This has to be my most frequently asked question during a design process with our clients… “how can we keep our building from looking dated in 10, 15, 20 years”? My first response is always “you can’t.” Design trends come and go. What is popular today may not be tomorrow. Unfortunately, for most of our clients, the ability and funds to change their space like owners of hospitality spaces do, is not possible. They cannot switch carpet and countertops every five years. So, the trick is to find little ways to maximize not only the money spent, but the years in which our products will last. The good news for our clients is that there are several ways we can achieve a “timeless” look and beat those fleeting design trends.
1. Stay as neutral as possible with your most expensive and longest lasting materials. For example, don’t pick red carpet, blue countertops or overly trendy-looking tile. Instead, let your paint and accent colors be the trend. Green is very in right now. Paint a wall or two in your lobby green and the rest can stay very neutral. Paint is easy and inexpensive to change, especially if it’s just one wall.
2. Let your furniture make a statement. When I help my clients select furniture, we usually utilize Wayfair, Ikea or Nebraska Furniture Mart. Pick a neutral couch, perhaps leather; and then pick a fun accent chair, rug, pillows and art. By going the residential route with our furniture, future changes can be easily accomplished.
3. Use common materials in uncommon ways. For example, choose a porcelain tile that looks like terrazzo. Terrazzo is timeless but expensive. Using tile helps give this ageless material a new look at a fraction of the cost. Choose a luxury vinyl tile that looks like natural, hand scraped wood floors. Like tile, lvt is easy to clean, durable and much more affordable than wood.
4. Bring natural elements inside. Nature is timeless, so using elements that mimic nature in your design can give any area that extra “wow” factor without being overly trendy. Use cultured stone on an accent wall and clean, reclaimed wood on your welcome desk.
While design trends continue to come and go, hopefully using a few of these design tricks can help your building stand the test of time.