I’ve wanted to write this post for a long long time because it can help you create beauty in your home and avoid costly decorating mistakes. But there are some hard truths we need to talk about! And sometimes hard truths are uncomfortable! Finally, I think we are all ready to hear why I think boring decor is best!
In the last several years I’ve seen some very pretty design trends. Like Mid-Century Modern! This trend went wild for a couple years! If you are under 50 you probably got sucked into this very distinct style!
But this is a style that has not had a very long stint in the on-trend spotlight! It’s already on the fast train out called “oh I remember that style”!
About a year ago I had a young client who bought a new home and wanted me to help her configure some “interesting” living spaces in her home.
She was very into Mid Century Modern. And was planning on decorating her home with lots of furniture in that style.
MY TREND STYLE HISTORY
This encounter reminded me of me when I was a young homeowner. Tuscan style was all the rage. Do you remember Tuscan? If you do your age is showing! LOL!
I painted my walls golden yellow and added lots of red and earthtone decor to our home. And I loved the decor with my whole heart… for about five years!
Then Farmhouse style became popular and my earthy home furnishings began to look old and tired!
I wanted so badly to love the Tuscan style that oozed from every room and buck the huge wave of Farmhouse style that was literally a tsunami of new and fresh design.
But our home was a farmhouse and it was surrounded by farmland! And oh, I loved this new style! I loved it so much better than Tuscan! So so much better!
So we painstakingly went about changing our home into the Farmhouse that was its true identity!
It took almost 8 years to make this change. Lots of time and sweat and $$$!
It was about this time I started this blog. And many of you saw the process!
THE DECORATING EUREKA MOMENT
Somewhere in the middle of my new Farmhouse love, it dawned on me that Farmhouse style just might have its day just like Tuscan style and become tired and out of date too one day!
This was a terrifying thought! But I thought I would never, ever, ever fall totally out of love with Farmhouse, and no matter what, I would be true to my school…. er, style!
I knew I would buck the next new style and cling to my beloved Farmhouse style but…
I know me! And I love decorating. And even though Farmhouse is one style that is part classic and part trend… I knew in my heart I could be swept away with a new look. UGH! I felt fickle and unfaithful to Farmhouse! But truth is truth!
Someday even Farmhouse style would look dated and tired and I would probably need a change!
So the big question is how to have a home that is timeless and can go thought decor changes with ease!
The answer is…
BORING IS A GOOD THING
There is a big secret for a home that stays in style! It’s not hard or magic or anything earth shattering. It’s just smart!
Ready for this decor gold nugget? Here it is…
Don’t be afraid to be a bit boring!
Boring is neutral. Boring is not the latest style. Boring is clean lines. Boring goes with everything! Boring is classic.
And classic is amazing!
BORING IS YOUR BEST BET
The best home insurance from the dreadful dated look is choosing certain furniture pieces that are classic and neutral and sort of nondescript! Those decorating adjectives are music-to-my-ears words!
Classics are called classics for a reason, they stand the test of time! Personally, I strive to be a classic!
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN CLASSIC FURNISHINGS
Here is what to look for in classic furnishings…
- neutral colors
- updated classic lines
- not any one particular trendy style
Here’s what classic furniture is not…
- a distinguishable style
- a trendy color
- anything big or overstuffed
- any wood that can be associated with a certain decade or era
Here are a few rules of thumb that will help you keep your home in style for a long, long time!
TRENDY COLOR IS JUST THAT
One of the biggest timestamps of home furnishings is color! Remember my Tuscan story! It screams “you bought me around 1995”!
Same with trending colors today!
Right now we are in a blue trend. The nice thing about this trend is that blue is a pretty classic color but too much of a good thing is not a good thing at all!
Adding a blue chair is different than painting your kitchen cabinets blue! A blue kitchen although gorgeous will someday scream, “you painted me in 2020 or 21”! A blue chair can pass as a classic!
And which would you rather replace? A kitchen or a chair?
I know this is a hard truth to swallow!
But believe me… listen to me… and do as I say! I know about this!!!!
HERE’S A GOOD DECORATING TREND RULE TO REMEMBER
Here is a good rule to remember…
The bigger the piece of furniture the more neutral it should be! Maybe a little boring and safe, but neutral colors will stand the test of time!
Neutrals can run the color spectrum from white to black and any neutral in between.
Here are some classic (and maybe boring) neutrals…
- any color that is derived from white, brown, and black
If a white or creamy sofa is not your thing how about a linen sofa in a gorgeous graphite color? Or taupe-colored kitchen cabinets if the thought of a white kitchen is just too much white?
The beauty of neutrals is they go with everything! And paired with the right colors and other furnishings is a look that is chic and fresh!
ANOTHER GOOD DECORATING TREND RULE TO REMEMBER
If you want your decor to stay in style longer here’s another great rule of thumb to follow…
The bigger the piece of furniture is the more classic it should be.
Sofas, tables, kitchens, bathrooms, foundational furnishing. Anything you don’t want to replace in the next 7-10 years or more!
Big furnishing often equates to decor that is also the most expensive so it is common sense to choose updated classic styles for those pieces!
Are they the most sexy? Probably not! But remember boring is classic!
SOME CAUTIONARY EXAMPLES
I just love all the gorgeous black and white Moroccan tile backsplashes and floors I’ve been seeing on Instagram and Pinterest for the last couple of years but I secretly cringe inside! They are stunning but in 7 years they will looks “so 2019-20”! It’s like the homeowner has put a big timestamp on their backsplash.
Most of us can’t replace expensive backsplashes or floors. And many of us will get tired of something so trendy even if we don’t think we will in the moment.
Choosing something boring like white subway tile (although that has a shelf life too) or a classic marble is a much wiser choice. Not as trendy. Not as sexy! But that is the point! Classic choices will look nicer longer!
Trendy might look gorgeous and trilling for a while but will get very old quickly when it dates your home!
In 10 years when you are so tired of your Moroccan tile or blue cabinets in your bathroom you might wish you have gone with a safer, more classic, and more neutral choice!
And don’t get me started on resale value!
CAN I USE TRENDY DECOR
Yes, yes, yes! Trendy decor keeps a home looking fun or fabulous and certainly up to date!
Pick out a couple trendy wishbone chairs if you just love Mid Century Modern and keep the sofa classic!
Or cover those neutral dining room chairs with a great blue and white fabric and keep the table pretty plain.
Add a tray with gorgeous Moroccan tile on it or choose floral patterned bedding if you are in love with Grand Millennial style like I am!
The foundational furnishings in your home should be classic and neutral. The rest can be whatever you love at the moment! That is if you are going for decor with longevity and a look that stays in style.
IF YOU ARE READING THIS YOU DO CARE
I hear from readers all the time that they love their decor and don’t care what style is popular.
I say this with love… because you are reading this tells me you probably do care!
If you love your decor and never ever ever want to change it I am thrilled for you! YOU GO GIRL!
But most women who love to decorate love change too. Keeping the foundation furnishings classic and neutral gives you the freedom to change the rest of your decor to work with your style, taste, and preferences.
And when you are ready for a change you won’t be changing everything in your home!
THE MORAL OF THIS DECORATING STORY
My home is neutral and classic because I not only love to live with neutrals but I know that the more classic it is the longer I can keep the furniture I’ve paid out our hard-earned money for. It will look nice and fresh. It might not be the newest style, but it is in style!
When I get the urge to off-road and change our home to a Grand Millennial masterpiece I think about my Tuscan phase!
I don’t want to live the nightmare of realizing I really no longer liked that style of furnishing I have a house full of!
I’m not sure my young Mid Century Modern friend I was helping listened to me as I suggested she keep big-ticket items in her home neutral and classic but, alas, she is young. Sometimes we need to learn our own lessons before we wake up and think a bit of boring is not only a good thing but the best thing when it comes to decorating our homes!