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16 Timeless Interior Design Ideas You Can Build Today (with Pictures)

Botanical Pattern Interior Design_Photographee eu_Shutterstock

Timeless interior design could, effectively, be placed in any decade at any time and not look out of place. It eschews modern trends and opts, instead, for something that will look good in 10 years, even after the most recent fad has passed.

From a practical point of view, timeless interior design means that you won’t have to keep updating and replacing the major items in your room, so there will be no need to strip the animal print wallpaper and replace it with something new. And, because timeless design tends to be quite neutral, it means that you can go wild with ornaments and smaller items of furniture that can be moved, removed, and replaced easily.

Below are 16 timeless interior design ideas to help you achieve the look.

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The 16 Timeless Interior Design Ideas

General Design

1. Symmetry

It doesn’t have to be perfectly mirrored, but symmetry appeals to the eye and the brain. Because symmetry doesn’t rely on any trend or fad, it will always be pleasing. While symmetrical design does mean that you will want even numbers of a lot of items, remember that there is a line of symmetry or, in the case of interior design, a single focal point from where the lines of symmetry originate.

2. A Single Focal Point

A single focal point draws the eye. It could be a natural focal point, such as a large window or a particular feature of the house like an archway. Alternatively, you can create your own focal point by putting up a big statement picture or another piece. If you’re adding your own focal point, rather than relying on one that naturally exists, try to place it in an area where the eye is naturally drawn.


3. Botanical Patterns

Some patterns come and go. They’re trends, and timeless design means avoiding these trends. Avoid abstract patterns and even geometric patterns because while these can be timeless, more often than not, they tend to follow a recent trend. Botanical patterns have been used for centuries and you can introduce them in wallpaper or stencil designs, or as pictures and artwork.

4. Striped Patterns

Stripes are another pattern that naturally stays with us. They also tend to have the added benefit of being symmetrical and, if they aren’t, then they might not be considered timeless in their appearance. You can opt for colors, but black and white is another timeless design that can be incorporated into your rooms.

5. Plaid Patterns

When we think of plaid, we tend to think of tartans, and, specifically, Scottish tartans, which date back to the 18th Century. In fact, there’s evidence to suggest that the Celts started weaving plaid tartans as long as 3,000 years ago, which definitely qualifies as timeless. As well as offering timeless fashion design, plaid is also ideal for the rooms of your home.

6. Neutrals

Neutral colors have long been popular because they go with absolutely everything. This means that you can introduce and remove ornaments and even furniture at will, while leaving the color scheme of the walls, floor, and ceiling the same. It also makes it a design choice that stands the test of time and one that won’t irk landlords.

7. Black and White

You can get carried away with black and white design, but the principle is effective. The key is to make sure that you get the balance right and consider introducing some other design elements to the room. A touch of stone or some wood would really break up the potentially stark use of black and white.


8. Jute Rugs

Jute comes from the Corchorus capsularis plant and is known as the golden fiber. It is tough and flexible, and it has an earthy and natural appearance to it. Because of this, it won’t go out of fashion.

9. Subway Tiles

There are a lot of different ways to use subway tiles, as well as various layouts and colors. To achieve a timeless look, opt for a horizontal layout and consider all-white tiles. Alternatively, add the occasional black tile to break up what would otherwise be a wall of shiny white. Subway tiles are especially popular in the kitchen because they look clean, are easy to clean, and survive against dirt and grease for years.

10. Wallpaper

Wallpaper, as we know it today, was invented in 1675 and it is still going strong. A 350-year history of regular use is a good indication of design longevity. There are, of course, many, many different designs of wallpaper, and not all of them can be considered timeless. But, repeating, traditional patterns are the order of the day here. As well as striped and botanical finishes, the Fleur de Lis is attractive and classic.

Furniture and Accoutrements

11. Open Shelves

Open shelves are convenient because they offer storage, and they are timeless because you can swap and replace the items they hold. If you do fancy a bit of a change but don’t want to have to completely redecorate, you can simply swap the ornaments for something else. Open shelves aren’t convenient for hiding mess and everyday items, though.

12. Wood

You don’t have to have the benefit of exposed beams and other wooden architectural features to be able to benefit from this style, although it certainly helps. Because wood is a natural material, it doesn’t go out of fashion. Avoid doing anything too drastic to the wood if you are looking for a classic look and opt for natural stains. However, you can use wood for your furniture or even wall paneling.

13. Plants

Plants are great for emotional and mental well-being and because they can purify the air we breathe, so having them in our homes even offers physical benefits. What’s more, with all the neutral colors and whites used in timeless design, they can bring life to a room without having to use bold and potentially trendy colors. You don’t have to fill every space with plants, and even one or two well-placed houseplants can have the desired effect.

14. Vintage Furniture

From armoires to chaises lounges to chairs, vintage furniture is packed with character, and you can pick a time period that especially appeals to you, whether that’s Elizabethan or Victorian. You can use your vintage furniture as a focal point, if it is enough of a statement, or as a stand for your houseplants, too.

15. Natural Materials

If you use too many earthenware pots, wooden tables, and stone floors, you do run the risk of ending up with a medieval-looking room. While that might be old, it isn’t necessarily timeless. But, natural materials remain popular because they are, for the most part, readily available, and they go really well with neutral colors in your room.

16. Bold Ornaments

Timeless doesn’t have to mean boring and plain—nor does it have to mean white. You can add elements of color that are in sync with the whole ethos of timeless design. Or use bright and colorful ornaments that can be easily and cheaply replaced in a few years’ time while still leaving the main features of the room, such as the flooring and the ceiling, the same.

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Timeless design ignores modern trends and offers you an interior that will still look good in 10 years or more. It means that you won’t have to change your entire room when trends change but still have a great-looking room. Neutral colors, or a black and white palette, tends to be a good choice, but using the 16 ideas above, you should be able to get inspiration for your own interior design.

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Featured Image Credit: Photographee eu, Shutterstock


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