#1. Function and Comfort are Most Important
Set up your space for the way you use it now. Make it as comfortable as possible. Ensure that there are lights where they are needed, little tables to hold drinks, footstools for tired feet. No matter how stylish a home, it will never feel good if it isn’t cozy and comfortable. We all know that older neighbour or aunt who hasn’t redecorated in 30 years, yet hers is the home you can stay in for hours. It’s welcoming, comfortable and pleasing. So lovely in fact, that the avocado coloured appliances don’t even make you blink.
#2. Style of Home Must Suit the Locale
If you live in the mountains, then a lodge look is appropriate. Just like if you live near the ocean, then your home can look beachy. Decorating in a theme that is not relevant is never a good idea. It always looks out of place and contrived. Timeless design always looks easy and doesn’t have that “I-tried-too-hard” look.
#3. Natural Light is important – have lots of windows
It’s so important to have natural light in a home. There’s nothing worse then having to keep lights on during the day because rooms are so dark. If you are building, make sure you have as many windows as possible. When buying, take note of the amount of natural light, or you’ll forever be decorating to overcome the lack of light. Like moths, human beings are drawn to light. Ours just needs to be natural.
#4. Hardwood Flooring – A Timeless Choice
Wooden flooring has been used throughout history, first appearing as rough hewn planks and then graduating to elegant polished floors, often inlaid with handcrafted designs. Today there are so many types of wooden floors to choose from, and you really can’t go wrong with any wood you choose. For the Un-Trendy list, we recommend staying in the 3-5 inch size and staying away from trendy stain colours.
#5. Marble – A Classic Stone
For thousands of years, marble has been used in architecture. From the richly coloured red floor of the Basilica of Saint Peter’s in Rome, to the walls of the Palace of Versailles, to the elaborately designed nave of England’s Salisbury Cathedral, marble can still take our breath away. And because of it’s ability for refinement, marble has been the favoured medium of choice for some of the world’s best sculptors. Having marble counters, backsplash or floor tile in your home is an affordable luxury that is steeped in history. Any material that’s been around for thousands of years can be called a true classic and makes our Un-Trendy List.
#6. Fireplace – The Allure of Fire
Historically fireplaces were used for the practical purposes of heating, cooking, and warming water for laundry and domestic uses. Today we love everything about fireplaces: the warmth, the beauty of its flames, and the cozy feeling it brings. It’s a visible and tangible source of comfort to us. A sitting room with a fireplace offers comfort and creates an inviting experience. We recommend having a fireplace in your living room. From wood burning, to gas, to electric and now gel-fuel fireplaces, there’s an option for every room.
#7. Original Art – Personalize your Space
Original art personalizes and humanizes the buildings that we live and work in. There’s a certain energy that a piece of art gives off. When viewing a work of art, we are able to share with the artist their deep emotion that allowed them to create their piece.
All art is powerful
Whether it’s a master’s painting hanging in the Louvre, or a simple drawing done by a child, it’s a one-of-a-kind piece and that makes it special. Number 7 on our Un-Trend List is to surround yourself with original works of art. Photographs, painting, woodworking, weaving, pottery…any type of art that speaks to you.
#8. Personal Items – Tell Your Story
It’s important to surround yourself with items that have meaning. It’s also important to display these items in a way that is pleasing and aesthetically beautiful. Each item should be placed with care and with attention to detail. The styling of room is not always easy. It takes time to collect items that are meaningful and it takes a flair to display them properly. Sometimes it is wise to hire a professional to attend to these details. I like to follow the words of William Morris,
‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.’
#9. Balance – The Most Important Principle of Design
There are seven principles of interior design and while all of them are important, I would place balance as the most important. If a room doesn’t feel balanced, it just doesn’t feel good. Balance is the equal distribution of weight in a room. There are three types of balance, symmetrical, asymmetrical and radial. Symmetrical balance is usually found in traditional interiors and one side mirrors the other, asymmetrical is often employed today in interiors and relates very strongly to the visual weight of objects, radial is when all elements of design are arrayed around a central point, like a spiral staircase. Whichever form you employ, it’s important to have balance to make a space feel right.
#10. The Wow Factor – What Makes your Space Unique
Whenever we do a room, we think about all the items in numbers 1-9. Then comes number 10 – the WOW Factor. That something extra that makes a room unique and special. And it can’t just be anything, it has to be something that is authentic for the people that live in the space. Think about your wow factor and what you can do to a room to make it just a little bit special. Maybe it’s as simple as painting the garden doors black when all window trims are white. Or maybe it’s layering rugs, or using wallpaper or hanging an oversize piece of art. Always ask yourself…what can be done to make this room unique.
So now you have our Un-Trend List – and it’s good for years to come. If you follow these interior design principles and apply some basic human psychology, you will have a recipe for creating a home that has timeless appeal.
Wishing you a wonderful 2015 and a home full of love and laughter.
Karen Fron Design is a full-service Interior Design Firm located in Calgary, Alberta. We specialize in bespoke residential & commercial interiors, custom furniture & draperies, and whole home renovations.
“A well functioning and beautiful home makes life better.”