Good question.  How can you ensure that a colour scheme doesn’t look dated? 

Remember avocado bathroom suites?

They were SO trendy when they first came out.  And now look at them….

Is it possible to decorate your home in a way that won’t look passé in a few years’ time? 

Take the chocolate-brown kitchen – something classic?  Well, this might be the modern take on it:

But this is my parent’s kitchen from the 1970’s.  I remember how proud they were of it.  And it doesn’t look classic at all!  (I can still remember Dad doing the grouting.)

1970's brown kitchen

That’s because even though the colours may be identical, the materials and styles have changed.  Dark tiles are shaped like subway tiles and have dark grout, rather than white.  The pattern on the blinds is not current – even the blinds themselves.

The bottom line is any house is going to need updating after 10-15 years.  As much as anything it will look tired and worn.  But you can get a look to last that long if you’re careful.

Firstly, if you really love the latest trends, and you get a rush from the new and the different, then it will be almost impossible for your home to be timeless.  Trends are just that – fads that come and go.  Be prepared to enjoy them and move on.  In the photo above are a number of things that will date including:  the L-shaped sofa, its very square shape and the chrome legs.  The free-standing shelf arrangement and coffee table will also look dated in  a few years.

But it looks very contemporary now.  So if that’s your thing, go for it, but be prepared for it to look very early 2000’s.

Including antiques and vintage furniture give a room much more of a sense of timelessness and means it will have more longevity.  By mixing up the styles of furniture you aren’t placing it in a single year or decade.  You’ll also give pieces more longevity, which is economical.  I also think you get more of a feeling of ‘home’ rather than showroom.

When choosing a colour scheme, choose neutral colours (which date far slower) for the pieces that are hard to change – such as sofas, wall coverings and curtains.  If you want to be slavish to fashion – then use cushion covers and accessories to introduce colour.  Then you can switch that easily as you tire of it or as something else comes into vogue.

In the room above, all of the elements giving the room its gorgeous mauve and lilac colour scheme are easily changeable.  Which means that in a few minutes, and without a large budget, you can have a blue room, or a silver metallic one.

When choosing colours or finishes, try to pick ones just coming in – such as the greys that I mention here, rather than ones that have already done five years and won’t have such longevity.  Above all, choose things that you LOVE.  Because then you won’t care so much about fashions.

Anyone else have photo’s of their parents’ house from the 1970s??