Sponsored by Metricon
Timeless style has to be one of the holy grails of home design and it’s an important one to get right if you want to make sure your investment lasts for many years without becoming the dreaded D word: dated!
In my own experience and from what I’ve learned from some of the country’s best designers over the years, it pays to take your time and plan, plan, plan to avoid making mistakes. And some mistakes are more costly than others when they date prematurely; think kitchens and bathrooms, for example. My own bathroom reno is in progress as I type, and having recently made my selections, I can tell you that one of the biggest questions I asked myself with every selection is ‘will this still look fresh in five (even 10) years time?’
(Read to the end for your chance to win a $500 Pottery Barn giftcard!)
There are however so many options out there, so many styles that are considered timeless (Hamptons perhaps being the most obvious, but it’s certainly not the only one) and so many facets of a home’s design to make a choice on, the process can seem overwhelming to many. So we asked Jacinta Evans, senior interior designer for Metricon, how she helps people get it right when they’re starting from the very beginning, with a brand new build.
Plan, plan and plan some more
It all starts with a mood board! “Mood board, mood board, mood board! You will only work out what you like (and don’t like) by collecting images,” she says. “Create a page and drop in images that you like from Pinterest and Instagram etc. This will help you really decide what your overall style is and will also help with choosing other items such as handles on cupboards, styles of kitchen cupboards and then — further down the track –lighting and fabrics for cushions. Create different pages for products and then you will always have your mood boards to refer back to when you are stuck.”
Whether you like Hamptons or contemporary, some elements will always be timeless and unlikely to date. The key here is to select key tones and quality materials, not just what has always been done. “For instance, chrome has been the go-to finish for kitchen and bathroom tapware, but now, after a long reign at the top, chrome is being challenged by sleek and sophisticated black. While chrome will never go out of style, regardless of your design preferences or the era of your home, matte black tapware is both glamorous and stylish in just about any space and creates a contemporary look while still maintaining a timeless sensibility.”
Wool carpet is another timeless selection. “Just like your favourite jumper, wool carpet is warm, luxurious, timeless and durable.” Wherever possible, opt for simple designs and the highest quality you can afford, and it will stand the test of time.
Jacinta agrees that kitchens and bathrooms will be the most expensive investments in your home. “Get good advice and think about how you will live in the space. Make sure that you have adequate storage for all your appliances and for how you use things. Think about pull out drawers in lieu of standard cupboards for better accessibility. You can never have enough storage space!”
Why Aussies love Hamptons
Australians have truly embraced the Hamptons style of house which originates in the States. “Hamptons homes have a beautiful femininity to them with classic lines,” Jacinta adds. “You can dress them up to be more formal or go for a more relaxed coastal take on the traditional Hamptons.
“The light airy feel that is created with blues and whites throughout helps to bring the outdoors in, and Australians really love that, especially with our climate.”
Jacinta’s top top tips for choosing:
Dulux have an amazing range of colours to choose from. For a classic feel we like colours that have a warmer base as we know that the coverage will work well and create a sense of comfort in our homes.
Kitchen cabinetry style
We like to use timber-look laminates as timber creates a classic style and a sense of warmth and works back well with most other laminate colours. We also like to add in square or detailed profile doors to our kitchen cabinetry. Doors that have a profile add a sense of luxury.
Scale your furniture into the size of your room correctly so that it’s not overcrowded. For timeless appeal, select pieces you love and feel comfortable living with, don’t just select furniture items because they are on trend, as they will never make it feel like truly your home.
Sheer curtains add a sense of luxury to any style home. Combine them with a blockout blind for privacy and where the budget can afford it, consider using motorised roller blinds for ease of use on larger windows and sliding doors.
Timber floors create a sense of warmth underfoot, however tiles can also help achieve a classic style and may be better for how you live in a home. Opt for large tiles to make the space feel bigger. Sizes such as 600x1200mm are becoming more popular and wide floorboards such as 190mm up to 230mm wide give a great feel to your home. Use large rugs on floors to create a sense of warmth and comfort. Rugs help to divide up a room into conversation areas and create decorative interest in a room.
Many of our readers find that those finishing touches, so often thought to be the fun part of decorating (or styling) can be the hardest to keep timeless and classic. We asked Jacinta to share her best tips on getting this right and creating a home that looks timeless yet really lived in and reflective of its inhabitants.
Getting art right is a big deal. “Add artworks to your walls and go large. Artwork that is too small will not look right on a large wall. Add vignette styling to your consoles, buffet and bookcase. Cluster different sizes, shapes and heights of accessories to create little stories on these areas. The best way to add height between your accessories is to add layers of books into the mix.”
You can even do this in utilitarian rooms like the kitchen by using items like a wooden chopping board, a special cookbook and a mortar and pestle to create little stylish corners against your splashback for a finished, styled look.”
Remember when grouping items together, to stick to odd numbers. And choose one piece in the room as a hero that shows your personality. “It could be a feature chair in a bold pattern you love, a piece of art, or a handmade object that has personal meaning to you. Mix it in with all your contemporary and timeless pieces to keep your home feeling unique and personal.”
We couldn’t agree more that greenery is a must! “A home cannot feel finished without greenery. Either opt for living hardy plants in decorative planters, or go for artificial cascading style plants if you don’t have a green thumb,” Jacinta advises.
What’s on trend this year in interiors?
Although being timeless means not being a slave to trends, it’s still nice to keep an eye on what’s in or out, adding elements of it to your rooms here and there. Jacinta says natural raw materials, such as timber, concrete and terrazzo will be seen in great amounts of over the next 12 months.” Cane and rattan furniture is being introduced as one-off feature pieces, and terrazzo stone is being introduced as the new marble. White Carrara marble will make way for deep vein marbles in browns, green and purples (although there’ll always be a place for the white stuff!).
“We will see earth tones such as terracotta, clay-based beiges and greys, forest greens, navy blues and dusty pinks coming through in styling, such as textiles, linen, accessories and artwork,” Jacinta says. We love the sound of that! And in kitchens, she says we will see a move to more grey or green-based colours rather than the typical white kitchen. “Laminate timber tones will become even more lifelike in their natural colourings and texture, emanating that of a real timber veneer. You will see a move to much darker kitchens too.”
Look out for the seventies influence sticking around too this year. “You’ll see this through the use of terrazzo, vintage-look florals, macramé wall hangings, handmade-looking tiles celebrating imperfections in their glazes, dried flowers being used in styling and a big nod to the environment, with people being more conscious of eco-friendly products and opting for products that are ethically made.”
–All photos of Metricon display home interiors.
For more inspiration, check out Metricon’s online lookbook.
WIN a $500 Pottery Barn Voucher
If you’re a fan of timeless decor, we don’t think you can go past Pottery Barn! For your chance to win a $500 voucher, complete the form below by 5pm AEST on Monday 30 September 2019. The winner will be announced here within 7 days of the competition closing.