Design
One final critical element of timeless design is high-quality items. One of the best ways to ensure your interior design efforts stand the test of time is to use premium quality fabrics, accessories, and furniture. For instance, cheap furniture will fall apart in a few years while cheap fabric ruins the entire feel of a room.
When you invest in genuine quality, on the other hand, you give each room a sense of purpose and add character. Regardless of your style and color preferences, there are many ways to decorate in a manner that ensures your home remains timeless. While your chic neighbors scurry to replace everything in a few years, you’ll be sitting pretty for decades.