Creating a Timeless Room

Are you tired of living in a “tired” room?  If your room feels outdated, here are some tips to bring it up to date in a way that you won’t be repeating the whole process in a few years.

We often get requests from people who want to “freshen up” their space without breaking the bank.  We hear people say things like, “I know my room is dated, but I really don’t want to start over.”  Good News!  You don’t have to completely re-do your room every few years!

If your room is a “time-capsule,” where nothing ever comes in or goes out the door, even the best designs may start to feel stagnant.  These tips will help you make small changes along the way, so your room always feels current and fresh!

 1.  Enjoy the Process

Designing a room doesn’t have to be something with an exact start and finish.  Enjoying the space you have now should be the goal – not having a house full of “finished” rooms.

Think of your room more like your closet.  Different pieces need to be replaced at different times.  Your wardrobe is constantly changing a little at a time.  Your home can, too!

Your favorite pair of shoes that you wear almost every day probably needs to be replaced more often than something you wear only occasionally.  The same applies to your favorite recliner or chair.  One worn-out item can start to make your entire room look old and dated.

If your chair is old, but your sofa is still in great shape, you don’t have to replace everything at the same time.  You could replace the chair and add new pillows to your existing furniture.

 2. Make a Plan

Start by taking an inventory of the room.  Examine each piece on its own merit.

Take pictures of your room.  If you are just looking for a new chair, show the pictures of the entire room to the salesperson or designer that is helping you rather than just describing the piece you are replacing.  Sometimes, someone with a fresh eye can suggest something perfect that you may have overlooked.

NEVER MATCH NEW PIECES TO SOMETHING YOU DON’T LIKE, or you’ll end up with a house full of furnishings you can’t stand!  If you are thinking of replacing your sofa or drapes in the next few years, take into consideration the other pieces you will want to have in the future.  If you are only buying a chair today, choose one that works with the direction you are going.

 3. Neutrals are Your Friend

For the larger pieces and the pieces that are the biggest investment, choose materials that wear well, like leather.  Leather wears well and some pieces even look better with age.  Also, just like your leather shoes, it goes with any style.

Wood finishes that are already slightly distressed will not show wear as quickly as something very smooth and shiny.

Natural materials like stone or glass do not show wear, and they can be at home with many different colors and styles.

For the largest pieces, stick with a classic style rather than something very trendy.

 4. Only Buy What YOU Love!

Collect things you love, but don’t get overrun with a “collection.”  If you live in your room every day, you want it to feel comfortable – not like a museum.  Collections of a few items can be interesting displayed together, but large collections can be a nightmare to display.

Beware of telling people that you collect something.  They will continue to give you those things for the rest of your life!  There is no polite way to tell them if you want to stop!

Remember – sometimes less is more.  Nothing makes a room look more dated than piles of clutter.  If your accessories are starting to look old and dated, get rid of some.  Just having some empty space can be refreshing.

If you have display shelves in your room, once in a while try taking everything off to clean them.  Start by only putting half of it back, and then decide whether you want to keep the rest on display.

 5. MIX IT UP!

Everything in the room does not have to “match.”  The furnishings and décor you choose should complement one another. If you love a certain style – go with it!  Don’t worry too much about what is on trend at the moment.  If you prefer a rustic style or modern style – use that in your room, but don’t go overboard.  STAY AWAY FROM THEMED DECORATING.  A few years ago, everyone was looking for “Tuscan” or “Old World” style.  Now, we are seeing the same customers mixing it up with contemporary flair.  Adopt a more eclectic style that mixes pieces you love that are different styles or not obviously one particular style.
If you buy everything as a matched set, it will all start to look dated at the same time.  If you mix it up a little, you’ll feel less compelled to replace everything at once.  If you’re on a tight budget, think about which pieces would make the biggest impact.  If your coffee table and end tables are a matched set, you might just want to change the coffee table.  An upholstered ottoman in leather or fabric might work beautifully with your existing end tables.

MIX OLD AND NEW – Even a room full of priceless antiques can start to look dated.  A more timeless way is to mix a few antique or sentimental pieces in with new things.  The older pieces add interest, and the new pieces add comfort and function.

Consider adding more contemporary wall art to an otherwise traditional room.  If you look at your favorite rooms in décor magazines – chances are, you’ll observe that most of the artwork is more contemporary in style.

 6. Introduce Colors and Patterns in a Way that is Easier to Change

Although the sofa and leather cocktail ottoman in this room are neutral, the color and patterns on pillows and accent walls keep the room from being boring!

Although the sofa and leather cocktail ottoman in this room are neutral, the color and patterns on pillows and accent walls keep the room from being boring!

Preferences for colors and patterns change over time.  Think of adding most of the colors and patterns on pieces that are easier and less expensive to move or replace, like pillows, accent chairs or accessories.

Be on the look-out for these items, and when you find something you love, remember that it is ok to part with your old ones now and then!

Even pillows and accessories can be expensive if you are buying a lot of them. Apply the same rule of only buying what you love – and not something just because it is trendy.

Look to your closet for color inspiration.  If you see a lot of one color, and you have always loved wearing that color, chances are you won’t get tired of seeing it in your room.

 7.  Focus on the Function of the Space

If a room is beautiful but it is not comfortable for you and your family to live in, you will get tired of it fast!  Make sure there is a comfortable place for your family to sit together.  If your room is lacking storage, look for unique pieces, such as a storage ottoman, or try adding baskets under your end tables.

 8. Stay Flexible

Sometimes you just need a big change!  Our goal is to have a timeless room – one that never looks dated, and you never get tired of it.  If you go shopping to replace a chair that is starting to look worn, but you find the style of your sofa is holding you back, maybe it wasn’t so timeless after all.  If you no longer love the style of your room, and you want to start fresh, consider whether the time has come to make a big change.  If it’s not in the budget, then, by all means, keep using what you have and stick to your plan!  But, if you can afford it, why not consider donating some of those good usable pieces?  Sometimes people feel guilty spending money to re-do a room, when many of their items are still

A leather sofa that wears well over time will be a more timeless choice than a pattern.  (Unless, of course, it is a pattern you have always loved.)

A leather sofa that wears well over time will be a more timeless choice than a pattern. (Unless, of course, it is a pattern you have always loved.)

Top Grain Leather wears well over time and develops a natural patina that looks good with age.

Top Grain Leather wears well over time and develops a natural patina that looks good with age.

in good condition.  There are many agencies in Stillwater that would be thrilled to put your pieces to good use or put them in the hands of someone who really needs them.

 9. Remember – If YOU love it, then it’s perfect!

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