Classic Interiors That Stand the Test of Time: Why They Work

Classic Interiors That Stand the Test of Time: Why They Work

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Eleanor Büsing
Nov 9, 2016
(Image credit: McGrath II)

What is it that makes some rooms utterly timeless? The type of space that feels comfortably classic yet up-to-date at the same time? It's in the furniture, the function, the overall vibe of the place. Read on for six spaces that embrace classic style, and see how they do it.

(Image credit: McGrath II)

They're comfortable.

The gorgeous living room here (and in the lead image) is modern, designed by McGrath II, but I'm sure you'll agree that it has an ageless quality to it. Besides the period features like the fireplace surround (which certainly help), it's the cozy factor that pulls me in. Spaces which stand the test of time are, above all, ones you want to spend time in. So think solid pieces, soft textiles and a not-too-precious vibe.

(Image credit: House Beautiful)

They're (somewhat) symmetrical.

While I don't think all successful classic interiors are formal spaces, many have a certain formality to them. Considered symmetry (like in the elegant dining room above from House Beautiful) is a great way of achieving this—matching bedside tables, living room chairs sitting in pairs, balanced but not necessarily matching art arrangements on either side of a room.

(Image credit: Haus Decoração)

They have a point of view.

The room above from Haus Decoração—when do you think it was designed? (No seriously, I'm asking, because it's hard to tell and I have no idea!) Judging solely by the furniture, it could be a mid-century space, or a recent project using quality vintage pieces. The quirky paint job certainly gives it character, and that's what I'm getting at here: Interiors that last don't try to please everybody, and often have something unique or memorable about them.

(Image credit: Havenly)

They embrace art.

The last time you were in a room that felt truly timeless, what was on the walls? I'm willing to bet they weren't bare. Nothing creates that classic, collected feeling (like the room above from Havenly) quite like a whole lot of art. We may think of gallery walls as a '00s phenomenon, but grand apartments and country houses all over Europe beg to differ. So get another piece you love and fit it in where you can—you're just creating a classic look.

(Image credit: DeVOL)

They're functional.

If we're talking about a living room or bedroom, refer to point number one. However, a kitchen functions firstly as a workspace, and those that stand the test of time are hard-wearing and simple in style. Shaker-style cabinets like the ones in this kitchen from DeVOL are trending right now, but never really went away. Solid wood can withstand a few nicks here and there, and be re-painted to move with the times. Countertops which patina and improve with age, like marble or hardwood, win longevity points over modern composites.

(Image credit: Elements of Style)

They have a sense of space.

The best interiors are those that give a nod to their surroundings, both the architecture of the building that houses them, and the location at large: a city townhouse decorated in rich jewel tones, a suburban home containing cheerful color and print, or a beach home with lots of white, sisal and stripes. Trends come and go quickly, but the essence of a place takes longer to change. Tie your home to that, and you'll be buying it time and style. (Image via Elements of Style)

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