Design Dilemma: Timeless vs. Trendy
Timelessness, not trendiness, makes for sustainable design that need not change from year to year. But does timelessness mean tradition? Can you be timeless but cool and funky at the same time? And what is timelessness, anyway?
To our mind, timelessness is design that allows an owner’s personality toÂ shine throughÂ unobscured byÂ momentary trends. It does not mean that a home must be filled with antiques. It also does not mean that a home must beÂ safely conventional.
So here are a few thoughts on making your home timeless but not boring:
1) Accept that you are a product of your age. You live in the real world. That means you will be influenced by the trends, colors, and design ideasÂ that you see around you, and that’s okay. After all, timelessness is a moving target. What is considered timeless today might not in 10, 15 or 20 years time. SoÂ if you comeÂ upon a trend that you really like, embrace it.Â That’sÂ part of the fun.Â Just figure out how to translateÂ that trendÂ into your own home in a new and original way. Below, the mid-century arc lamp and low-slung leather couch are of the moment. But an oriental rug, antique chest and framed photographs and art prints help give this interior a timeless appeal. Funky graphic pillows are more trendy and “now” but can be switched around at a moment’s notice.
2) Context is everything. The reason that some environments look kind of silly is that they are totally wrong for the context. For example, if you live in aÂ low-ceilinged 50’s style apartment complex in West Los Angeles, decorating your space as if it were a 17th century French chateau is just not going to work. Instead pick up cues about your home’s design decor from the surroundings themselves. Don’t deny, be inspired! Incorporate a few elementsÂ reminscent of the French chateau, but don’t go whole hog, and respectÂ the environment you’re working with.Â Would the daring dark walls in the interior below work as well inÂ an interior without the high ceilings and architectural details? Probably not. At the same time, a low-slung modernist couch works perfectly well in this townhouse outside London.
3) Embrace constraints. Not having enough money or space isn’t a bad thing. It’s an opportunity! Constraints help us to think outside the box, so instead of buying everything at once in the same style we are forced to live with thingsÂ and collect slowly over time. Over time, our tastes will change and styles will change. Our interiors will develop that layered look that makes them more interesting and… well, timeless. We alsoÂ get a better handle on what we actually need and what we can live without.
4. Simple withstands the test of time. Shaker style furniture, for example, is clean and simple, thusÂ effortlessly fitting into Â all types of decor. Think simplicity in line and concept, and you can’t go wrong.
5) Rely on what you like. One reason rooms feel trendy is because there’s no sign of individual personality. So individualize your home by choosing furniture and accessories chiefly by what you like and not “what goes together.”Â Trust that you can find a way to integrate what you like into a cohesive design. Below, homeowners were able to integrate their love of fun, happy colors to beautiful effect. Nothing seems particularly trendy, aside perhaps from the popular pendant lamp over the dining room table.
Images: via Aphrochic.com, via Designspongeonline.com, viaApartmentTherapy.com