DESIGN trends are as fickle as fashion, so if you have everything that’s currently in-vogue and looking absolutely fabulous, it will date badly like an ’80s outfit.
Enter anti-ageing treatments for the home, the equivalent of creams, lotions and fillers that won’t keep your home fresh and timeless forever, but will hold back some premature wrinkles and flab in your upholstery.
It’s interiors heresy to say this when fashion demands we’re awash with colour and the most vivid at that, but the best anti-ageing treatment for any home is white paint. It’s like the artist’s blank canvas against which you add items reflecting your personality and up-to-the-minute products you can’t resist.
Floors will age your room like nothing else, so our enthusiasm for hardwood is a positive thing as it is quite timeless. But the growing allure of tiles fuelled by Mediterranean holidays is a marked trend.
Of course their cool feel under foot in warm weather is a draw and they’re very easy to clean, but tiles date remarkably quickly as anyone who thought they’d never tire of their brown terracotta squares will attest.
Of course, something only dates when a new product or material is touted, like the current large-gauge, square cream tiles. Admittedly, different floor treatments — carpet, tiles and marble have a place in certain house styles but if you really want timeless, wood’s the way to go.
Light and shade:
Who would have thought with our propensity for grey skies and little sunshine that our upholstery would fade? But just sitting your sofa near a window will, in as little as a year, bleach the colour.
When it comes to washable chair covers, make sure you launder them together so they continue to match. Washing one cushion cover because of a spillage won’t make a difference, but do it multiple times and you’ll end up with different shades.
Anything other than a neutral curtain fabric will also fall foul of exterior light, especially the vertical edge closest to the window.
Sun-resistant fabric helps, rather like Factor 40 for interiors — but it’s not a guaranteed solution. So if you want to prevent the ageing look of uneven colour, stay neutral.
Not so pretty:
Pattern might be so hugely in fashion right now that you think pattern will never date, but it will and is probably the biggest culprit for ageing your surroundings.
There is one exception, however, and that’s the stripe, especially in its classic rendering of black or blue. It’s a standard feature in Scandinavian textiles which probably accounts for its popularity and why it’s always chic.
Rotate your stuff:
The humble cushion may just be your most affordable anti-ageing friend and will have the same impact whether you pay €2 or €200 for this little morsel of fabric and stuffing.
What’s key is to acquire a collection over time and rotate them seasonally to update your look. Even consider not using them at all which will change a room quite dramatically. There are times when less really is more.
We’ve all made the mistake of buying something for our homes that needs to stay in immaculate condition to avoid the ageing process, like that self-indulgent creamy off-white sofa.
Unless you want to cover it in plastic, consider something designed to be a little shabby or contrived distressed chic. A striking and timeless look is to place two bedside tables with carefully chipped paint either side of a bed made with sparkling laundered linens.
Furniture faux pas:
Years ago when video recorders were the must-have piece of technology, furniture companies found something novel to sell — the media cabinet — which ran for several seasons. But the rate at which technology is now changing, these pieces are ageing as rapidly as a sun-soaked complexion.
Remember, furniture is a big investment so if you’re buying it to support your television and associated gadgetry, you’ll be outlaying regularly and may be unable to defray the costs by selling on an obsolete piece. Anyone for a video recorder cabinet?
Next week: We meet new Irish design company Gazel.
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