Timeless Renovation Styles:
What Makes A Space Classic?
Have you ever walked into a friend or family member’s kitchen or living room and thought to yourself, “This room is impeccable? Beautiful? And yet is hasn’t been renovated or updated in a decade or more?”
Ever wonder how that look is achieved?
Some folks seem to have an intrinsic sense of what works in their home, whether it’s a new home office added on to the kitchen, or a renovation of the attic into a new guest room. If you occasionally wonder whether there is a secret art to how these people do what they do when renovating, the answer is, “not really.” But there are guidelines to follow when renovating any room that make it timeless. Whether it’s your kitchen or master bedroom, these key principles apply:
1) Avoid overly quirky trends when renovating. As any designer will tell you, most of your home should avoid trendiness at all costs. If you want your living room to be timeless, for example, do not paint one wall a bright, pastel colour, even if that colour is trending on Twitter! There is a place for trendiness, but not in your formal spaces. A wall mural in the family room or attic TV room can be a fun focal point, but not in the living room. Or a jungle-themed indoor/outdoor rug on the patio is a burst of colour and interest, but the area rug in the living room shouldn’t be trendy.
2) Stick to neutrals on the walls and kitchen countertops. Of course, a pop of colour here and there is welcome, on the base of the kitchen island, perhaps, or a decorative vase on top of the pantry storage unit. But keep the walls and trim in neutral tones – taupe, champagne, off white and other “quiet” shades, and bring in a dollop of colour elsewhere. In the kitchen, wood cabinets and granite or marble countertops are all considered timeless.
3) Opt for clean, simple lines. Let’s stick with our example of renovating the attic to become a guest room. Unless you have genuine gingerbread trim in a 19th century home, this kind of detail is better left out. Your professional renovator can help you here; choose calm, linear lines and add decorative detailing on the bed linens, perhaps, or in the curtains. Walls and trim are not the right place for fussy!
4) Create a focal point. This depends, in part, on which room you are renovating. In a living room, a fireplace mantel makes a classic focal point. In a master bedroom, the right window treatment can be a serene focal point, along with a beautiful bed frame and headboard. Keep the focal point in proper scale to the space you’re renovating – obviously, a small home office is not the spot for a huge painting on the wall, or even an oversized desk. Keep the furniture spare, and in keeping with the room’s scale.
5) When it’s time to choose furnishings, opt for classic prints and quality pieces. Even the most basic room can look timeless and elegant if you opt to buy items that will last, and are designed simply but sturdily. A well-upholstered chair that is in a bold pattern or solid colour, along with a neutral sofa with contrasting piping, looks classy and refined. And those are the traits of all timeless spaces – elegance and class. An area rug filled with shades that tie everything together is a classic finishing touch.
Renovating and updating your home is an opportunity to bring elegance and classic style into every room. (Except maybe the kids’ spaces!) Talk to a professional interior designer at Kay2 Contracting about your likes and dislikes, and they’ll get you on the path to total, lasting timelessness.