In interior design, we may live and breathe trends, but they have a downside—they don’t always last. So instead of having to splash out moolah every time the décor winds change, consider doing up a timeless home that will never go out of style. The great thing about timeless décor is that it serves as a good base to build up upon, so you can change things up whenever trends change. If you are looking to do up a home for the long haul, here are some rules to remember.
1. Embrace symmetry, scale and simplicity
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Design: ROOOT Studio
Our brains are naturally programmed to recognise and find satisfaction in symmetry, and we find it pleasing to look at symmetrical things (just look at how we find symmetrical faces more attractive). So it stands to reason that if you are looking to do up a home that you would still be drawn to 10, 15 years down the road, symmetry is the way to go.
You don’t always have to get the same set of furniture and décor on both sides, as long as you make sure the visual scale is always balanced on the two ends. For instance, in a living room that is centred on the sofa with matching side tables and table lamps, you could opt for different cushions or artwork on one side. Or you could pair the table lamp with a potted plant or a sculptural piece instead.
Design: KURO + KAGI
Symmetry lends a sense of order and calm, so you will want to complement that with silhouettes that are streamlined, clean and simple. Simple doesn’t mean boring; they can be striking and bold, offering a visual statement for your space.
2. Choose classic prints and stick with neutrals
Design: Museum Homes
Chevron, scallop and banana leaf prints may look trendy for now, but they are unlikely to stand the test of time. If you are thinking of injecting prints in a massive way in your home, stick with the classics for a more enduring effect. Here are some we like: checkered, stripes or imperial trellis.
Design: Richfield Integrated
In terms of colour scheme, neutrals will never go out of style. We like whites, greys and earthy hues for a timeless home. Black-and-white is also a classic and popular choice. To add layers to your home, consider using neutrals like wood, marble and metal for visual texture. Use trendier colours in smaller doses through furnishings if you want to add them.
3. Source for natural and quality materials as much as you can
Design: The Local Inn.terior
A timeless home is also well-made, so you will want to source for materials that can withstand years of use. Some natural materials like wood, linen, granite and marble not only look and feel good, but they can usually last pretty much forever if you maintain and care for them properly. Materials like copper and leather can also develop a beautiful patina over time, adding character to a piece and your space.
The downside about natural materials is that they often come with a heftier price tag and some also require higher maintenance, so you’ll definitely want to keep budget and upkeep in mind when you consider what materials to go for.
Functionality can also be an issue when using natural materials in areas of the home like the kitchen and bathroom, which are constantly subjected to moisture, grease and other liquids. In these zones, you can always incorporate natural materials in a smaller way, such as using toiletries organisers made of rattan or complementing a marble-topped island with quartz counters for the rest of the kitchen.
4. Splurge on the important furniture and appliances
Design: Lite Design Collaborative
You want the important, big ticket furniture and appliances to last because you can’t switch them out easily and they can be costly to replace. So splurge on quality ones that will ensure durability. Conversely, don’t break the bank when buying trendy decor because you will be switching them out whenever trends change.
Design: Free Space Intent
Everyone defines what is important differently, so determine your lifestyle and your needs before deciding what you should spend on. A good way to think about it could be in terms of functionality, or how much a piece affects the overall aesthetics of a room.
5. Always plan for storage
Design: Happe Design Atelier
Because clutter will never be on trend, you want to keep your space as clutter-free as possible in a timeless home. Invest in well-made, built-in storage that will help manage your things (which can grow exponentially over the years) while keeping your space as sleek and seamless as possible.
Built-ins don’t take up as much visual space, but they can usually store a lot more. And one of our favourites are hidden storage solutions, which can completely disappear so they don’t ever take up any visual space.
This article was originally posted on Renonation.sg, Singapore’s leading renovation and interior design site.