Keeping your decor timeless

It can be a balancing act when you want to jump on a new decor trend that inspires you, while still keeping your decor timeless so that it doesn’t look dated soon after you’ve updated your look.

So how can you make sure that your design choices will still look good 10 or 15 years down the road? We’ve polled three of Ottawa’s top design experts for their advice.

Anne-Marie Brunet
Sheridan Interiors

Classics never go out of style. While it’s tempting to want to keep up with the latest trends, ask yourself if you’d be able to live with those choices five years from now.


Most trends have a lifespan of five to 10 years and some even less. Be true to your own style and what you like and you will never go wrong.

What keeps most people out of “trendy” trouble is being more conservative on the large-ticket items – such as cabinets, flooring and countertops – and infusing some flair with cabinet hardware, mirrors, lighting and accents. The latter are all fairly inexpensive items that can easily be replaced to freshen up your look.

Tanya Collins
Tanya Collins Interior Design

Consider the age and architecture of your home and try to choose a style that suits it.


For example, your cabinet style: When a Shaker cabinet or face-frame cabinetry is used in a century-old or classic-looking home, it’s more timeless. Meanwhile, a bungalow or modern home with little ornamentation tends to suit a slab or flush cabinet style.

Shades of white for a Shaker cabinet or wood veneer for a slab cabinet tend to stand the test of time and never date. And counters with a subtle marbleized pattern or no pattern tend to look good long term.

A functionally designed space never dates, even if the cabinetry and finishes do. Avoid corner cabinets, oddly shaped islands and rounded or ornate profiles on counters.


Clean simple lines always look good whether in a traditional or modern kitchen.

Catherine Pulcine
CPI Interiors – Decorating Den

In general, I recommend avoiding trendy things that date quickly. Styles and colours come and go, but keep your home’s style in mind. Choosing classic styles and colours will always be present or timeless. Today, the classic style tends towards clean simple lines, more transitional looks with good base colours such as taupe, grey or white that can easily be updated with changes in accessories, wall decor, area rugs or wall colours.

Be careful of the backsplash. It is the one item that will show time the fastest. Backsplash styles come and go very quickly, what is here today is gone tomorrow. Simpler styles, like various subway tile installations, will lend the look to something with more longevity.


If you really want to acknowledge a trend, paint and accessories are a great way to bring trends into your space. They are easy to change with the newest craze.

A well-designed space that considers function first will stand the test of time.


About the Author

Anita Murray

Anita Murray

Anita Murray is the co-founder of All Things Home Inc. and owner of Three C Communications. The veteran journalist has covered the Ottawa housing industry since 2011.



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