From white linens to attractively exotic terrazzo tiles and sleek marble countertops. These design trends have been maintained over time and continue to be protagonists.
Seasons change, tastes evolve, but certain trends in design seem to return again and again, or never disappear from our Interior-ism. We scoured the archives and looked for current designers to create this totally timeless list of interior design and decor items.
This classic combination dates back to 14th century China, which is where blue and white porcelain was first developed, but became popular in 17th century Netherlands, which exported enameled glass ware Delft across Europe. Since then, it has been used everywhere, from tableware to tile work and in Babe Paley and Tory Burch houses. “As Oscar Wilde put it,” says designer Elizabeth Pyne Singer of New York firm McMillen, “I find it increasingly difficult to live up to my blue porcelain.”
“Smooth, uncomplicated white helps keep visual stimulation to a minimum,” says designer Elizabeth Muraro Hague. “I always choose simple white sheets for my clients.” Ariel Kaye, founder of lifestyle brand Parachute, suggests that while white bedding has always been popular, consumer acceptance of minimalism has made it even more so. “A minimalist design is about calm and focus,” he says. “In today’s busy world it is nice to relax in a room that feels cool and serene.”
countertops Marble countertops are as practical as they are luxurious in the bathroom or kitchen: they can take all kinds of abuse and still remain perfect. “Marble to me is the best material for kitchen and bathroom countertops,” says designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard. “I love the natural beauty of the stone. No two pieces are the same, and therefore no two houses are the same. ”
Traditionally found on ancient floors and in palatial houses with columns in Venice, and later as an Art Deco staple, terrazzo has recently been reinvented in a kaleidoscope of shapes and colors, appearing on tabletops, doorways and in other more surprising places. Made by mixing stone or glass shavings in concrete, which is then polished to a smooth surface, “the end results are always slightly out of control,” says Italian designer Alberto Bellamoli, who produces many of his pieces in Verona. “That is what makes it special.”
From the wicker headboard in the children’s bedroom to the hanging lamps, natural woven straw, dating back to 8,000 BC in Egypt, has many creative applications. “It is more than a trend,” says designer Nina Freudenberger. “It is a material that has been used and tested over time to add warmth, interest and a sense of craftsmanship to a room.”
This enameled Calic, a type of Indian cotton adorned with large floral and botanical motifs, dates back to the early 17th century. It became ubiquitous in American design in the 1980s, and is back in various forms, from wallpaper to porcelain, fabrics, and floor coverings. Designer Patrick McGrath loves applying it to upholstered sofas or chairs. “The Chintz looks great if you’re looking for that kind of home that looks like a country house or pre-war apartment,” he says.
To create a cozy atmosphere, the toile is a classic of European decoration. Made of linen and embellished with a pastoral or scenic print, it works well both in small shapes (like an upholstered chair) and on walls. “The Toile always carries with it romance and a taste of old school charm,” says designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard. “And it is one of the few fabrics you can absolutely commit to; it will always look perfect. “Designer Josh Greene adds:” It brings a sense of history and classicism to any space. ”
Whether you’re curled up in front of the TV or at a casual cocktail party with friends, upholstered seats have never gone out of style, and for good reason. “The notion of truly functional furniture is something that has lingered in interiors for decades,” says Will Cooper, a partner at New York design and development firm ASH NYC. “There is something classic about a living room that really works, full of comfortable, upholstered pieces.”
The wide variety of styles of wall sconce lamps makes them ideal for use anywhere, especially since the arrival of LED bulbs.
Whether whitewashed or polished and clean, Exposed Brick adds historical and industrial quality to an interior or exterior. “The beauty of exposed brick is that it is an architectural building material, so its purpose is essential to the space,” says Candace Campos, director of design for Soho House in the United States, who used the material at the new outpost. from Soho Warehouse in downtown Los Angeles “In itself gives it integrity. Brick always carries a part of its history and history will never go out of style.”
Created as a home design element by designers George C. Heins and Christopher Grant La Farge, ceramic subway tile has traveled the kitchens and bathrooms around the world many times. A classic and affordable splash and wall material, Metro tiles originally came in a 3-by-6-inch rectangle, but are now offered in a variety of materials and sizes. “They always look classic and go with literally everything,” says designer Liz Caan.
Few materials are as widely used and have been around as long as oak flooring. Oak planks are durable and offer a classic look that easily integrates with many designer aesthetics. “Wide plank oak flooring was used in the first houses out of necessity, but is now used in kitchens and family rooms to create a feeling of warmth and tranquility,” says designer Steven Gambrel.
Floors lined with sisal and other rigid natural fibers can show off “in both a contemporary and traditional home,” says designer Georgia Tapert. “When it was first introduced to the market, there were some standard fabrics, but now they come in all patterns, colors, designs, and material blends.”
Canopy dates back to when the medieval European nobility traveled between their castles or stately homes and needed beds that could be transported but still offered privacy (thanks to curtains) and concealed from their staff (who often slept in the same room, for convenience and security). They have really come a long way since then. “Canopy beds make a room a dream,” says designer Leta Austin Foster. “I don’t think I’ve designed a house in years that didn’t have a four-poster bed somewhere!”
These centuries-old woven textiles in Southeast Asia and South America can be exotic and traditional, vibrant and timeless. For that reason, “they have been around for thousands of years,” says designer Jan Showers. “I used them in the 1980s when they were made in cakes. I still use them today. “Designer Ken Fulk often uses Ikat to add character to a space.” It makes a big impact in a room and adds an exotic touch, “he says.
A wall is an opportunity for someone to make a very personal statement about who they are and what they like. “The walls that become small galleries are very attractive and create an immediate feeling of warmth,” says designer Elizabeth Muraro Hague. “I like it when someone collects pieces from their trips or from special moments in their life. A perfect gallery can be a mix of painting, illustrations, textiles and photography. ”
A kitchen with white walls, white countertops, and white woodwork works in both contemporary and traditional designs. “White is always elegant and current,” says designer Elizabeth Muraro Hague. “It is the finishing touches that give personality, be it a touch of color or a finish.” White kitchens allow other items to shine. “Countertops and taps do the heavy lifting, cabinets roll back, and dishes and food become the star of the show,” says architect Elizabeth Roberts.
Scenic wallpaper emerged in the late 1970s and represented “beautiful panoramic scenes of exotic locations,” says designer Nina Freudenberger. “It’s a good starting point for any conversation around dinner.” Shanan Campanaro Foster, founder of textile design studio Eskayel, says that possible variations and styles of scenic wallpaper, from the very realistic to the more abstract, have helped it endure.
The classic and super practical built-in structures were designed as a place to mix and serve drinks. “If I’m designing a space for an entertaining customer, a wet bar is a crucial piece,” says Will Cooper, a partner at ASH NYC. “It’s something that has existed in history as a place of entertainment, and when it’s hidden in a closet or bookshelf, it’s a little gem hidden behind the door.”
The fabric floor, wall and ceiling coverings make a room instantly cozy and luxurious. “This will always achieve something inherently comfortable,” says Will Cooper, a partner at ASH NYC.
bookshelves A classic wall mounted library has an old charm. “Built-in bookshelves are timeless and always elevate the sophistication of a room if they are made with well-chosen materials and finishes,” says designer Elizabeth Muraro Hague, who likes both lacquered finish and painting them to match the walls. They can also help define a space. “Books stand back on the wall and add possibilities to the space,” he adds.
Whether lacquered, carved and colored or in a more delicate textile, the oriental screens add contrast and class to a traditional-style space, tending to work best in rooms with more classic design. “They add seriousness,” says designer Leta Austin Foster, “and a great splash of color.” They are also quite useful for dividing a room. “I think they will look even more as people move into homes with fewer rooms and bigger open spaces,” says Austin Foster.
Designers have learned that hanging pots and pans on a kitchen island is an elegant and easy way to save cabinet space, keep everyday items close at hand, and give a kitchen a multi-dimensional feel. One caveat, designer Leta Austin Foster says: “Hanging pots and pans should be nickel or pewter,” she says, “so they don’t have to be polished all the time.”