It’s about finding a happy medium between what’s going to last vs what speaks to you on a personal level.
So, how do you build a home that stands the test of time? Two GOOD reasons…
1. RESALE VALUE
When it comes to selling your home, either now or in 20 years, nothing dates a home faster than a trend. Anyone who’s living in the early 2000s Tuscan trend that they chose 15-20 years ago can attest to this.
if you plan on selling your home in the next few years and want to update some finishes, you’d be smart to hit a few trends as long as they hit the target market and are done tastefully, because they can add value to your home.
2. PERSONAL TASTES
Gray cabinets & hexagon tile backsplash? What about in five years, ten years? Many of us like to switch things up every few years it makes us happy.
And while some things are easy to switch every few years others are too expensive and labor-intensive. There’s also the ‘why fix it if it ain’t broke?’ And others that like to redecorate every year and “out with the old and in with the new” (since we are talking in cliches... LOL)
While you can’t make everyone happy, there are a few tried-and-true products, patterns, and finishes that are the most likely to get you through the next quarter-century or so and we wanted to share those with you:
1. BACKSPLASH TILE
It seems to be all about subway tile. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s overdone the fact that it’s used a lot means it works. And there many ways you can add personality it without stepping too far into a trend
don’t do a decorative tile panel behind your stove – keep it simple.
Keep it neutral or white -There are some colors that are timeless for a particular style of home or location, like lake home color, however, that same color in a standard neighborhood setting could really limit your future potential.
In the ideal world, your tile size will be somewhere around 3 x 6 for a timeless approach. However, as long as you don’t go SUPER long and linear or stacked you’ll have several options to choose from.
Tiles like travertine will ebb and flow in popularity, however marble is a timeless choice as long as it suits the space it’s in. Again, pay attention to patterns and stick with the classic rectangle/brick layout over hexagon, herringbone or otherwise.
2. WOOD FLOORING
It’s hard to go wrong with wood flooring itself, but it can be easy to miss the boat when it comes to finish, color and size.
While it might not be trendy, a medium-toned wood stain oak in particular- is the most timeless look. It’s the white washed, or overly dark or gray washed woods you want to be careful with-especially the gray-wash is a trendier
The ideal board size for longevity is approx. 5-6″. Anything over that is doable…right now, but who knows how it will hold up. Anything under 5″ can be reminiscent of the ’80s and ’90s.
A glossy finish is not desirable on flooring unless you like washing your flooring every day. And while a wire-brushed, slightly matte look is trendy now, it’s also a look that’s in it for the long haul as homeowners are embracing the low maintenance factor.
For the species stay away from the exotic stuff. Moderate grain and stain are usually the best choice.
3. CLEAN & SIMPLE LINES
Whether it’s a piece of furniture, fireplace surround or cabinet profile – clean and simple is going to last longer than a more ornate, decorative choice. And while there are definitely exceptions, like Spanish style homes, the average home needs a more simple approach. Moderate Stain & grain color, shaker style doors are simple and timeless
Same goes with furniture. Without going too wild on curves and decorative touches, these fabric chairs will last many decades of trends… should they last that long with two kids in the house…
4. CHOOSE FINISHES WITH A VARIETY OF NEUTRALS IN THEM
Consider installing one permanent hard finish that has a variety of flexible neutrals in it. The more neutrals you have to choose from, the easier it will be to accommodate future tastes without having to rip this surface out.
There may be things you want to be trendy on that are easier and less expensive to switch up, like repainting cabinet and wall colors or changing grout colors on the back splash- that can give a few more years before totally replacing it. But Replacing the countertop for 10K plus? This one surface we should think timeless as well as the oak flooring that runs through our entire home.
5. DON’T COMMIT TO ONE TRENDY COLOR
It’s okay to love gray cabinets with the understanding that you might tire of them in five to ten years, as long as the other finishes in your room aren’t gray as well.
Sometimes it’s about the SCALE of the finish you’re dealing with as well as the effort/cost it takes to change it.. for instance smaller bathrooms can be much more trendy because it is much less work and expense to change in a few years.
6. TIMELESS CABINETS
When creating a timeless kitchen that grows with you or the next family who owns your home, white is the smartest choice because it is timeless not trendy. While not everyone loves white --as there is NO finish that will make every single person happy-- it won’t date a home.
As for cream, well homeowners are way more often frustrated with how limited their cream cabinets and trim leaves them.
Shaker is often best, however, even a square raised panel has its place, especially in a traditional home.
STYLE. You might be tempted to add fancy details to your cabinets – KEEP IT SIMPLE. That doesn’t mean it needs to be BORING, but the more decorative detail you add, the more you’re going to limit your kitchen’s future ‘style’ potential (crown and skirting are always smart add-ons).
7. KEEP PATTERNS/BUSYNESS TO A MINIMUM
Whether it’s a quartz countertop or decorative tile, keep the busyness to a minimum. If you’re a lover of pattern and movement, invest in fabrics or wallpaper that satisfies this urge without making an overwhelming decision with long-term repercussions.
8. WHITE TRIM
Sure, gray or greige trim is definitely on-point, but within a few years, it will be on its way out (it’s already on its way). While this look always suits older homes, as well as some authentic farmhouse homes, it’s more of a ‘personal choice’ in a modern home. If you’re staying in your home for the long haul, have at ‘er. However, if resale is on your mind, stick with the classic look of white.
9. BUILT-IN BOOKCASES
If you want to drop some smart money, invest in built-in bookcases. And using the previous advice of ‘simple lines and white cabinets’, you’ll have a feature that definitely stands the test of time.
10. WHITE WINDOWS ON THE INTERIOR
Don’t get me wrong, I’m crushing HARD on black interior windows and have been tempted to do them on our lake build. However, they’re most definitely a trend and as it relates to resale; they definitely DON’T appeal to the masses.
And while you can create a GORGEOUS look by adding black accents to your room, helping the black windows transition/belong, again, they are a LIMITING feature, whereas white leaves the door (or the windows, would be more the point), wide-open.
What about the exterior?
Because exterior finishes tend to be in it for the long haul, as long as the black windows make sense with the rest of the palette and there are other black elements (ie. railing, address numbers, light fixtures), black is less of a ‘trend related issue.
11. FINAL ADVISE –
IF IT’S PERMANENT & EXPENSIVE TO REPLACE, KEEP IT NEUTRAL
Whether it’s kitchen cabinets, a stone fireplace, or a piece of furniture, you’ll get more longevity out of a neutral or natural product over a color or pattern.
Maybe you want to buy a sofa, and you tend to keep furniture pieces for the LONG term an you love violet and have ALWAYS loved violet and you want a violet sofa. Well then, GET that violet sofa – chances are you’ll love it for many long years.- if you’re concerned about timelessness, use it on fabrics – not hard finishes. If you’re set on using a pattern on hard finishes, keep it to areas with a smaller footprint, like the powder room floor, kitchen backsplash, etc…
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