It’s a question we get asked again and again: Is this design going to look dated in a few years?

Our answers might as well come from a Magic 8 Ball: “It is decidedly so.” “Reply hazy try again.” “My sources say no.” Really, there’s no way of predicting which specific design trends are destined to become new classics, and which will quickly go the way of avocado and harvest gold. But there ARE ways to make sure your home design has maximum staying power.

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Will my home design go out of style someday?

Here are a few things to consider:

Everything comes and goes, but in interior design, major changes come slowly. There’s no way to escape changing styles in home design, because new innovations and products are constantly being introduced. (That’s the fun part of design: There’s always something new!)

But while it’s inevitable that your interior design will eventually date your home, that doesn’t mean the décor you select today will necessarily be out of date in the next year or two, or even in the next decade or two. Home remodeling is expensive, so styles are much slower to change than they are in, say, the fashion industry.

A great example is the open-concept kitchen. On remodeling television shows, people are constantly tearing down walls to create wide-open family spaces, and our clients are no different. Nobody wants the kitchen to be boxed off in a separate room any more. Instead, we all want spaces where we can watch our children play while we cook, or mingle with friends while we entertain.

Is this just a passing fad? Definitely not. It’s been building slowly and steadily for many years now, and will continue to be the norm in new construction for the foreseeable future

Is it a trend that will eventually fall from favor? Probably so. We’re already seeing a few people reconsider the idea of having their messy kitchens on full display to all who enter their homes. We may see the pendulum start to swing again at some point in the coming years, perhaps with separate prep and entertaining kitchens, or with kitchens that have at least partially enclosed spaces. For now, however, creating an open concept is a safe design choice.

“Open concept” doesn’t necessarily mean ripping out entire walls. For this project, we created an eating counter at one end of the narrow galley kitchen, which made the space feel more open without losing valuable storage.

“Open concept” doesn’t necessarily mean ripping out entire walls. For this project, we created an eating counter at one end of the narrow galley kitchen, which made the space feel more open without losing valuable storage.

 

Here’s another kitchen that we recently opened up, removing a partial wall to the dining room and replacing it with a peninsula.

Here’s another kitchen that we recently opened up, removing a partial wall to the dining room and replacing it with a peninsula.

Think “transitional.” While HGTV’s “Property Brothers” disparage transitional style as “a very easy way to say ‘I can’t make up my mind,’” in reality, it’s a way to bridge the gap between older and newer styles.

Most people don’t completely revamp their homes from top to bottom, instead remodeling just a room or two at a time. Transitional style can help blend the new areas with the rest of your house, so that the total design gradually evolves into a cohesive look.

Here’s an example: Maybe you really love the cool gray tones that are the hot neutral right now, but you can’t afford to replace all of the existing beige-based furniture and materials throughout your house. Do you stick with beige, even if it’s not the current style, and not what you really love anymore? Do you go with all gray, even though it will give the new areas a style that’s out of sync with the older areas?

The solution is to go transitional: Add “greige” tones that bring in the newer grays without losing the warm beiges. Choose new colors that you don’t have anywhere else but that complement your existing materials. Blend new and old styles in unique and personal ways. Keep classic style for the expensive components like cabinets and countertops, and add trendier accents like pillows and lighting and decorative items.

For this bathroom project (shown in progress but since completed), we mixed soft yellow floor tiles with cooler gray walls and cabinets for a style that both updates and complements the rest of the house.

For this bathroom project (shown in progress but since completed), we mixed soft yellow floor tiles with cooler gray walls and cabinets for a style that both updates and complements the rest of the house.

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Stick with white. If you really want a timeless look, go with white: white walls, white cabinets, even white appliances. It works with both traditional and contemporary designs. It goes with gray, it goes with beige, and somehow it’s always on trend.

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White kitchens can be either contemporary or traditional, but they never really go out of style.

White kitchens can be either contemporary or traditional, but they never really go out of style.

Shop for quality and name brands. Big corporations have the funds to study the market thoroughly before offering new products, so if you’re trying to avoid flash-in-the-pan styles, it’s a safe bet to buy name brands of furniture and appliances. And while you don’t need to pay a fortune for good design, you are more likely to encounter fads at lower price points. If you want your style to last, buy products that last.

Embrace your own unique style. The only way to really avoid trendy design is to buck the trends with your own personal design aesthetic. Don’t concern yourself with what other people are doing. Instead choose designs that reflect your personality. Ignore the previous tip and DON’T buy name brands; instead look for unique hand-crafted or custom items.

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Your home should reflect your design taste, not just the latest trends.

Your home should reflect your design taste, not just the latest trends.

And that’s really the key to lasting style: Instead of just jumping on the latest trend to hit the market, look for styles that appeal to you on a personal level.

As always, choose what you love. … because designs from the heart never really go out of style.

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