Timeless design is a buzzword phrase that seems to fly around more than many others in the world of interiors.
I see designers that promise “timeless design”, clients that are afraid to make decisions because they are worried the outcome won’t be “timeless”, manufacturers that strive to create products that will be “timeless” so they will fly off shelves for years to come – the list goes on.
What does timeless really mean…does it exist?
The answer is… Not really! At least not in the sense that the term is most commonly used. I believe design is indicative of time. Ultimately times change, people change, lifestyles change…the world changes. Does that mean that we are stuck in a perpetual cycle of always wanting something different than what we wanted years ago? The good news is… it doesn’t have to!
By discovering + defining your intrinsic style and values – meaning things that you are by-default gravitated to, things that speak to your true being and essence, things that ultimately bring you joy – this allows you to create designs and make decisions that you won’t regret!
Helping my clients navigate the process of discovering their intrinsic style is one of the first essential checkpoints in my design approach and helps to ensure they will be happy with the outcome of their project.
How to find your style + define your affinities…
Notice things that catch your eye
Things like online inspiration, walking down the street. eating at a restaurant or grabbing coffee, then take pictures, collect + compile them.
Don’t know where to start? Look at Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration
Pinterest is especially helpful because if you find a pin that catches your eye, it will then suggest others below that are visually similar. Instagram can be easily used as a search engine by searching and filtering by hashtag.
one caveat…try to avoid “inspiration overwhelm”.
Searching for inspiration is helpful, becoming overwhelmed is NOT.
You have one kitchen to remodel, one new home to build – the outcome is never good when you try to cram every little thing you saw in the 20 photos of kitchens all into your single kitchen design. Figure out which features are most important to you and prioritize their implementation.
Tips for longer-lasting “timeless for you” design
Use natural materials + neutrals as a base
Colors and patterns are the fastest evolving indicators of design time periods. By creating a palette for fixed finishes + fixtures that are neutral, it is more likely to withstand the test of time.
If you are loving a certain “trend”, bring it in as a layer that can easily be swapped out if your preferences or lifestyle change.
I have many clients that are coveting the colored tile trend right now.
- I guide them through the process of deciding if that colored tile is truly something that will enhance their life for years to come, or if it would be better to select a neutral colored tile and bring in their favorite color of the moment with towels + accessories.
- For some clients, the color is fundamentally tugging at their soul and that brings me comfort in knowing that moving forward with the selection will not age for them…for them that is a timeless decision.
Invest in quality products
Once you have defined your intrinsic style and know exactly what it is that you like, you will feel more confident investing in quality products to carry out that design. You know you will have them and love them for a long time.
Collect over time
It is easy to want everything in a certain room/space to be complete right away, but don’t buy to fill space. Wait until you find the right pieces. On the other hand, if you aren’t renovating, doing a remodel or looking for something in particular, but an item that you truly adore comes across your path – go ahead, get it! You will find a way to make these sacred items a part of your home + life. Eventually, you will have a home filled with only things you LOVE. They are timeless for you!
Be patient with yourself.
Figuring out what your style is can seem like a daunting process. Be patient with yourself, and understand that some aspects of your design style will change as you change. It’s all part of the journey! If you can define your true affinities it will benefit you greatly when it comes time to do that remodel, new build – or anything in between!
Have a question about discovering your style? Let me know in the comments below or send a note to get started on your next project.