Keep it simple and classy, and it will never go out of style

Story by Meredith Coopman
Timeless design is functional and sensible. It suggests quiet confidence. It’s not over the top nor is it boring. Designs that are timeless, classic and essentially untrendy withstand the passing of years and never go out of style. It’s about creating a sense of balance and order.

When trying to go “classic” or “timeless,” ask yourself, “What won’t I get tired of?” Remember, less is more. Simple is sophisticated. It’s a fact. Below are some easy-to-follow interior design components that might help you to create a style with staying power.

Backgrounds

Neutrals and naturals have a strong presence in classic home design. They accentuate a space without overpowering it. Start your space with classically oriented colors, materials and finishes. The tried-and-true are still around for a reason. Then layer on top of those basic finishes. Bring in the fun and hip with accent pieces that are easy to swap out once that trend is over. Be cautious, however, that the trendy color doesn’t set the tone of the room.

Select classic colors like black, navy blue and dark greens that are often complemented by neutrals.

Black and white remains a classic combination.

Navy blue endures.

Natural resources and materials (wood, stone, brick, etc.) have staying power.

Metallic, the shine that metal offers, never goes out of style. It’s even better to mix and match metals.

Floors

Hardwood floors are always a smart choice. Midtones tend to be more classic, while lighter woods and gray tones tend to be more modern. Dark and light wood popularity comes and goes; the rest of the space’s overall aesthetic is important.

Carpet comes in and out, but plush rugs are always in style.

Kitchens

The kitchen is one of the most important places to consider for a few reasons. No matter what, it’s the most popular room in the house. It’s where everyone gathers, and it can often set the tone for the rest of the home. It’s also one of the most expensive rooms to renovate.

White kitchens, no matter the style, never seem to go out of fashion.

When it comes to cabinets, many designers and kitchen professionals recommend going with a simple shaker style.

The minute you put a countertop down, it dates your kitchen, so be sure to find something neutral or natural.

Stainless steel appliances offer a nice, neutral finish that works well in any setting without fighting with other finishes in the room.

Pantries will never go out of style.

Bedrooms

Creating a calm, comfortable environment in the bedroom with soft, soothing colors is a design trend that won’t be changing anytime soon.

Soaking Tubs

No matter when your home was built, installing a soaking tub says one thing: luxury. Install and enjoy it for decades to come.

Fireplaces

Fireplaces have generally moved from necessity to “nice to have.” I can’t name a single person who doesn’t like a good fire, and with the ease of gas fireplaces, they’re virtually mess-free.

Heirlooms and Vintage Finds

Pieces that have been passed down for generations should always be a treasured part of your home. Even in a modern space, a vintage touch is a good addition. Antique furniture, even as it reflects the past, becomes timeless when incorporated with other styles and furnishings.

Patterns

When used tastefully, these patterns always have panache.

Vertical and horizontal stripes are an established favorite.

Floral patterns are always in vogue. You’ll tend to find larger-scale florals in modern interiors and smaller-scale options in more traditional interiors.

A Bold Front Door

A house with curb appeal is always on point.

Art

Since the days of cave paintings, humans have put art on their walls.

Lighting

Bold lighting is a small design tool with a major visual impact. It can make or break a space. Lighting is too important to be going anywhere.

Houseplants

Not only do plants add a pop of green in a home, they also help keep your air quality healthy.

Furniture 

Swapping out furniture to meet a current style craze could get expensive and time consuming. Keep with the classic styles and update with accessories to keep a space current without having to overhaul it on a regular basis.

Trends

Trends are fun, and it’s certainly acceptable to incorporate them in your home. Introduce hip items, patterns and styles into your rooms with pillows, drapery and accessories to showcase the “latest and greatest.” These are easily replaced and won’t cost a fortune.

Timeless design has staying power. It is quietly understated, simple and sophisticated, and it’s designed to be highly functional. It was not created to be temporary. If you want your home to have that timeless look, seek out designs, styles and colors that are considered to be “classic.” Aim for simplicity, subtlety and elegance.

My approach to classic design is to err on the side of caution when choosing the big elements of a room or the backgrounds — the items that are harder to change out or that might be expensive to replace. Keeping a neutral palette makes it easier to incorporate the latest crazes or to swap and decorate for the seasons. The reason that realtors suggest painting your rooms in neutral colors is because people have different tastes, and neutrals suit just about everyone. Think Pottery Barn: pleasing to the masses.

Keep in mind, however, that even with all of this talk about classic style and simple tastes, your home should also reflect your personality. One of the keys to a timeless home is choosing items that make you happy, regardless of what is trending right now. Don’t buy something because it’s not timeless. Buy it because you love it or because it speaks to you. It’s better to have bad taste than no taste.

Meredith Coopman has over 20 years of experience in architecture and interior design. She is the Design Director at InnSpace in Kalispell. You can reach her at meredith@meredithcoopman.com.