According to Merriam-Webster:
Timeless | adjective
time-less | /ˈtīmləs/
Have you ever walked into an old house and been in awe of the timeless design? We just did and let us tell you! The space was adaptable while being effortless. And seeing as the last year has been full of craziness, we’re putting a big emphasis on the “effortless” feature of a timeless space - the little details that will stand the test of time in functionality, look, and feel. So, can creating a timeless space change your life while being highly functional, yet not bland and boring?? Not to be melodramatic, but we’d argue yes. There will be little to no DIYing or redesigning based on trends over here!
Now that we’ve answered yes to the above, you may be wondering how we achieve this timeless, effortless look and feel that’s also full of beautiful design. Don’t worry, Tandem Arbor has your back. Let’s set you on the path to a space that’s all the things wrapped into one...
Symmetry | noun
sym-me-try | \ ˈsi-mə-trē
Here’s something you may not know: Symmetry, proportion, and balance are concepts that date back several thousand years. We’ll save you the boredom and not quote the exact history, but trust us when we say these concepts have stood the test of time, which is exactly what you want when creating around the idea of timelessness.
To achieve a timeless room or home, we suggest leading with symmetry to set the stage for the rest of the design elements. This means creating matching halves of a room or area from floor to wall that come together to make up the whole space in a proportional fashion.
A great example of symmetry at work in interior design is when using a fireplace as a focal point. Anyone else who doesn’t have a fireplace just say to themselves, “time to move to a home with a fireplace!”. Because, same. Anyways, to create balance around your fireplace (or the fireplace you’re dreaming of), you can place two matching chairs on either side of it with decor atop the mantle in the same way - the lamp you have on the left side of the mantle should match the lamp you have on the right side. The halves of the fireplace then mirror each other, creating a sense of balance that will not go out of style. This doesn’t mean everything has to be exactly a pair, but proportion should always be top of mind when selecting furniture and decor.
The old home we mentioned above that spawned this whole blog topic in the first place? It was full of symmetry!
Classic | adjective
clas-sic | \ ˈkla-sik
Nothing says “timeless interior design” more than classic patterns. We’ll break it to you before we get too deep… there is no room for trends with this tip.
Plaids, stripes, florals, and damasks are classic patterns that, like symmetry, have stood the test of time. If you’d like to incorporate patterns via textiles or wallpaper, but want to remain timeless at the same time, we suggest going with one of these classic patterns. Apologies, but we have to say no to chevron, herringbone, and any other trendy pattern. Although beautiful, they don’t work if your aim is timeless and effortless.
It’s also important to choose your pattern placement and size wisely - remember the above about symmetry and balance? Yes, this rule should come into play with your pattern choices too!
Quality | noun
qual-i-ty | \ ˈkwä-lə-tē
If you purchase a sofa or bed and it, unfortunately, starts to fall apart after a year’s use, that’s not really timeless, is it? We’ll answer for you - no, not at all. If that piece of furniture is meeting its doom that quickly then it wasn’t meant for a timeless space. If your goal is to achieve the look and feel of timelessness, you will have to invest accordingly in pieces that are quality. The keyword here is “invest”. Pieces that will not only stand the test of time design-wise but also stand the test of time for use are investments.
We aren’t suggesting you break your bank to decorate and furnish your home, but it’s worth it to buy the best quality you can afford. Speaking of which, low-quality furniture is oftentimes also made with cheap fabric, which will look shabby very quickly. Shabby is a no-no.
If you go with higher-quality items, you’ll have pieces that will last for many years and give your home a strong sense of character. Take for example the furniture we create here at Tandem Arbor. Not only are our pieces completely customized by you and made-to-order, but they’re also created by the best craftsmen in North Carolina and donned with high-quality upholstery built to last and maintain its color. Even better, our goal is to make custom, quality furniture accessible to everyone, which is reflected in our pricing.
Neutral | noun
neu-tral | /ˈn(y)o͞otrəl/
Neutrals have a very strong presence in timeless interiors. Unlike the oranges and browns of the ‘60s or the pastels of the ’80s, beiges, grays, and whites have yet to date or go out-of-style. This doesn’t mean you can’t add personality or patterns though. If you base the major items of your space off of a neutral color palette - wall color, furniture, etc - you have room to pull in colors that complement the neutrals in decorative pieces and artwork. The layering of additional colors into the design won’t be too overpowering and with the neutrals on the grounding pieces of the room, you’ll be able to maintain the timeless look and feel.
Are you ready to replicate the old home that inspired us and get to work on creating your timeless home with timeless pieces? Of course you are! You’ve got this. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to tackle your space in no time.
Although you’ve decided on a timeless look, we’ll note that it’s important to remember interior design is always about gut feeling. Sure, our tips are straight from design experts, but if you find something classic or traditional that doesn’t exactly align with any of the above and have a great gut feeling about it, go for it! At the end of the day, your home is for you and should be designed to make you and your loved ones feel good. Just have fun with it and trust yourself - happy decorating!