Welcome back to the Before You Build Podcast! I’m your host, Carrie Barker (a.k.a. Caroline on Design), and today in episode 16, we’re going to talk about where to add timeless interior design finishes as well as where to add trendy finishes when you are building or designing your new home.
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?’
You are NOT alone! This is a very common fear.
If you’re nervous that you’ll make the *wrong* choices or make design decisions that are too trendy and you’ll soon regret making those decisions, we’ve got you covered.
By the end of this episode, you’ll have a better understanding of your own personal design style (not just what is trending on Instagram or Pinterest), 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.
Quick side note … there truly is no such thing as a ‘wrong’ design decision! However, some finishes have more style longevity than others.
WHAT DOES TIMELESS INTERIOR DESIGN MEAN?
First, let’s talk about what timeless interior design means.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, ‘TIMELESS’ means ‘not affected by the passage of time or changes in fashion.’
According to Caroline on Design (that’s 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 you throw into the mix.
DEFINE YOUR DESIGN STYLE
To understand what timeless means for YOU, it’s important to first be aware of 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 later 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 unsure about what YOUR design style is and you find yourself leaning toward whatever the current design trend is on Pinterest and Instagram, I have a helpful design exercise for you in my blog post, ‘How to Determine your Decorating Style‘.
Do keep in mind that Pinterest and Instagram are excellent places to gather design inspiration, but don’t just copy what you see. Take your favorite ideas and tweak them to make your home your own style :).
TIMELESS INTERIOR DESIGN VS TRENDY
Now let’s talk about trendy design.
It is absolutely OK (and encouraged) to add some trendy finishes to your home.
There is certainly a place for trendy design in a timeless home … and adding just a little bit of ‘trendy’ 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 again) on Instagram or Pinterest … to the point that you don’t even know whose Instagram feed you’re looking at anymore because they all look the exact same.
We don’t want to get to that point!
I recommend that you keep your foundational finishes classic and timeless (as determined by what makes YOU happy) so that your home design can grow and evolve as your style grows and evolves. A timeless backdrop allows you to easily change out accents or small finishes to change the look of your home.
Go ahead and 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).
In a minute, we’ll talk about where to add timeless and trendy finishes to your home, but first, let’s talk about how to determine if a finish is timeless.
HOW TO DETERMINE IF A FINISH IS TIMELESS
Ask yourself the following questions to determine the longevity (or 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 SIMPLE?
Is this finish neutral and simple enough that I can easily add in different trendy accents as my style and current trends evolve?
The more simple a finish, the more likely it will remain timeless.
And the most important question …
WOULD I STILL LOVE (+ 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.
WHERE TO ADD TIMELESS FINISHES
I recommend timeless design finishes 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 trendy tile flooring in a bathroom or your laundry room, go for it. These are small rooms and aren’t too difficult (or expensive) to change in the future if you want to.
WHERE TO ADD TRENDY FINISHES
Limit trendy finishes and decor 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 fairly easily replaced in the future. However, going trendy with an entire tiled shower would be very expensive to change in the future.
I, personally, like to sprinkle in ‘trendy’ design with my home decor and accents (e.g. light fixtures, rugs, linens, art, accent furniture, etc). Just remember that making small adjustments to your home decor can completely change the look and feel of a room.
Obviously, 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 a little bit more confident in your ability to choose timeless interior design finishes that appeal to YOU … regardless of current trends.
If you wanna dive deeper into designing your timeless home with confidence? Grab a seat in my *FREE* on-demand training, 3 Simple Keys to Design Your Dream Home with Confidence … without second-guessing your decisions or making costly mistakes you’ll later regret’.