When we think of timeless interiors, we often look to the classic - to that which has been judged and found to have quality and relevance over decades. Even so, the most enduring furniture, material or finish can come in and out of fashion and it is through time that we see trends distinguished from fad; differentiating design ideas that lose their allure from the ones that never date. While exploration and experimentation with design is important - it’s how we find inspiration and make use of new technology - a timeless interior is invariably woven with pieces of quality, personal expression and strong foundational elements.
For anything to endure, it must have physical integrity. Timeless design marries aesthetic with sustainability, understanding that something handcrafted will always outlast anything cheaply made or mass produced. That antique furniture can sustain its utility today speaks volumes of the worth of the artisan - to hours spent labouring over design and the durability of its detail. It’s a financial commitment as much as an emotional one: an investment in longevity above immediacy, an adherence to quality above convenience and beauty above the artless reproduction of disposable, seasonal goods.
Far from fad: The timeless sculptural simplicity of a Pierre Jeanneret antique chair.
Instinctively, the past guides the future. Afterall, what was good then almost always continues to remain so. Rattan, marble or the serenity of French blue are all perennial, taking on new life in a new setting using different mediums or modern interpretations. The black and white check tiling of centuries past, is typical of this. When used to separate one area from another (in the form of landings, thresholds, foyers and bathroom floors), its monochromatic pattern acts to cleanse the palette.
A classic Viola marble fireplace surround as a centrepiece, a perennial design device, adding interest without overwhelm. Image via Studio Mellone
Employed across textiles and soft furnituring, it may also be used to add detail without overwhelm, drawing the eye to focus on a point of feature or piece of furniture - a device evident in the clever pairing of the Rachel Donath Grace Chair and a tessellated floor rug (see below).
Modern classics feature in the clever pairing of the Rachel Donath Chair and a textured diamond pattern floor rug.
Creating a strong foundation of classic elements gives us flexibility over the years. As we mature and evolve, how we engage with our surroundings changes. Neutrals, white walls and timeless fixtures, allow us to reinvent without having to rebuild or restructure, forgoing the expense and inconvenience of replacement and renovation. Instead, we can experiment and find expression in layering, with style akin to the unique form and flourish of paint as it is applied to canvas.
A modern interior featuring a mid-century antique chair. Via Rose Uniacke
From the elegant to the industrial, the neo-greco to avant-garde, our hearts are, however, the ultimate instructors. Above the chorus of popular opinion, we must find the honesty and perhaps, courage, to execute our own intuitive vision. Stepping away from the safety and dictates of another’s design narrative gives us the freedom to rebel or align with ideas. Certainly, what we love now will be adored in years to come: a timelessness created from the continuity of our personality, infused in the mien of our interiors.
From The Inventory:
The Cono Chair, SHOP NOW
The Arte Mirror, SHOP NOW
A Spanish Baroque Table with Forged Iron Stretchers, SHOP NOW