The Key to Timeless Décor by Deanna Johnson
I’ve always found that it’s important to maintain an element of self when you appoint your new space – whether it’s an apartment, a house, condo, cabin, or otherwise. Our instincts are to purchase everything – all at once, from a single store. The usual victims are “dining sets,” “bedroom sets,” or mega-sectionals designed to seat a small army. You must fight this instinct. Why you ask? Because committing too deeply to any given style, “set” or monolithic furnishing object will make it difficult to pivot, or evolve your style over time.
Even if you are starting from scratch – which I recently helped a client New York do – you can create a timeless, environment that feels as though it was thoughtfully collected over time. It may be that you would like it to feel contemporary, eclectic, or passed down through generations. Employing a design professional can create the balance you’re looking for and maximize your budget. When I spoke with my latest New York client, he spoke of a love of mid-century clean lines, but also wanted to transcend time and ensure that it didn’t feel like he went on a shopping spree at Design Within Reach.
To achieve a new aesthetic, I blended Mid-Century modern lines and subtle Old-World French Louis XVI silhouettes. His taste was fairly abstract as far as art, so some original works from Kelly O’Neal and Ran Stewart were some excellent choices. In the living room, we had a custom Paul Robert sleeper sofa outfitted in Krypton navy velvet, anchored by cognac leather egg chairs. The rug we found was unique and provided a bit of unexpected flair. It was ultra-vintage, meaning that it was a vintage rug that had been shaved down, bleached, and dyed with bold strokes of yellow, navy, and fuschia.
In the dining room, we paired a Platner dining table with some Louis XVI flare back dining chairs – that float above a brindle cowhide rug. Vintage crystal candlesticks adorn the table, whereas various books and collected accessories add interest. Throughout the space, we blended vintage details with clean design elements. In regards to lighting, lamps hand-picked by Barbara Cosgrove illuminates the space.
The result? The client reports that he finds the place incredibly livable and although stylish – timeless as well. Rugs may change over time, artwork may cycle through, and new objects may replace the current. The lesson here is that working with a design professional, he avoided the trap of falling too deeply into one style – found greater value, and even saved money from what he would have spent initially, and money that he would spend refurnishing the space ahead of schedule when he tired of the one-dimensional aesthetic. As designers, our goal is to make the world around you a more beautiful place – a place that you’re proud to call home for many years to come. Let’s work together to find your unique style.