Fads come and go. And while there’s nothing wrong with jumping on an interior design trend you love, we all do it knowing that it won’t be in style forever. Timeless design styles are so named because they don’t look “stuck in a time” – making them excellent choices for spaces you don’t want to redecorate every few months.
With that said, making your home’s style timeless is sometimes easier said than done. We realize we may be a bit biased, but we firmly believe that the key to any good room design is lighting. Whether you love the thrill of redecorating every few months or would rather have a classic room that meets your needs through it all – a timeless light fixture can really help to tie your room together without clashing with your design choices. But that doesn’t mean it has to be boring!
Finding timeless fixtures may take a little more effort, but it’s worth it to have a piece that will last you for years to come. To help you get started, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you find a timeless fixture that’s right for you.
1. Find Inspiration
Finding a style that is timeless is sometimes more about finding a style that is timeless to you. Take a minute and think about the decor styles you have admired over the years. Have you always been drawn to a sleek modern look, or do you prefer cozy cottage-like interiors? Are you more of a maximalist or a minimalist?
If you’re not sure, you may want to start by browsing for inspiration. Magazines, social media, and Pinterest are great places to search for ideas. Another source of inspiration could be your favorite old movie or TV series!
For example, the kitchen in the film Father of The Bride (1991) is iconic for its warm, moody lighting. The style is so timeless that the film director, Nancy Meyers, has replicated this look and lighting design in many of her movies. Even Meyer’s own kitchen rocks this lighting look.
Once you have a collection of your favorite images saved, go back and look at the light fixtures. What colors are they? What shapes are they? Where are they in the room? You’ll start noticing patterns that you can use to create a list that will define your style.
2. Think Long Term
Now that you have defined your style, you will want to be sure you can live with it long term. Take your list, and consider how these timeless tips can apply to your style:
Colors and Finishes: Neutral colors and metallics are always in style, but you’ll want to choose finishes that are consistent with your personal style. Neutral colors like white, black, beige, grey, and tan are safe bets, and satin nickel and chrome are usually safe bets.
Swappable Parts: Consider finding lights that have shades that can be traded out without replacing the whole fixture. Glass shades come in many shapes and styles (clear glass is in style more often than frosted glass). Fabric shades are another easy swap out – stick to neutral or earth-tone colors for a more timeless look.
Permanence: Ceiling and hardwired wall fixtures can be a hassle to replace. Consider going classic and neutral with your permanent fixtures, then have fun with plug-in lights like a lamp that can be easily moved or replaced when it’s out of style.
3. Consider the Quality
The key to designing a home that has timeless style is creating a sense of comfort and luxury.
When choosing a fixture, follow this axiom: buy once and buy well. While top-quality light fixtures cost more upfront, they last much longer. If you don’t want to be reinstalling new lights every few years, don’t forget to budget for quality fixtures.
You also need to consider the quality of the light itself in your space. A single fixture in the center of a room’s ceiling isn’t enough – you’ll need to create layers of light to make your room feel comfortable. Every room should have a good mix of light sources, including overhead, accent, and task lighting.
4. Classic Staples, Trendy Extras
It can be pretty difficult to look beyond the latest trends in interior design. But, like your wardrobe, fast fashion items are usually cheap and go quickly out of style.
Think of your light fixtures as your wardrobe staples – the little black dress, the tailored suit, and so on. Your staples look great, are tailored to you, and never go out of style. Your accessories are your trendy pieces. When a trend comes through that you love, resist the temptation to replace your staples! Buy accessories in that style that compliment your staples instead.
For example, bold, sculptural decor is on-trend right now. While that sculpted brass chandelier is beautiful, it won’t be in style forever… and you’d end up having to replace it again soon when it inevitably feels tired. A timeless ceiling fixture will keep your room anchored, giving you room to play with this style on a smaller scale with accessories like a lamp or vase.
5. It’s Okay to Take Risks
Just because you are creating a timeless style for your home doesn’t mean you can’t take risks. The trick is knowing where and how to take risks.
Don’t be afraid to play with scale – a large, statement fixture can be just as timeless as any smaller counterpart as long as it compliments your style long-term! A great place for a timeless jaw-dropper is over the dining room table – it’s a bold choice that pays off!
Pro Tip: It may seem counterintuitive, but some of the best rooms to experiment with your design style are the smallest rooms in the house. If you fall in love with a trendy fixture, you don’t have to say “no” to keep your timeless design intact! Consider putting it in a powder room, hallway, or other small space that’s easier to redesign when the fad has faded.
6. Consistency is Key
Timeless looks feel easy and balanced. Choose fixtures that complement each other and your home’s decor to keep your design cohesive. Consider the other details in your home and look for fixtures with similar finishes and/or shapes.
Pro Tip: Our eyes are naturally drawn to symmetry. Try doubling up on your ceiling lights or table lamps to create symmetry in your home’s lightscape. We love how the symmetrical lighting design in the kitchen below gives it an elevated and polished look.
The lighting options you choose will have a significant impact on the way your home feels, so make the most of your investment! Take some time and get to know your own personal style, then find timeless options that will work for you!
If you want help finding a timeless fixture that’s perfect for your home, give the lighting experts at Ellen Lighting a call! We have a vast range of styles to choose from, and we have years of experience in helping homeowners find exactly what they’re looking for.