Timeless interiors evolve around key furnishings that anchor the room—allowing colors, fabrics, and accessories to create visual interest that can easily and affordably be changed with the seasons or trends.
With 35 years of experience designing well-appointed homes, design expert Deborah Hastings shares her favorite style secrets to achieving good design that can be applied to any home on any budget.
- Whenever a trend is so popular that you can buy it everywhere, it is time to start avoiding it. It’s not a snob thing—it is a saturation thing. We are fickle. When we see too much of something, we get tired of it much faster. Rule of thumb—enjoy a few items to liven up your interior, but don’t load up on the current rage. You will be tossing it all out and chasing the next “must haves” way too soon.
- Shop in luxury stores even if you can’t afford them. Just tell the sales clerk you are browsing and pay attention to details. Again, it’s not a snob thing. This fine-tunes your eye to see quality so you can translate it into something you can afford.
- If you are feeling insecure about putting things together, consider hiring a professional. Most designers work by the hour. One hour of consultation could help clarify your plan. Free design help is sometimes available in retail stores as a service to customers.
- For key furnishings to anchor a room, look to the classics. Certain iconic shapes are always on point. A wingback chair, a Chippendale dining table and chairs, and for more modern classics the Eames chair and Saarinen tulip table will always be a solid investment.
- So where are the best places to shop? Everywhere. Consignment shops and estate sales are a treasure hunt for those of us with the time to scout them. The internet allows you to browse in your pajamas, but read the dimensions and reviews carefully. Buying through local artisans and stores gives you the opportunity to see the item before buying and even take it home to try. Measure the space you are buying for and have a flexible master plan before shopping.
Find out where Deborah suggests to shop in The Cottage Journal Winter issue!