Design trends can be a controversial topic …but a fun one at that. On one hand, we love keeping our eye on what’s making a splash in the industry, like the Colors of the Year or new styles we spot at design events like High Point Market.
On the other hand, what’s “trending” — in the home industry, fashion, culture, etc. — is almost always in the eye of the beholder. Trends vary from region to region, person to person, and even generation to generation. And, just to make things more exciting, trends swing like a pendulum, making the old new again and vice versa.
So, how can we highlight interior design elements that are currently trending AND give you good advice? By sharing 5 design trends that are also timeless.
While it’s completely up to you whether you love these or not, there isn’t a single thing on this list that we wouldn’t use ourselves! Each is current, enduring, and tailorable to a variety of styles and personalities.
1. White Kitchen Cabinetry
Why It’s Trending: Before white cabinetry came onto the scene, you were most likely to find kitchens dressed in honey oak and dark cherry woods. Over the last decade, these darker woods have been traded for all-white cabinets, giving kitchens a new, fresh and open feeling. White may be trending, but that feeling of spacious airiness is at its heart.
Why It’s Timeless: Although all-white interiors won’t be trending forever, in general, crisp white cabinets look good with just about anything. This makes it a versatile and timeless foundation that lets you easily update the space, such as switching out coastal woven bar stools for modern black and gold ones.
Blakely’s Tips: To give white kitchens personality, we begin with a base of white cabinetry and create contrast and balance with other colors and textures. A bold colored island, mixed metals, and the right accessories will help infuse the space with more depth and dimension than white alone can provide.
2. Shiplap Walls
Why It’s Trending: Thanks to Joanna Gaines, shiplap has experienced a revival in a big way over the past decade. While relatively inexpensive to construct, the resulting clean lines and subtle texture evoke an elevated look that is far more interesting than a blank white wall.
Why It’s Timeless: If you’re from New England, you may know that shiplap originated from siding on ships — and this coast was using it in homes long before it was cool! Though we wouldn’t plaster shiplap across every wall in a home, we believe that thoughtfully applied shiplap will always feel relevant in coastal locations.
Blakely’s Tips: You can use shiplap in its traditional horizontal orientation or try a more creative approach with a vertical orientation, ceiling application, or an accent wall painted an unexpected color. Like kitchen cabinets, choosing shiplap doesn’t mean you don’t have to commit to all white!
3. Antique Furniture & Heirlooms
Why They’re Trending: Remember how what was once old is new again? Well, add on the industry’s supply chain issues and a collective shift toward sustainability, and it’s easy to see why furnishing with antiques has become so popular.
Why They’re Timeless: A piece that has endured the years is also one that has been well constructed — and quality craftsmanship is always in style. Antiques also add collected character to a space, in addition to holding sentimental and monetary value as family heirlooms. (This is also why we love to design custom furnishings that will become cherished antiques down the road!)
Blakely’s Tips: While we wouldn’t furnish an entire space with antiques, we do love to incorporate our clients’ most beloved pieces…and get creative with them. You could pair your antique furniture with bold accessories or art, reupholster it in new fabric, lacquer it in a fun color, or simply update the hardware to help it blend into your home’s design.
4. An Open Concept Floor Plan
Why It’s Trending: This one has been trending for well over a decade now. With seamless flow between common spaces, room for the whole family to spend time together, and effortless flow for entertaining, open concept spaces offer a lot to love.
Why It’s Timeless: Large gatherings of friends and family will never go out of style, and thanks to practical innovations in construction, making open concept spaces is becoming more and more possible. Yes, having private spaces will always be important too, but when it comes to kitchens and living spaces, open floor plans cater perfectly to modern-day life.
Blakely’s Tips: If you’d like to create an open concept layout during your renovation, plan the space with a structural engineer and a designer first. Likewise, if you are building a new home, work with an architect and designer to create a space that works for your family. Once the space exists, you can then use furnishings strategically to create flow, function, and separation between “rooms.”
5. Natural Materials
Why They’re Trending: Texture and intrigue are at the forefront of design trends right now, and natural materials, like rattan and wicker, are the perfect way to incorporate both. These materials are also fairly sustainable, which may contribute to their newfound popularity.
Why They’re Timeless: Natural materials have been used in homes for centuries, long before modern manufacturing came along. In New England especially, using natural materials creates a look that adds neutral warmth and brings the outdoors in. Nature never goes out of style!
Blakely’s Tips: The options are endless, but we personally love bringing in natural texture with grasscloth wallpaper, woven rugs and furniture (like the bed above), basket pendant lights, and other natural accessories and decor. As with most textures, exercise restraint when incorporating them. Using fewer will help each stand out.
Which Design Trends Should You Embrace?
When it comes to trends, listening to your inner voice is the greatest advice I can give you. It doesn’t matter if something is trending, timeless, or way off the style radar. Just stay true to yourself. Your opinion of your home, and the way you live there, is what matters most.
If you love it and it brings you lasting joy, that’s all you need to live vibrantly and authentically.