Designed to Last: Timeless Style Combines with Personal Taste

To convey a timeless style, should a designer use Gothic or Mid-Century Modern elements?

Neither. Rather, a timeless home will borrow from the Greeks when it comes to details and architectural features. Drawing upon Grecian design elements – columns, detailed moldings, balance and proportions – creates home design that will outlast the rest of the neighborhood. These elements have appeared relentlessly throughout the centuries and will likely continue to dominate classic home design thanks to the style’s emphasis on human scale and proportions.

Yet timeless design does not need to dampen personal taste and style. Many homeowners are afraid to customize their homes due to the dreaded unknown fear of re-sale. However, as a rule of thumb, if homeowners plan on living in the home more than five years, they should make it their own. A timeless floor plan and overall design will ensure that the home will appeal to buyers for years to come, and the current homeowner can switch up paint colors and other interior design elements to personalize the home in the meantime.

Homeownership is one of the biggest investments a person can make, and a timeless home design will help protect this investment for decades.

Trendy or Timeless?

Lifestyle trends do change, so it’s often difficult to tell whether a trend will last and become timeless, or become dreadfully dated. A designer can often determine if something is more trendy than timeless by evaluating its history and purpose. Why did the trend come about? Does this trend answer a need? Keep in mind that perceived needs vary across income levels. Take a look at these examples:

–Indoor-outdoor living spaces? Timeless.

As homeowners develop better work-life balances (or simply use technology to work from the patio more frequently) more homeowners are finding themselves with time so spend outdoors. This is increasing the need for better transitional and outdoor living spaces. It is unlikely that the culture will take a step back.

Photographer: Chris Mayer Photography

–Colors? Trendy and timeless.

Is there any particular need that would spark a homeowner to paint the kitchen harvest gold or purchase pink tubs and toilets for the bath? Aside from personal taste of homeowners and paint manufacturers, no. However, some colors – neutrals – do appear over and over again throughout the decades. Neutrals are timeless and classic, and they don’t scream “1970s bachelor pad!” or “21st century industrial!”

Photographer: Zan Maddox, Social Design House

–Flex Space? Timeless.

Living rooms and home offices may be fading into history, but flex space remains. Many homeowners opt for great rooms over formal living space, and people are working from their bedrooms and kitchen tables rather than home offices. But flex space that can become a guest room, game room or work space will stand the test of time.

Photographer: Darius Kuzmikas

The original article, written by Kevin Holdridge, can be found in the Spring 2016 issue of Best in American Living.

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