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How to Create a Home with Timeless Design Style :: Hill-How

When I think of homes that feel "dated" they're usually homes that embraced specific trends of the time like shag carpet in the bathrooms, florescent lighting in the kitchen ceiling, avocado green tubs and toilets, formica countertops and wallpaper borders.

How do we keep our homes from "going out of style" quickly and instead create a home that feels timeless and up to date for years to come? What can we do to make our home have timeless appeal that outlasts the fleeting design trends of the day?

In this age of technology where design styles and trends are changing and moving so quickly how do we decipher what's here to stay and what's going to go? While I can't tell the future, there are a few things I believe will bring your home style that lasts and you'll love for years to come.


The key to creating a home with timeless design appeal is what I'll call, "the Mix".

It's a harmonious blend of opposites, old and new, cool and warm, natural and manmade. Staying true to the historical style of your home combined with your own story, balancing warm and cool elements throughout every space and using classic natural materials in harmony with modern day materials.

Let me break it down for you...


1) Mix old & New :: Stay true to the architectural style of your home while mixing in your own story.

Your home may be decades old and have a historical style like Mid-Century Modern, Ranch or Colonial and while those styles are beautiful, if the entire home played that one note it would feel dated. The key is staying true to the historical sensibilities of your home while mixing in elements of today that you love. If you ignore the history of your home and use pieces and finishes completely foreign to that style it will feel out of place. Mixing both the historical and modern day elements together your home will feel timeless and lovely and not pinned down to a specific decade or look like it was remodeled. We don't look at a mid-century modern, classic colonial or even modern farmhouse and think that home is so dated or it's going to look dated so quickly. It's when a home is trying to be something it's not or so specific that you can't add your own life to it that it begins to feel dated.

Imagine a historical home that is filled with only antiques and It will feel stuck in a certain decade clamoring for a refresh. The moment you add something modern and clean lined in juxtaposition to the traditional moldings it feels updated and fresh while still referencing the history behind it. One way to accomplish this is bringing something old and new into every space in your home. That may be a modern light fixture in a room lined with traditional millwork or an antique console in a modern farmhouse entry. It's the mix of old and new that highlight each other and create life and interest without pinning the space to a certain decade.

As the great designer Billy Baldwin has said, "Be faithful to your own taste, because nothing you really like is ever out of style."

The other essential part to that coin is you. No one has the same story, has lived the same life or has the same passions and experiences you have had. Bringing what you love into your home, your collections, your way of life, family origins and things that you truly love will never go out of style.


2) Mix your metal finishes

Few spaces feel dated faster than kitchens and bathrooms. Keep them feeling fresh and timeless for years to come by mixing 2-3 metal finishes. Even if one goes "out of style" the other keeps things looking fresh and current. For example, in the kitchen I love to use one metal finish on all the plumbing fixtures and another finish on the hardware and lighting. One of my go to combinations is a classy polished nickel combined with a beautiful warm aged brass. The warm and cool finishes play off each other beautifully for a timeless appeal.

Other combinations I love are Chrome with Matte Black for a more modern feel and Oil Rubbed Bronze with an Unlacquered Brass for a more traditional feel. Mixing light and dark or warm and cool metals work especially well to create a beautiful timeless space. In your living room spaces, bedrooms, dining rooms and throughout your home use the same metal mix for a cohesive feel or use one of the two main metals mixed with a third metal.

The lighting, hardware and plumbing fixtures are the jewelry and sprinkles on top in your space. By paying close attention to the mix of finishes and styles of fixtures they can completely transform your home for a classy timeless look. Don't overlook those details as they can really set the stage for timeless look.

Chrome is usually a more affordable metal finish with its cool undertones it could be used in secondary spaces paired with a darker metal or warmer metal to give it a higher end look and lasting appeal. It's all about finding the right mix of finishes to complement each other in contrast or with the same undertones. Just be sure you don't mix more than 2-3 so it doesn't feel haphazard but instead it feels purposeful. You can also consider using a different metal finish on painted vs wood cabinetry for a custom look.


3) Mix Natural & Manmade Materials

Few elements stand the test of time better than those that were created over long periods of time like wood and stone. Theres nothing more true or timeless than what you see in nature. Where possible, opt for real stone countertops over any kind of composite or manmade material. Even some quartz countertops that are often more expensive than real stone don't have the longevity and timeless appeal of a real stone. Quartzite is one of my favorite options that's more durable than marble but still feels like it belongs in a jewelry box because it's so gorgeous. There are some great granites and other stone slabs that have timeless appeal too because each slab is unique. No one else will have exactly the slab you have so of course it won't be on trend with what everyone else is doing in their homes.

Brick is still in style and has been for centuries, it's the faux brick wallpaper and paneling that we're pulling off the walls when we remodel. Real stone countertops instead of a manmade material made to look like they're stone. It's materials that are pretending to be something they're not that they will feel dated sooner. Using the real thing may cost a bit more up front but in the long run it will save you the replacement costs when it becomes more and more obvious it's not the real thing.

While there are many incredible manmade materials available always be sure to mix something real and natural with it. That being said, don't mix the same kind of material next to each other or it will emphasize the faux. For example, real wood stair treads next to a faux Luxury Vinyl Plank wood floor. It is better to contrast with another kind of material like a tile or carpet so it isn't obvious that it is faux. Opt for real materials as much as you can with some manmade materials mixed in and it will give you lasting appeal.


We're not adding shag carpet in the bathroom any more and so we need to look a little deeper into what is going to date our home in the coming years and how we can keep the feel of our home classy for a long time.

Timeless design is all about getting the mix right. The architectural style of your home mixed with your own story, mixing metals so even if one metal goes out of style the other keeps things looking fresh and updated, and using real quality materials like woods and stones that will look fabulous for years to come. That's the key to what I believe is a timeless home.

Happy Mixing Friends!

❤️ / Hillaree

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1 Comment

Nov 27, 2023

Wow! Is the first photo a home by Harris Builds? It looks so familiar!..

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