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12 Timeless Design Tips That Never Go Out of Style

Maybe I can blame it on the fact that I’m now in my 30s or that our current house makes me lean more traditionally, but for the past several months, I’ve been thinking a lot about timeless design.

That’s probably because if I paint a room, I reeeeaaaally don’t want to paint it again in 2-3 years just because I followed a fad and the trends changed yet again. (That could just be this first trimester exhaustion talking.)

Kind of like how those stilettos in my closet look great for a night out, but if I’m being totally honest with myself, I’d much rather trek around town in comfy, pretty flats. (Yep… really thinking this is a 30s revelation here.) 

I’ve mentioned before that I refuse to wholeheartedly put farmhouse decor in our house. Because I know farmhouse’s time in the spotlight is coming to an end sometime… and really it just doesn’t make sense in our colonial.

So if you’ve been thinking the same lately and want to decorate your home so that its style will stand the test of time, I hope these tips will help you as much as they’ve helped me.

12 Timeless Design Tips That Never Go Out of Style:

1. Black doors 

I mean… I guess white doors are really timeless too but black has that oomph, ya know? We used the color Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron on ours.

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2. Mix formal with casual

Rooms don’t have to be labeled “formal” or “casual”. Incorporate both to make it versatile. So ya know… we can get uber fancy at Easter dinner but also not feel bad about putting our elbows on the table.

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3. Full length panel window curtains

They can be casual or formal and work with modern or traditional styles. They’re simple, so they create depth without fussiness. Plus, they make rooms look larger and ceilings look taller. Win-win-win! My favorites are the Ritva curtains from IKEA.

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4. Opt for soothing grays and clean, white bedding for a luxury hotel feel

Calming, spa-like bedrooms never really go out of style. (Here is some of my favorite luxury feel bedding for suuuuper cheap.)

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5. Crown molding

Crown molding is very DIY-able and can add resale value to your house because it’s one feature that is always “in”. If you want to make a room feel extra upscale but still timeless, add large picture frame molding to the walls too (which I hope to add more of reeeaally soon).

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6. Gilded mirrors

If you have a window on only one side of a room, a gilded mirror can help balance the natural light in the space and remain classic in style. Antique mirrors don’t have to be pricey either. I’ve found most of ours at thrift stores and on eBay. (Here’s a trick we used to hang ours.)

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7. Crystal chandeliers and light fixtures

You can replicate the high-end crystal look inexpensively by incorporating glass light fixtures instead, if the real deal crystal chandeliers are too much. And if you want a modern take on traditional, you can use frosted glass instead. (See the tutorial to make this light fixture here.)

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8. Neutral paint colors

Stick to whites and grays for wall colors to last you years without painting. Get colorful with accents and small textiles like pillows and throw blankets instead. (See a list of my favorite neutral paint colors here.)

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9. Blend old with new

Incorporate at least one vintage piece into a room for extra charm. Go for pieces or accents with clean lines to last you through the years. (Check out these thrifting and Craigslisting tips, if you need ideas for scoring vintage/antique items.)

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10. Weave in marble, even if it’s the fake stuff

Use marble look tiles on floors or in showers, put a marble top on a dresser, or go really inexpensive by adhering marble contact paper on table tops. (If you have real marble, but it needs a good cleaning, here’s how to remove stains.)

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11. Hang an understated gallery wall

Don’t get too eclectic by hanging up too many frames with different colors, shapes, and textures, but you can’t go wrong with classic black and white or a monochromatic color scheme. (Here’s my tried and true gallery wall hanging trick.)

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12. Resist clutter and too much furniture

Let a room breathe. Not every nook and corner needs a piece of furniture or a piece of wall decor to fill up space. Incorporate just enough and a room will feel clean and airy.

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I’m certainly not a school-trained interior designer or anything, but those are just the twelve things that I always find myself spotting in classic design time and time again. And if it keeps me from spending way too much and loving our home’s style for much longer, then I’m allllllll for it.

Do you lean timeless? Or are you more a fan of sporting decorating trends? I’ll still never quit trends entirely. 😉

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19 Comments

  1. I just came across you on Pinterest and fell in love with your style. If you don’t mind me asking, where did you get your ceiling fan with light fixture that’s pictured in your living room?

      1. Thanks so much for the ceiling fan link! Keep sharing your DYI projects because you have a great decorating eye.

  2. Great post.
    I love Black doors. It does give it that oomph. I am definitely going to do it in my home. 🙂
    Since I am working on upgrading my own house.

  3. My house is not farmhouse style but it seems to me that designers want that style to Gabe done with but I am sorry if someone likes that style go for it! Tried of designers knocking farmhouse, to each their own. By the way you do have some farmhouse style in your house and it looks great!

    1. Absolutely! Decorate how you want! It’s your house and no one should tell you how you should or should not decorate it. Just sharing a few ideas that are less likely to go out of style in the long run.

  4. I’m responding YEARS later because this just showed up in my Pinterest feed, and I’m so glad it did! I LOVE the idea of mixing farmhouse/traditional etc., and realize that’s about right where we are. 😊
    I’ve been searching to buy an IKEA or Pottery Barn sofa but both are out of stock right now. I saw a picture of your sofas in your adorable living room and wonder where you purchased them, if you don’t mind my asking!
    Thanks and I appreciate this post so much!
    Tracie

  5. I came across you on IG – I love what you have done to your current home. DIY projects are the best. Your imagination and creative thought process is on point. I would love to paint the doors on the inside of my house black – I love that. We are in a new build here in Charlotte and I’m trying to make it “my home” but it’s hard when my husband can’t see my vision and doesn’t like change.

    1. Glad you found me. Did you show him the pics from our house? Perhaps you could try it in one room and see how he likes it. We are painting doors as we go through rooms so our whole house doesn’t have black doors. 🙂

  6. That last one about letting a room breath is one I need to work on. I tend to stuff the bookcases with too much stuff … and then there are the books.

  7. LOVE your style and am so happy I found your blog! You have wonderful ideas and I look forward to your blog for advise! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  8. Love this! Here are a few more:
    The use and celebration of natural materials like wood and stone
    Indoor plants and fresh or dried flowers
    Indoor-outdoor flow and coherence
    Maximising natural light (like with your mirror trick!)
    Meaningful and personalised items (an ornament your child made for you does not “go out of style”!)
    Culturally authentic items (e.g. incorporating a family tartan)
    “Form follows function” – creating spaces that make sense
    Quality finishes
    A clean, orderly, cared-for environment
    (Hope I haven’t repeated anything you said already!)

  9. True Farmhouse will never go out of style. (I’ve watched and waited for 35 years now!) If you live in an authentic turn-of-the-century American farmhouse, then you may want to decorate in that manner, which is true to the character of the home. You wouldn’t say your Colonial house style “has come to an end.” If you are talking about the cutesy, shallow, “trendy,” farmhousey look in a cookie cutter house, then that’s another subject, LOL! Yes, those trendy looks come and go. True farmhouse, which was the backbone of a vast amount of America not too many decades ago, is more than just decoration. It is a feeling, a spirit, a way of life. I do think you should just decorate with what you love, and don’t worry about being trendy. (Besides, if you are really deep-down smitten with the timeless farmhouse style, then you probably won’t be drawn to the Dutch Colonial house or New England Saltbox or Modern Condo, and vice versa.) 🙂

  10. I love your style and your inspiring advice. I live in a brick Tudor built in 1937. I am only the second owner and all of the woodwork, doors, crown moldings, cove ceilings, hardwood floors, six inch thick plaster walls, marble sills and black fenestra windows are original to the house. The farmhouse trend would NEVER work in my house. I am also an antique dealer and blend classic pieces with comfortable new furniture. Thank you for your timeless tips.

  11. I adore your style. It’s like traditional meets bold and fun. Not sure if that makes sense haha. I like to think we have a timeless style in our home. But it’s kind of like our own type. Like, I love bright, bold colors, so we have those accented throughout our house (walls, closet doors, the whole exterior…etc.). Five years this month and I still love it!

    1. I like that you use wood furniture, not everything painted. Don’t hate me, but I love Chippendale and Queenanne. What I have noticed is at the auction sites I follow those pieces are being sold for some really huge prices. Maybe it’s coming back and I’ll finally be in style. Wish I could find a website for people who like traditional wood furniture.

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