“Will this date?” is a question we get asked again and again by our clients. When you are looking to add bespoke joinery to your home, inbuilt furniture can feel like a serious commitment, especially given the investment in both time & money, the last thing you would want would be for it to look outdated in a few years. Consideration must also be given to the sustainability & carbon footprint of the products we create and procure, and we should all be striving to add longevity to everything we make. Whilst following trends can be fun, and certainly look great, we strive to ensure that all of our designs will not only be durable enough to stand the test of time, but also age beautifully.
If you decide to bypass this year’s trends, and are instead looking for some timeless inspiration, read on for our recommendations on how to achieve ageless style in your home.
Make sure each space & element of furniture fits your lifestyle and how you use that room. Ensuring the space works for you means that it will not date on a personal level, as you will quickly tire of a room or piece of joinery if the design does not work for how you live. A well designed, functional space, created to fit your lifestyle on the other hand, will always be a joy to use and inhabit.
E.g. Open shelving in a kitchen looks great, but if you have a lot of cookware and not tonnes of time to constantly be tidying and curating the shelves, then closed cabinetry might be more timeless.
Use Neutral Colours
Developing from the above, using neutral colours for a base will also create a more timeless style. Particularly with joinery and other large items of furnishings, which often form the backdrop for a room, it is better to pick a neutral colour (black, white, creams, off-whites and grey) as these shades go with everything. This means that you can keep the large, high-value items of your collection consistent, whilst accessorising and personalising the space with smaller items of home decor to reflect current trends & phases of your life.
E.g. Bright colours such as neons, Pantone colours of the year etc, are more of a gamble, as you might love it now, but will you like it in five, ten years time?
Use Natural Products
Man-made materials can date quickly, due to how fast technologies progress and new products come to market. Natural materials (think timber and stone) are the epitome of timeless, as landscapes and beautiful outdoor scenery never goes out of style. By drawing inspiration from, and using materials found in nature, you will effortlessly create a timeless style.
* There are some caveats to this rule: classic stone such as marble is incredibly popular, and whilst we would recommend avoiding ‘fake’ marble effects in homewares, such as stickers with marble effects to achieve the look of a marble worktop, a good quality marble Quartz, although man-made, still provides a timeless aesthetic with the added benefits of being a more durable material.
Use Natural Colours
Colours come in and out of fashion quickly. Even neutrals can phasic, with the greys that have dominated our living spaces for the past few decades slowly being overtaken by tans and beiges. When choosing a colour for your joinery or other large furnishings, again, a good place to start is to look to nature, as natural tones are less likely to date rapidly and are easier to mesh together to create a cohesive colour palette.
E.g. Soft hues of browns and whites can add a neutral base, whilst greens and blues add splashes of colour that are unlikely to go out of style as quickly as shades on the other side of the colour wheel (think pinks and purples).
On the flip side to nature never dating, because it changes very slowly, technology progresses so quickly that any visible tech in your home can quickly look antiquated. This is not to say don’t include it, just be mindful of how it integrates into the room. To achieve this, tuck cables and sound systems out of sight, or better yet have them hidden within joinery and furniture.
On the flip side of doing this, flashy tech integration that draws attention and might look cool now, will be tricky to hide in the future and will likely not have the same impact when tech and trends have moved on in a few years time. Think subtle!
E.g. The visible charging/speaker ports for iPods that were integrated into the walls and joinery of upscale hotel rooms were a high-tech addition at the time, but now look incredibly passé – and expensive to replace if there is not a large budget for frequent renovations.
Subtlety is Key
Although we are certainly not adverse to bold colours, patterns & forms, anything that draws the eye, particularly when used over a large expanse, is always going to be more high risk than something subtle. Strong colours can dominate a room and date quickly, whilst a strong pattern is harder to match other patterns and textures to.
Look to nature and history for inspiration, botanicals and plaid ages well and tend not to go out of style in the same way very bold, modern patterns can.
We also do not mean to say don’t use these bold colours and patterns at all, just maybe use them as subtle accents, potentially accessorising with smaller items of home decor.
Although not always feasible, generally it is better to sit on a purchase for a while, and save up to be able to afford a truly quality piece rather than impulse buying lots of cheap products that you quickly lose interest in. By thinking longer on a purchase you are also better equipped to spot a trend than if you buy home decor on impulse.
This is true across lots of sectors, including fashion, where a quality piece produced with craftsmanship not only looks great, but also wears better, is more durable, and looks better over time instead of showing signs of wear. Some ways of implementing this in the home includes sourcing good quality second-hand or vintage furniture, or choosing quality materials that wear in rather than wear out, creating beautiful patination and allowing the product to grow and change with you.
Whilst we are certainly not adverse to trends (always do whatever brings you the most joy when renovating your home!), we find that practical, classic, quality interiors that draw inspiration from the natural environment will never age. Always work within your own budget, and create a beautiful, functional space that fits you and your lifestyle, and you will be onto a winner that you will enjoy for years to come.
Do you have any key principles for timeless design that we missed and you would like to share? Want to discuss your own bespoke project? Get in touch with us via the button below, drop us a line via email@example.com or chat to us on 02072521560.
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