Buying a home is probably one of the biggest investments we’ll make in our lifetimes. We take our time to decide what the best investment for our budget will be, what house and location will be most suitable for our lifestyles and for our families. But what happens once the keys are in our hands? How do we ensure that the decisions we make regarding how we decorate and what furniture and accessories we purchase will have a lasting impact?
None of us want to feel that we’ve wasted money. Bending to every interior trend that comes our way can mean expensive and frequent redecorating projects, sapping not only our bank accounts but our time and energy. We want to choose items, colours and materials that have staying power and that we’ll continue to love for years whilst also feeling confident that our home feels fresh and current.
Our tips today will ensure you’re investing in your home wisely with items and ideas that will encourage a balance between timeless, trendy and practical.
How long will a trend last?
Despite the fact that magazines and websites will authoritatively proclaim one trend ‘over’ and another as fresh and current doesn’t mean that trends actually work that way. While home trends do come and go more frequently these days than they did in years past (we have social media to thank for that), most trends work on a bell curve and their actual lifespan can be anywhere from a couple of years to a decade.
Now how much time this takes from beginning to end varies considerably. Normally the faster the trend reaches its peak, the faster it will fall out of favour. At the same time, the longer it takes to be adopted by the majority, the longer it takes for something to fall out of fashion.
How to Invest in Trends
The most important question to ask yourself when you are looking at investing in a trend is how much you personally love it, how long you’ve loved it for and why. Is it because you’ve seen it 1000 times in various guises on Instagram and simply want to enjoy something that is fresh and current? Or is it because you truly love the idea or product and have done so for a long time?
Source: Kimberly Duran / Swoon Worthy
As an example, I have loved pineapple motifs – a Victorian symbol of hospitality and wealth – for many years. Long before they became the big trend of 2016/2017, I had vintage brass pineapples around my home. When the trend reached its peak and the market was saturated with pineapples seemly everywhere, I invested in a few more pieces. Then, as it began to fall out of favour, I saw many people remove the trendy pineapple motifs from their home. However, mine remain. Why? Because I’ve never seen it as a trend, simply as something I loved. For me, they are timeless and rooted in history, despite what the magazines may say is ‘in’ or ‘out’.
So, if you love something and or have always admired a specific colour, material, finish or motif, then you are no longer investing in something that is here today and gone tomorrow (or next year). If something you have always loved suddenly becomes fashionable, feel free to invest in it whilst the market allows you to indulge because you’ll continue to love it even as everyone else has moved on to the next big thing.
Source: Kimberly Duran / SwoonWorthy
That’s not to say that if there is something you have discovered because it’s become trendy, you shouldn’t spend money on it. If you do want to dip your toe in a new trend, resist the urge to invest large sums in something that may not be around for long and choose a few inexpensive pieces or accessories to indulge instead.
Which colours are timeless?
While paint companies have become synonymous for choosing a ‘colour of the year’, this is one area where you probably don’t need to worry quite as much about choosing timeless colours. A couple of tins of paint is a relatively small investment and if you tire of a colour on your walls, it can be changed in a weekend or two. No one wants to buy a new sofa or re-tile every two years and we hope our higher end purchases have staying power.
Grey shades have been going strong for the last decade and while there are many to choose from, I don’t think they’ll be considered ‘out’ for a very long time. As a neutral, it marries well with nearly every other colour – from strong brights to soft pastels as well as warm organic finishes and textures.
Warmer beige tones have become less popular due to grey’s stronghold on the neutrals market, but they are another solid and timeless neutral and have begun to come back into favour. Investing in neutral shades may feel safe but you’re less likely to tire of them in the long term and you can easily change up your less expensive accessories around them to keep everything looking fresh.
If you do want to invest in a more colourful piece, pay less attention to what’s trendy and look more at what colours you love. Check your wardrobe to see what shades you are naturally drawn to and enjoy being surrounded by. If, for example, you’ve loved blue colours for the last 15 years within your wardrobe, then investing in a navy blue sofa may be a great choice for you because you’ll probably love it for years to come.
How to choose furniture you’ll love for years
The good news about furniture is that their ‘lifespan’ in terms of trends is normally a lot longer than most things. Most people will hold on to larger investment furniture for at least 5-10 years but if you are currently on the market for something with lasting power, consider what’s come before.
When we look at a trend like Mid Century-Modern (still going strong nearly a decade on), it’s a resurgence of a popular look from the 50’s and 60’s. We already know it had staying power then and the vintage pieces from the era are recognised as design classics now. Investing in vintage design of nearly any era is always a good idea as it creates a timeless look in your home.
We’re now seeing a rise in Art Deco style furniture and designs – again, popularised in the 20’s and 30’s, this is a classic design style that rarely dates. Looking out for furniture that takes its cues and inspiration from previous styles gives it a more classic look and will thus be more timeless.
If you are more a fan of rustic or traditional design, look out for pieces that mimic the way furniture was built in decades past. Details like dovetail joints, natural stains and solid wood or classic design elements like shaker-style doors give a piece a timeless quality that will likely never really go out of fashion.
Materials that are both trendy and practical
We are seeing a focus on more sustainable materials nowadays which is great for the environment and I would like to think this new crop is more than just a passing trend but a complete re-writing of the rules for design.
Environmentally-friendly sources like bamboo and cork are beautiful as well as practical and we are seeing more pieces that are recycling waste like plastic or steel or using salvaged and reclaimed wood to create what may just end up being the new classics.
Natural materials like marble, stone, wood and concrete have been big trends for the last few years and because they connect us to nature, are likely to move from being ‘trendy’ to being classic design elements that we’ll love for years to come.
Looking for more investing tips? Check out our post on 5 Items in Your Home Worth Investing In or our buying guides which cover everything from choosing the right sofa, buying a wardrobe or what to look for when purchasing your dining table.