We’ve all walked into rooms where we can immediately tell the decade in which it was designed. But is it possible to have a room that doesn’t show its age? Absolutely! Choosing classic furnishings in forever-fresh colors will help you create a timeless look to love for years to come.
Here are five things you should keep in mind:
1. Choose natural materials. A home that is timeless utilizes natural materials and fibers. Choose rugs in cotton or wool. Pick upholstery in linen, velvet or leather. Invest in high quality wood furniture. And add a touch of iron with light fixtures or occasional tables.
2. Combine pieces from yesterday and today. A mix of heirlooms or reproductions and new investments will create a room that not only has timeless style, but that has personal meaning. Use your mother’s dining room table with new Parson’s Chairs, or use the antique trunk you found at the flea market as a cocktail table with your leather sofa seating. It’s possible to effortlessly mix eras when you choose items that resonate with you.
3. Lean toward understated. “The fewer colors used in a room, the more pleasing and restful the result will be,” said Edith Wharton (1862-1937), in The Decoration of Houses (1897). Choose furnishings in a color palette that includes three to four hues. The less-is-more rule also goes for style; steer away from oversized and over fussy and go for streamlined and simple instead.
4. Stick with traditional colors. While you don’t have to go with 100% neutrals, stick to traditional colors when designing your décor. Beige, gray and ivory all have a strong history in timeless style. Bring in color with artwork or in single upholstered pieces, such as accent chairs, which can be easily swapped out or updated. Then punch it up with bolder classic hues, such as ruby red, turquoise or navy, which are forever in style.
5. Stay with classic patterns. Finally, rooms often look dated when they feature complicated or trendy patterns. Remember paisley? Instead choose classic patterns such as stripes, plaids and checks, which are timeless. They’re also easy to live with and easy to combine.