Trends may come and go, but taste is forever. When designing your own home, it’s tempting to take an “everything but the kitchen sink” attitude. There are so many exciting features and fun trends to inspire your build! But before getting whisked away on the trend train, you need to remember that today’s trend is tomorrow’s dated. It’s better to take a classic approach to designing and building your own home. That way, you can incorporate trends without letting them take over. Aging gracefully isn’t just for skin care and fashion; the same ideas can be applied to home design. Take these factors into consideration to create a timeless design for your home.
Co-opt classic timeless design elements like arched windows. Image: Phoebe Howard
Blast from the past
There’s a reason some architectural styles have been popular for centuries. By incorporating some of these classical design styles, you’ll be sure your home will age gracefully. Ask for Greek elements by incorporating columns, or embrace French style with arched windows. Work with your architect to bring historical elements into a fresh perspective. Borrowing from the past means a chic, tasteful future for your home.
Simple cabinets always look classic. Image: RLH Studio
Keep it simple
Clean lines and simple layouts keep your home fresh for years to come. Think about it: Yesterday’s smaller rooms seem outdated when compared to today’s open concept layouts. That’s because homes designed around specific purposes and trends fall victim to time. What worked five or 10 years ago might seem stale today. That’s why simple design and clean lines work best. After all, it’s much easier to paint over simple woodwork than to replace ornate and outdated cabinets. In design, less is more for aging gracefully.
Function over form
An architect worth their salt will be able to tell you that form should always follow function. That means you should focus on the function of your home before you start thinking about aesthetics. Sure, you might have always dreamed of a hacienda-style place, but timeless design focuses on the purpose of the home first. Talk to your designer about the way you live, work and entertain. Nail down the specifics of your home’s function first and you’ll find that its form will better stand the test of time.
A surefire way to make your home look dated is to use the color du jour for the walls. Sure, it’s popular now, but will it always look as fresh and current? Just five years ago, coral was the “it” color for new homes, but gray has been more popular in years since. In fact, we’d be willing to bet that there have been more than a few coral cover-up jobs since then. By using neutral colors as a backdrop for your home, you can easily swap in colorful, trendy accents. Commit to neutrals as your safe choice and you won’t feel guilty for a fleeting love of plaid or paisley.
Texture over pattern
One of the simplest ways to ensure your home ages gracefully is to decorate with texture rather than pattern. Patterns are one of the quickest elements to go in and out of style. Palm print might be huge this year, but next year it will be something else entirely. Instead of, say, plastering your wall with palm wallpaper, it’s better to opt for a rich textured paper instead. Texture adds just as much personality and depth as print, but it’s much less prone to trendiness. A jute wallpaper is just as breezy as palm print, and you won’t have to change it when something else becomes popular.
Architectural design is only part of the equation for a timeless exterior. The materials you use can definitely factor into how your home ages. The rule of thumb is to use durable, natural materials for a timeless home. Vinyl or aluminum may be cheaper, but materials like wood, brick and stone are higher quality. You may find it’s better to design and build a smaller home with durable materials than a larger one using less expensive materials. The first will always look current and the second can cycle in and out of style – and cost money to maintain and repair.
Think about all the trends your mom used to decorate. They seem hopelessly outdated today, right? Designing and building a custom home means taking every component into consideration. Choosing finishes, fixtures and elements that are simple and classic will always serve you well. Skip the flash-in-a-pan design and you’ll have a home with timeless design that looks fresh and classic – no matter its age.
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