Cookies Policy

By using the BRIDGE FOR DESIGN website you agree to our use of cookies as described in our cookie policy. Click here to view cookie policy

Date published: April 04 2017

Click here to visit John McClain Website >>

I say true quality design is timeless and classic and essentially un-trendy

It might seem difficult to stay on top of all the trends in the design industry. Every day, it seems, a paint company, fashion designer, or interior designer sends out a ‘must have’ for the next season and we all jump online to find out how we can get the greatest version of this amazing revelation.

Well, brace yourself: I’m here to ease your mind and to say stop beating yourself up while trying to keep up with all of the design trends in the world; and that true quality design is, in effect, timeless and classic and essentially un-trendy.

I have designed countless pieces of furniture from sofas to lighting to accessories and my goal is never to incorporate the hot new colour, but actually to hearken back to the timeless feeling of interior design that looks just as amazing today as it might have 50 years ago.

Don’t believe me? Pick up a shelter magazine from a few decades ago or do an internet search for interior design of a certain year and look at the rooms that appeal to you. I assure
you there will be repetitive furniture pieces, colours, or even fabrics that could find their way into your living room today.

Now, I do know that there are technological innovations occurring all the time that might change the way we live for the better, and even some decorative elements that might become permanently part of the list of the timeless categories within the design industry, but overall, I suggest to stick with the tried and true finishes, colours, and materials in the largest part of your designs.

Sprinkle the trends into your rooms with pillows, drapery, and accessories if you must pull in the ‘latest and greatest.’ These are easily replaced next year when the new list is released.

Admittedly, timeless design tends to ebb and flow in and out of popularity just like fashion, however, here are a few components of interior design that I feel stand the test of time.

Metallic finishes have undergone many variations from shiny/polished to an antique finish; however, brass, gold, silver, and mirrored finishes are a constant in the design of a space. I particularly enjoy mixing metals in a finished room.

Furniture, walls, accessories, etc. will always be available in white or black. These are the colours that everyone can envision in their home. Furthermore, white combined with black is as current in your home now as it was when Dorothy Draper used it in the 1930s.

Marble, travertine and limestone, oh my! Natural stone is used on everything from table tops to flooring and you can bank on countless variations in natural stone to always be popular; especially marble.

From its first introduction to the market, a stainless steel finish on appliances (and subsequently on lighting, furniture and accessories) has changed the way consumers perceive quality kitchen appliances. Just watch any episode of House Hunters and you’ll hear the gasp of happy home shoppers when they find out a kitchen has stainless steel appliances. It’s a nice, neutral finish that works well in any environment without fighting with other finishes in the room.

So there you have it. I hope I haven’t burst too many bubbles and ruined too many shopping experiences, but I do trust you will proceed with caution a little more before incorporating the ‘fabulous new colour of the year!’ Again, this is not to say that a trend could find its path into the land of timelessness, but I for one, am always a bit leery.

My advice? Start your room with the colours, materials, and finishes that are as classically oriented as you can find; from there, layer on the trendiest most amazing patterns and colours that you can google search, and then? Add them to your list of donations for the following tax season. 

Designer: John McClain

Author: John McClain

Company: John McClain Design

and get ten issues for the price of eight