With its focus on functionality, timeless design is subtle, adaptable and outlasts, belonging to both its space and environment.
I recently visited the Balgownie House, a project I worked on throughout 2019 and completed just in time for Christmas of that year. The home looked amazing, it was relaxed and comfortable and the homeowners expressed how happy they’d been living through COVID-19 in such an incredible home. They’d added a few of their own personal touches and it expressed that feeling of being easy to live in. That feeling of easy comfort, of everything being just right, that is what timeless design feels like.
Timeless design is understated, simple and sophisticated. With its focus on functionality, timeless design is subtle, adaptable and outlasts, belonging to both its space and environment. To achieve this look much of the functionality is built into the design through joinery alleviating any visual disjointedness that can be seen with a collection of individual furniture items. In the Balgownie House, the large custom unit (above) housing the TV and other electronic components blends into the background and provides relief for the room by removing visual clutter.
Timeless design has real staying power and opts to bypass trends and fads in favour of creating balance and order. If you want your home to look as good tomorrow as it does today then use materials and colours that are designed to outlast trends and steer away from overly decorative and overly busy patterns and shapes.
Timeless design has a quiet confidence achieved through functional and sensible design, however, don’t mistake this style as boring. Rather it’s perfectly scaled and proportioned with every aspect of the design carefully curated to fit the space perfectly and to give an overarching sense of belonging. When you walk into a timeless interior you’ll get a sense that everything is just perfect for that space, it’s easy to be in, there’s no pretension, nothing is too overpowering nor is anything insignificant. That is the feeling of timeless design.
While neutrals play a big part in creating a timeless design, colour is still a welcome addition to any space. When incorporated you want these colours to complement the rest of the design whilst adding interest. However, don’t let this set the tone for the room. A great example of this is the stunning green sofa we chose for the Balgownie House living room that sits comfortably within a neutral palette. The depth of colour, shape and position sits perfectly within the room in both proportion and scale. The other furniture pieces are neutral and build on the palette set by the walls, flooring and joinery. Each piece of furniture has intention and is positioned perfectly to accommodate the activities of the family.
If you’re wanting a timeless design then there are some easy rules to follow. The base palette of materials and colours should be neutral and not busy. Add colours that have depth to them and patterns that complement rather than overpower. You’re aiming for simplicity and a subtle elegance here. You’ll want to emphasise clean lines and subtle shapes as well as the home’s architectural details. Use natural materials in their natural state for example timber or stone with clear finishes work beautifully in a timeless interior. Antiques make a beautiful addition to the timeless interior as they give a sense of history allowing you to craft an easy and lived-in home. Finally steer clear of clutter and knick knacks and ensure every piece you incorporate into the design has intention. The dining table (below) in the Balgownie House is an inherited piece that was repurposed with a new leg support to modernise it and pairs beautifully with saddle leather on the banquette. Materials and finishes are in their natural state giving it a timeless design.