7 Ways to Create Timeless Interior Design

Timeless designs are designs that stand the test of time. It should be comfortable and functional and always ready to accommodate a constantly changing lifestyle. It is filled with pieces not necessarily exclusive from the past or present but neither is it filled with trendy items that will eventually go out of style.

Trendy designs, on the other hand, have very short staying power. It's here today, gone tomorrow. It makes its mark in the world only to be replaced as quickly with another trend. Some trends are here to stay but it's impossible to predict which ones will permanently make it.

The list below are things that you can do to create a timeless interior design.

1. Choose High-Quality Natural Materials
Mother Nature never goes out of style and going for natural materials rather than man-made, synthetic finishes has been a tried and tested method of timelessness. The Ancient Greeks and Egyptians were definitely on to something when they chose marble and granite as their choice of material for their structures and buildings. It's classic and never goes old.

Investing on solid wood floors is a smart move because whatever the style of the house, it just fits right in. Brick walls are trendy these days, which is huge thanks to the popularity of Industrial style. It adds warmth and ready to be upgraded anytime with a fresh coat of paint.

2. Go for a Neutral Palette
Neutrals may be boring but it's the safest route to timelessness. Use neutral colors as the base and inject color and pattern through accent pieces, accessories and other small items that don't cost as much if and when you decide to replace it. Select an accent chair that can be reupholstered every now and then to keep up with the current color or pattern trend.

3. Choose Clean Lines
Overly ornate decors and designs are more likely to go out of style faster than simple decors. Simple, classic shapes will endure the test of time and are much easier to update. Ornate furniture and built-ins will undoubtedly look tired and outdated in just a few years' time. Instead, pick out classic furniture that has proven to stay even if decades had passed.

4. Choose Texture over Pattern
Texture can both be trendy and timeless. It tends to have more longevity than the pattern. Choose to add texture through pieces like wallpapers, curtains, rugs and throw pillows. Grasscloth wallpaper, furry poufs, tweed throws and sheer linen curtains will blend in seamlessly with any style as compared to paisley, floral and ikat prints.

5. Get Functional and Durable Items
It's easy to be swayed by the latest trends in magazines and websites. People tend to chase after beauty rather than the use itself. Comfort and functionality should always be prioritized. Investing in items that are durable, comfortable and functional can last longer than anything that's trendy now. Remember too that because some items are trendy, various low-quality knockoffs of the current trend are also being produced. Budgets are important but splurging on items like beds, dining tables and sofas is a great investment because these are items that should be durable and last for a long time. Sticking to the principle of clean and classic lines should help in choosing the right items.

6. Bringing Trend through Little Pieces
It's more affordable to incorporate trendy little items into a design rather than changing the overall look of a space. If Greenery is the color of the year, then get a few accessories such as vases and ceramics in that color. Having a few pillowcases on hand that can be seasonally changed to follow a trend is also handy. Invest in affordable pieces that can be easily swapped out when the trend is over.

7. Mix and Mesh the Past and Present
Old, inherited, vintage or antique furniture doesn't have to look so outdated. Combining period and modern pieces make it seem the room has evolved and grown throughout the years. Giving new life to vintage furniture by painting it a fresh coat of paint is not just a temporary trend. It's the trend that's here to stay because it's a great way to keep beloved items in style. Another example is to upholster or customize a slipcover in a trendy print or color to update an antique chair.

Mixing different eras can make it hard to pinpoint whether a design is from the past or present. If it's a style that's hard to identify, then you'll know you've successfully achieved timelessness.

Timelessness doesn't have to be boring. Adding a few trendy items that will be okay to replace after the fad is over is better than making major changes to a home. The design of a home reflects the owner's tastes, styles, and lifestyle. Purchasing a product because it's something you like and think will look great in your house even after the years have passed is better than impulse buying a trendy item just because it's popular and everyone else has it. Regardless of any style, bringing together the past, present and future can create a look that is both trendy and timeless.

- Ching, Francis DK, Mark M. Jarzombek, and Vikramaditya Prakash. A global history of architecture. John Wiley & Sons, 2017.

Related Article
- 7 Elements of Classic Interior Design Explained

Last review and update: August 27, 2018

About the Author

Patty Benjabutr is an interior design enthusiast. She loves to write about actionable home decor knowledge because she believes interior design content is something much more than a collection of beautiful photos. You can contact Patty via e-mail.