Trendy vs. Timeless: How to strike the right balance so your home looks great now and forever 

Articles & Interest

When renovating, you’re going to have to make some very important design choices for your home. The decisions you make now can have long-lasting effects on your space, because elements like flooring, tiles, countertops, and cabinets aren’t that easy (or cheap!) to switch out once installed. No pressure, right?  

It’s very important to think through your design carefully and thoughtfully before the work starts. You don’t want to regret your choices five years down the road, so consider the following helpful tips when designing your dream home. And remember that many professional renovators also have in-house design teams to guide you through the process of creating a great plan for your home.  

Why Timeless? 

Trendy designs generally go out of fashion more quickly while timeless have longer lifespans, so if you don’t want to do any further updates in the near future or are concerned about resale down the road, they might be a safer choice. With a timeless canvas to work with, you can always add in some trendier elements that are easier to switch out, like fabrics, paint, rugs, and window coverings.  

Design that stands the test of time is subtly restrained, straightforward, and elegant. Timeless design is intended to be extremely practical while also being interesting and unique. Here are a few design trends that aren’t going out of style any time soon. 

subway tile kitchen backsplash

Hasler Homes Ltd., North Vancouver, British Columbia 

Subway tiles: Subway tiles are practical, timeless, and work in interiors of all types. Introduced back in 1904, subway tiles originated in the NYC subway system. The subway tiles became the norm for subway stations all over the world because they were simple to maintain and reflected light in the gloomy underground tubes. They immediately started to show up in home interiors all over the world, eventually becoming the most well-liked backsplash option for kitchens and bathrooms.  Nowadays, subway tiles come in many colors and varying sizes, so you are guaranteed to find a design you’ll love for years to come. 

checked floors in bathroom

Lupi Luxury Homes, Calgary, Alberta 

Checked floors: Black-and-white checkered floors have been popular for thousands of years for a reason. They can turn a boring space into a remarkable one. They have a long history dating back to ancient Egypt, were adored by the Romans, common in Victorian entryways, and were a mainstay of American eateries in the 1950s. Rest assured this flooring option isn’t going out of style anytime soon, though because it’s a little more bold not everyone loves it!  

white farm house kitchen

Van Manna Homes, Calgary, Alberta 

White kitchens: White kitchens will always be in style. Looking back at the history of white kitchens, we can see that, in the 1920s and 1930s, manufacturers practically had no other alternative except to offer white kitchens. White was a colour associated with cleanliness, hygiene, and health because the flu epidemic was still having an impact on people all over the world. The appeal of a white kitchen has persisted despite changes in trends. It’s a classic design that is suitable for practically any kitchen and has a high resale value. Not only are they bright and airy but they are easy to clean and very practical. This is a design choice you simply can’t go wrong with, and there’s room to add your own personal taste through wood elements, pops of colour, and hardware choices.

woodfloor in livingroom

MGB Construction, Toronto, Ontario 

Wood floors: Wood floors, especially in true wood tones (not the unnatural grey that was popular a few years ago!) have always been a preferred option for floors due to their warmth and durability. They come in a variety of widths, textures, glosses, and colours. Wide plank flooring was commonly used in mills, schools, farms, factories, and warehouses built in the early to mid-20th century. They were at the height of popularity then and it’s not so different now. They add a rustic, homely character to any house, even if it is brand new. Wide plank flooring adds value, historic charm, warmth, and unique character to any room.  

clawfoot tub in bathroom

Men At Work Design Build Ltd., Toronto, Ontario 

Clawfoot tubs: The 1880s until the 1930s saw a boom in the popularity of the clawfoot tub. The flu pandemic that followed World War I was the cause of these lovely fixtures’ demise. People started to worry about germs and cleanliness because they didn’t know much about the illness. Many believed that the difficult-to-access areas behind and under the tubs could serve as a haven for germs. Even though it wasn’t true, this did affect how bathrooms were designed. Fast forward to the twenty-first century, clawfoot tubs are here to stay. Claw-foot bathtubs have been in style for some time now, and they don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. They are a staple piece in any bathroom that has enough room to accommodate them, and add a touch of elegance to your space. 

What’s Trendy? 

Trends may look great and be in favour now, but a few years down the road things might look different to you. If you’re someone who likes making a statement and going bold in your design choices, you might be drawn to trendy, and that’s okay! If you’re planning on staying in your home long-term, as long as you make selections you love (and not just because they’re in style) and are okay with changing them down the road if your tastes change, go ahead and be fearless! Here are a few current design favorites that may not be trending for too long, so if you love them, now’s your chance: 

  • Terrazzo

The tiles first gained popularity in the 1950s when mid-century modern architecture first emerged. Since then, the Terrazzo tile has gone through phases of being in and out of style, but in 2023, it’s most decidedly on-trend. Particularly popular among designers is large-format terrazzo with thin grout lines. Large tiles have the extra benefit of being simpler to clean and might give the impression that a room is larger. Although the tile is back by popular demand, that doesn’t mean the style is here to stay. Unless you’re 100% sure this is the look you want, you may want to consider something that has held up to the test of time.  

  • Large print wallpaper designs

Wallpaper and wall murals have had a significant resurrection in recent years, and this trend is not likely to fade away anytime soon. Whether you choose a floral, geometric, or minimalist pattern, modern wallpaper designs are lovely and can truly make a statement. That being said, make sure to choose a print that you love and that isn’t too overbearing for the room. Some large print wallpaper designs can be very overpowering. If you do decide to go with a large print design, consider using a peel-and-stick option so that you don’t damage your wall if you decide it’s time for a change. 

  • Fast furniture

Although fast furniture pieces may be tempting due to the low price tag, you may regret your purchase down the road. The longer the lifespan of the furniture, the better value for money, and the better for the planet. Furniture should be something you should save for since it will be a staple piece in your home. Spend your money wisely and don’t compromise on quality. Invest in pieces you’ll love for years and years to come.  

In summary, sometimes the best approach is striking a balance of timeless and trendy. Choose timeless flooring, cabinets, countertops, tiles, and other building materials. Then, mix and match that with trendy pieces like plant pots, light fixtures, and area rugs, which are more easily replaceable and will allow you to play around with your design without spending an arm and leg every time or seeing things unnecessarily going to the landfill. It’s all about finding that right balance and creating a space that you’ll love now and forever.