Timeless Home Decor

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanks so much for all of your comments on yesterday's post. Y'all were cracking me up. I'm not even kidding.

I truly hope I didn't offend anyone with my list of what may go out of style in the future. The last thing I want is for people to start looking around their houses and feeling like they need to replace everything because it maybe, might, could go out of style eventually.

PLEASE don't do that. Enjoy what you have. Keep things around that make you happy. I have no doubt that you'll know when there's a new hot trend and we're suddenly all making moss balls out of our birds...or something like that.

Okay, so in summary, y'all feel that the following things likely have a shelf life (by the way, I don't know why I keep saying y'all. I don't say that in real life. Anyway...):
  • Tuscan decor
  • Oil Rubbed Bronze (although I don't think black fixtures will go out of style...hopefully)
  • Birds
  • Burlap
  • Vinyl decals/Wall sayings ("The family that picks hay together stays together"...or something)
  • Distressing (maybe)
  • Stenciling Letters or Numbers on Everything (say it ain't so...I really like this trend)
  • Chalkboards (my fave comment "we'll all wonder what we needed all those chalkboards for"...ha!)
And may I say that I am so grateful that you all disagreed with me about beadboard going out of style. Truly! I've had a fear of committing to it in case it's passe in a few years, so I LOVE that you all feel it's classic. I believe you and I whole heartedly agree with you. Mwah! (I just gave you a big kiss)

Decor with Staying Power

So let's talk about things that have staying power. In my opinion the big items in your house (furniture, flooring, etc) should be like the equivalent of classic wardrobe staples; i.e. a simple black dress, chinos, a white t-shirt and jeans. As trends come and go you can switch out accessories, but the staples always look good.

For instance, remember Top Gun? It came out in 1986, and Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis would still look fashionable today.

Meg Ryan and Anthony Edwards....not so much.

How does that translate into decor? Here are a few ideas:

  • Try not to buy furniture "sets". Let your furniture collection grow over time. I've personally broken this rule by having a matching sofa and loveseat...oh, and they're microfiber...but you know....whatever :-).
  • Neutrals are always timeless. We may eventually get tired of beige walls, but tan, grey, black and white will always be classic.
  • I'm going to say that pretty much any architectural element is timeless; i.e. wainscoting, moulding, etc. They've been around a very, very, very long time. It's hard to imagine them going anywhere.
What do you think? Do you have anything to add to this list?
Have a great weekend!

33 Suburbanites Said:

AnNicole@Our Suburban Cottage said...

Oh, by the way. You know I've just been dying to work in a photo of Tom Cruise in Top Gun. Ahhh...I think I need to watch that movie again :-).

susan said...

Great post AN! I am going to add to your classics list. White bathroom fixtures. I hope no one ever again buys into the trend of colored toilets, sinks and tubs. White is always right.

{ L } said...

This post is very intriguing and interesting to me and has my mind going! Thank you. :P

Janna said...

Hardwood floor is a classic. And maybe corkfloor? Will we still be saving the planet in ten years? :) And I agree wholeheartedly with Susan about white bathroom fixtures!

Wendy said...

You are making me smile :)

It is so easy to get caught up in trends and sometimes I am the first in line (most of the time)!! In the last few years I have tried to move towards adding classic pieces (moldings and wood floors), but who can't resist a good trend.

Now I just need to get rid of my floral dinning room wallpaper! Thanks for a fun post and the good eye candy!!


Emily@remodelingthislife said...


~ white subway tile
~ white cabinets
~ wainscotting
~ hardwood floors

I am unsure of what the future holds for granite countertops.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

I'm going to be honest. I've never seen Top Gun. Only a few parts. Please don't hate me. ;)

LouLou@thelifeofloulou.blogspot.com said...

Hmmmm. I've gotta go back to the first post for a few minutes.... Birds have been part of decorating forever. My mom had them all over the place, and I actually have a set that my grandmother embroidered in the 60's. Birds as accents are timeless, but I do agree that having an entire flock around your house may go on the shelf. Beadboard. A classic. I put it on the ceiling in my bathroom 6 years ago before this big craze....I think it'll stand the test of time.
Another classic going nowhere? Toile. It's always been and always will be...I hope, 'cause I sure do love me some toile ya'll. I had to throw that in at the end. I live in southern Alabama, and I say ya'll at least 752 times a day ;)

Jacci said...

Okay, I'll add my thoughts :)

I'd say subway tiles are only classic if they're in a house that had them originally. Subway tiles in a 1960s ranch are going to clearly be part of a trend and not architecturally classic. They'll date in non-period houses. Think about it - did *anyone* have subway tiles in 1999? (Except historic homes).

I'd agree on toile - it's a classic. So are herringbone and houndstooth. although the colors would be different depending on trends.

Cashmere, silk, and velvet are classic, too, in my book.

Fun post!!! Thanks!


Tracy said...

I like white appliances, especially in a country home. They are a classic.

The White Farmhouse said...

wood floors and wainscotting. I don't think the previous post was offensive. In a few years this will be grandma's house and will damn sure look like it!

Donna said...

just wanted to tell ya that I shared your topic with a friend today over coffee and we had the best laughs. Funny to reminise over our parents houses and the things they thought were in. I think someday our kids will say, what were you thinking mom! :)

Ness Lockyer said...

I would add linen to the classic list. Ok, I get that some are over burlap. I think it is a classic as long as it isnt the really loose woven sort...like a potato sack. Vintage burlap which has become soft over years and years of washing (the kind you can make sheets out of) will never go out of style. Another is ticking, the classic type. I agree that wainscotting or beaded board wont either...its a staple.
Ness xx

Carol said...

This is very interesting to me. I will be putting my house on the market in the Spring, and am trying to update a few items. I don't want to change to styles that are on their way out. Would love you opinions on what has staying power (or newer trends) in terms of dining room chandelier finishes or styles. (I still have the dreaded shiny brass chandelier from when the house was built in 1992.)

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger said...

I so WISH that I would have been more into home decor and design when I bought my living room set. Yep, I have a couch and matching oversized chair. Now all I want is for my living room to look unique, but I've got this matchy matchy set that sticks out like a sore thumb. : (

Michelle said...

Someone may have already mentioned this but they have come out with wallpaper that looks like beadboard and I LOVE IT!! I have seen it used and it looks great! You really can't tell unless you walk right up to it and touch it or take a really good look at it. I would imagine that it would be a much cheaper investment for you to commit to instead of the real thing. In case it does go out of style...I pray NOT! I love the look. Have a great day!! : ) Happy Friday!

Denise said...

Oh great! Out of your list of 8 items, I love and have 7 of them all over my house! What am I going to do???

AnNicole@Our Suburban Cottage said...

Denise - No! Don't feel bad. I have them all in my house too! Enjoy them for now. In another decade you'll have different stuff. Don't worry about it ;).

countrymans said...

Yeah, I like the way you weaved that altogether.. you're so right. I hope my home never gets stuck into a time capsule.. but one never knows.. dun dun dun.

Anonymous said...

Something that no one has mentioned is the use of two types of wood in a kitchen. I really think this will date your home in the future. It's one thing if your island doesn't match, but when people are switching up the cabinets- I think they'll regret it. Every new home I see is doing this... it looks good now... I guess we'll just wait and see.

Rachel said...

Oh boy. Now I'm worried that by the time I finally get my house to look they way I want it to, I'm going to have to start all over again! :)

CRICKET said...

I agree with so much of your post - wonderful. Maybe because I don;t have anything on the list. But that's probably because I am more of a minimalist and am so careful about what I bring into the house.

Stainless appliances, not all but I think the monster refrigerators. I think the sub zero with facades that match cabinets are much nicer.

Granite counters - I have always preferred wood, marble...

I wish kitchen cabinets that don;t go to the ceiling would go out of style.period.
Dust catchers is what my mom calls them. I prefer nothing on top of them because it draws more attention not less.

Anonymous said...

I STRONGLY disagree that Burlap and ORB fixtures will become out of style. I have Pottery Barn catalogs from 1997 and burlap and ORB are all over the pages. We all know PB has always been consistent in their style (that is why many of us try to imitate them). Burlap and chalkboards has been here before any of us have so I don't see it ever going out of style. Decals I do see as a "trend" why so much decal writing on the walls??

momma-o-minnie said...

These are the same things I have been thinking about. I am 50 years old (shhh don't tell anybody) and I've watched decorating (and clothing) styles for 40 of the 50 years.... and here's what I've noticed has lasted... silver/chrome, beiges, classic pieces (including antiques that are mahogany or walnut in classic styles), neutral paint colors, accents in current colors (so orange and green in the 70s, purple and red in the 90s) and most important... the ability to express yourself - not be like others... You are not the designer/owner of pottery barn, williams sonoma, crate & barrel... so decorate with YOUR flare, the things YOU like.

We have maple furniture from the 50s (yes, we stick out badly) but I don't care and never have because it's mine and it makes my statement. I buy classic upholstered pieces, and only change accessories every decade or so...

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but I think so many of you are truly off on these ideas. Check out Cote de Texas for what is truly timeless. Chandeliers (quality ones) and distressed pieces (a few pieces in a house) have character and staying power. Stainless steel and Granite becoming outdated?? Maybe black granite, but White instead of stainless? Guess again it depends on the quality and price of the appliance. Hate to sound snooty, I'm really not, but hard for me to see a Viking or Wolf Range in White. I really believe that much of what the French Country style is composed of will be timeless. Cottage Style is really a paired down version of French Country. It's French Country for those of us that don't live in Estates. Vinyl lettering..yikes! But as for much of what we all love (those of us who frequent these blogs that is), I don't consider it a trend at all. Neutral backgrounds and classic lines will last, I think we've become to practical to fall back into harvest gold and pea soup green "color trends".

Becky in SC said...

Oh yea! beadboard has been around a looooong time...I remember at my grandmother's house (I'm 45)...my mom and dad referred to it as paneling: "Oh Harold, when are you ever gonna get around to painting Grannie's paneling?" And it was beadboard they were taliking about!...I didn't know it then but I do now! And I LOVE it!! Always have...always will.

melissa * 320 Sycamore said...

I love this discussion! I always think of homes in the 30's and 40's and draw timeless from them...white cabinets, chrome, subway tile, hardwood floors, carrera marble, built-ins, arches, books, real flowers, beautiful woodwork. I also think that granite will be timeless..it's a natural stone. I also think stainless will stay!

Loui said...

I prefer white..
bathroom fixtures..
on trimwork around windows and doors
and crown moulding..
I cannot tolerate BLACK
granite countertops..
or the darkness when paired with stainless appliances and heavy woods..
too industrial for my taste..
I want my kitchen to be sparkling,
bright and clean!and inviting!
Love the classic lines of elegant old homes..
which welcome us into a cozy comfy embrace..
hardwood floors..
and lively green plants..
cast iron beds..
white quilts..
guazy curtains..
colorful accents of blues and greens, thrown about for good measure..
these are timeless treasures to me..
warmest hugs..
laughing smiles..

Loui said...

PS..thanks for reminding us of TOP GUN..and the fun it was ..then!
loved the movie then..
and now!

Mary said...

I re-read this because I'm working on facelifts on a couple rooms. I have to warn you ladies--I have seen WHITE viking stoves in a couple decorating magazines. I will stick with my white appliances. Stainless will be around too...but I much prefer white. I am going to get the poor man's version of this (thank you Sears!) http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&q=white+viking+stove&rlz=1W1GGLL_en&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=14734260451670484628&ei=TPZZTIiGLsGC8gbK4vybCw&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CC4Q8wIwAg#

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