Are you building or renovating a house and you find yourself thinking … ‘there are so many decisions and I’m afraid I’ll make the wrong one!’ OR ‘what if I make a trendy decision and end up hating it in two years?’ ??!! Girl, you are NOT alone! If YOU are nervous that you’ll make the *wrong* choices, then this post will give you some insight into where to add timeless design finishes vs. trendy in your home! (side note … there truly aren’t ‘wrong’ choices! However, some finishes have more style longevity than others).
By the end of this post, you’ll have a better understanding of YOUR own personal design style (not just what is trending on Instagram), AND you’ll feel more confident in where you should focus on choosing classic, timeless design finishes that you’ll love for the long haul … as well as where to sprinkle in trendy finishes!
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WHAT DOES TIMELESS INTERIOR DESIGN MEAN?
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, TIMELESS design is ‘not affected by the passage of time or changes in fashion.’
According to Caroline on Design (aka, me!), timeless refers to classic design choices that are simple, subtle, sophisticated, understated and can easily adapt to evolving styles. In other words, timeless design makes for a great backdrop that can stand the test of time and will look great no matter what trendy pieces are thrown in the mix!
DEFINE YOUR DESIGN STYLE
To understand what timeless means for YOU, it’s important to understand what design elements are important to YOU and what will make YOU happy for years to come … because THAT, my friend, is how you make design decisions you won’t regret!
Some timeless design examples for me include simple white shaker style cabinets, neutral paint on the walls, white trim work details, white baseboards, and crown molding. Others may gravitate toward exposed wood baseboards and cherry cabinets. Both are classic and timeless; just varying styles!
If you are a little confused about what YOUR design style is and you find yourself gravitating toward whatever is the current design trend on Pinterest and Instagram, I have a great exercise for you! The exercise within my post How to Determine your Decorating Style will help you uncover your own decorating style! Pinterest and Instagram are excellent places to gather design inspiration, but you want to take these ideas and tweak them to make your own style!
TRENDY VS. TIMELESS DESIGN
It is absolutely OK (and encouraged) to add some trendy finishes to your new home or reno!!! There is certainly a place for trendy pieces in a timeless home … and adding just a little bit can go a long way!
Just so we’re clear on what trendy means … trendy = design fads that come and go; you can spot a ‘trend’ when you see the same design over and over (and over!) on Instagram or Pinterest … to the point that you don’t even know whose Instagram feed you’re looking at because they all look the exact same!
The goal is to keep your design foundation classic and timeless (as determined by what makes YOU happy) so that it can grow and evolve as your style grows and evolves. Mix in trendy finishes that are easy and inexpensive to change in the future when they are no longer trendy … or you tire of them!
HOW TO KNOW IF A FINISH IS TIMELESS
Ask yourself the following questions to determine the longevity (timeless-ness) of a finish:
IS IT ADAPTABLE?
Can this design element serve as a backdrop regardless of my changing style and whatever is on-trend at the moment? Is it neutral and simple enough that I can easily add in different trendy accents as my style evolves and trends change?
IS IT SIMPLE?
The more simple a finish, the more likely it will remain timeless.
And the most important question …
WOULD I STILL LOVE (AND CHOOSE) THIS FINISH IF IT WASN’T A CURRENT TREND?
If you answered YES to these three questions, then you’ve found yourself a timeless finish! Whoo-hoo!
WHERE TO ADD TIMELESS FINISHES
Make timeless selections in areas that are expensive and difficult to change! This includes your home exterior finishes, flooring, countertops, cabinets, interior doors, and trim work. Essentially, the backdrop of your design should stick to timeless details!
Of course, there are some exceptions … if you want to do a trendy tile flooring in a bathroom or your laundry room, go for it! This is a small room and won’t be too difficult to change if you want to in the future!
WHERE TO ADD TRENDY FINISHES
Obviously, you’ll want to pull in some trendy pieces, but limit these to inexpensive and easily changeable finishes! It is much easier and cheaper to change cabinet hardware than actual cabinets, for example … so keep your cabinets timeless; your hardware can be trendy and changed in the future.
Think about the things that are easy to change … a backsplash is a place you can go trendy because it’s a small area and can be ‘easily’ replaced in the future. However, going trendy with an entire tiled shower would be very expensive to change in the future!
It’s great to pull in ‘trendy’ with your home decor and accents (e.g. light fixtures, rugs, linens, art, accent furniture, etc)! Making small adjustments to your home decor can completely change the look and feel of a room!
Unfortunately, styles and trends are constantly evolving. However, if YOU love the finishes you choose, then they will never be out of style in your home/mind!
I hope you now feel like you better understand YOUR style AND you feel more confident in your ability to choose finishes that appeal to YOU … regardless of current trends! Also, remember to incorporate your timeless design finishes only where it will be easy and inexpensive(ish) to change in the future!
If you would like more guidance on how to make design decisions, download my *FREE* Design Decision Worksheet that will walk you through your decisions!