Here are five tips for creating that timeless, curated look you’ve always wanted for your home!
1. Ignore the Peanut Gallery
If you want a classic look and your friends are all into today’s trends, you’re going to need to learn to ignore their input. Classic designs that stand the test of time look very different than the current trending styles, and that’s OK! You’re designing for you – do what makes YOU happy and forget about the peanut gallery.
2. Don’t Overdo the Trends
Whatever the super trendy style is at the time is going to be very outdated in a decade. Remember the Tuscan trend with the heavily plastered walls, deep shades of red and gold, and the oversized leather furniture? That was supposedly “classic,” but it was overdone.
Now we’re deep into the “modern farmhouse” era, which means an overload of grays and whites. Yes, modern farmhouse can be a somewhat classic look, but it’s often executed poorly with an overload of gray. Gray walls, gray cabinets, gray counters, and gray furniture all in one space is going to be just as dated as the avocado green from the 1970’s one day.
If you want timeless furniture, go for a timeless color. Yes, a color! A blue, yellow, or black sofa will be a lot more timeless than the popular gray. The gray sofas of today are just the brown leather sofas of 10 years ago.
Avoid super trendy shapes and patterns. If you see a pattern everywhere in big box store decor sections, it’s super trendy and won’t hold up over time. (Remember the green ivy design that was everywhere in the 1990’s?)
3. Plan Before You Buy
Buying furniture isn’t something that you should do on a whim. It’s important to plan before you buy. People rarely purchase new furniture more than every ten years, and many folks keep their furniture for multiple decades. When you add up the cost of furnishing an entire room, it can easily exceed $20,000 for quality pieces. Just relying on trends can lead to some really bad investments.
Take for example my family room (above). The custom ottoman, custom sofa, high-quality side tables, club chairs, and small accent table total $12,500, including shipping and white glove delivery. Add in the vintage rug, custom window seat cushion, custom and ready-made pillows, custom window treatments, large-scale art, and accessories, and you’ve got another $9,000 invested into the room.
First and foremost, measure your room. Create a rough layout and figure out what size furniture will actually fit in the space.
Then, make a game plan. Write down exactly what you want in the room. That way, you’re not tempted to buy a random credenza just because it’s on clearance, just to figure out that it won’t fit anywhere in your house once you drag it home.
Make sure whatever you find at the furniture store or online actually fits in your space. Pay attention to dimensions – furniture can look a completely different scale in a giant warehouse versus in your living room.
4. Educate Yourself
Search the internet for articles about how quality furniture is made. Ask questions before you purchase. If the salesperson or customer service agent doesn’t have the quality information, then it’s likely that the item is junk. High-quality furniture manufacturers are all about making sure people know their brand is high quality!
If you’re not working with me to procure your furniture, visit your local furniture stores. Yes, local furniture stores are not going to be able to match the prices online, but their product is not equivalent either. It’s comparing apples to oranges. Local stores (and myself) generally sell high-quality goods, such as eight-way hand-tied sofas and dovetailed dressers. Their salespeople can explain how items are built and why the construction method makes their furniture better quality than the junk you can get online.
5. Mix Your Styles
To stand the test of time, mix your styles! By mixing different styles of furniture, you’re creating a collected, curated look – a lot like those beautiful homes you see in high-end home magazines.
Avoid purchasing “sets” of furniture. Instead, mix a sofa from one style with a couple of chairs from another.
Same goes for bedroom furniture. Avoid the 5-piece sets. Find individual pieces and bring them together to create a curated look.
Throw in some vintage or antique items here and there. There’s nothing more classic than actual vintage.
Choose colors that you love – forget about what’s popular.
Not finding what you want in stores? Try shopping vintage! Vintage furniture is generally great quality, and much of it is now considered “classic.”
Need some help creating that curated look? Contact us to set up a Discovery Call!