Timeless Design Features

Updated: Sep 12, 2020

I often talk about attainable design - making good design achievable to anyone simply by making the most of their home. 'Attainable' because it's design that is within the realms of possibility to create, since it looks at the puzzle pieces available (the size and shape of the property, along with budget, personality, lifestyle and priorities) and uses them to make the most complete picture possible.

Attainable design is about creating something timeless and deeply personal to the user and making a home that represents them for years to come. Colours, patterns and textures may change over time and often quickly, but some features last a lifetime. Good attainable design should evolve with the times whilst still retaining its essence.

Here are some key interior features that often appear in my work and I consider to be timeless.

Period Panelling

It's always a good idea to consider the age of your property and create a design that is in keeping with the period. For example, panelling on the walls of a Georgian / Victorian building can be a respectful nod to the original fabric of the building, and in newer buildings a reimagining of traditional panelling can be charming but contemporary.

Spencer House, a Development by Mood London - we used classic panelling that reflected on the period of the property, paired with a contemporary kitchen and a mix of classic and modern furniture.

Subway Tiles

Subway tiles are a classic tile shape that will endure - a rectangle can never go out of fashion. Plus, there's so many different ways to use these tiles - horizontally / vertically, brick formation, stacked, and so on. Mix them up with a patterned or large format tile for a more contemporary look.

A design I worked on at Ardesia Design. We used a combination of traditional and modern bathroom fittings, as well as a combination of traditional glazed subway tiles and an unusual fabric / IKAT printed tile inside the shower niche.

Natural Materials

Wooden, marble, stone, linen, wool... nature never goes out of style. Natural materials add depth and texture and, when used in the right balance of proportions, will create a lasting and timeless design. Trends come and go, nature is forever.

Spencer House, a Development by Mood London - in this bathroom, we used marble tiles - nature never goes out of fashion! We also paired contemporary and traditional bathroom fittings so that the design is an homage to the original period features but not a copy.

Key Classics

I often find the best schemes are formed by a combination of personal pieces and contemporary classics. For example, a family heirloom armchair that has been reupholstered paired with a contemporary classic design, like a Hans Wegner Wishbone chair.

A combination of the old with the new creates design that's not just off-the-shelf, but incorporates your personality and taste - that's what attainable design is all about. These items will ensure your interior stands the test of time, whatever trends may come and go.

A project I designed at Ardesia Design for a new rear conservatory extension and side return, along with the new DEFRA approved wood burning stove. This Swedish client's home is a contemporary Scandinavian design with many heirloom pieces, such as her old rocking chair, an old wooden dining table and church pew bench.