HGTV Message Boards
What never goes out of style?

This topic can be found at:

Mar 06, 2013, 12:11 PM
What never goes out of style?
I posted this question a couple of years ago and got some great answers, so I hope no one minds if I give it another round.

I'm wondering what items or products in a home(not concepts like "good taste") manage to have a timeless quality that rarely require updating.

I'll start...

Off-white walls
Hardwood floors
Leather chesterfield sofa
Mar 06, 2013, 12:37 PM
Just a few thoughts,

blue and white vases/jars/dishes
white dishware
leather chairs
bamboo pieces/blinds

Mar 06, 2013, 12:37 PM
Chrome fixtures in the kitchen and bath
Oriental rugs
Mar 06, 2013, 01:01 PM
To me? Quality construct, comfort in use and simplicity in design.
And anything that one truly "loves".
Like my DH Wink
Mar 06, 2013, 01:53 PM
Mary Ruth
Great suggestions!

What came to mind right away was 'What I NEED' can never go out of style!

Also a well planned kitchen (good traffic pattern and space to do all your cooking needs).

More than one bathroom in the house/condo, apartment (can be full and then half bath)
Guest room in the house
Storage (adequate) and built-ins to store 'stuff'. So that the house HELPS you to be more clutter free!
Mar 06, 2013, 04:04 PM
Love, Lu
Lots of things don't lose style like quality antiques, a white kitchen, damask and shiny brass. However, they often are not the current trend
Mar 06, 2013, 06:02 PM
Nice. I hope you can transform it to a magnificent piece.

Furniture Toronto
Mar 06, 2013, 08:16 PM
out on a limb
I also was going to say hardwood floors, crisp white curtains...I also like chrome fixtures in the kitchen and bath.

I think things that are simplistic stand the test of time.


Mar 06, 2013, 09:12 PM
I agree, hardwood floors is a great answer!

Mar 06, 2013, 09:47 PM
fluffy white towels, white sheets, ad white trim...
Mar 07, 2013, 10:30 AM
"Stick to the things you really love. An honest room is always up to date."
-- interior designer Billy Baldwin
Mar 07, 2013, 10:40 AM
Would marble kitchen countertops be forever classic? What about butcher block?
Mar 07, 2013, 11:42 AM
Originally posted by Annett:
Would marble kitchen countertops be forever classic? What about butcher block?

Depends. Counter top materials go in and out of vogue periodically. If you like marble and/or butcher block, and what's not to like, then just do it, enjoy and forget about whether or not is in style.

Consider mixing and matching up your countertop materials based on function. For instance, a butcher block inset on a stone countertop near a sink can be useful for prepping food and clean-up. Or, a marble inset on an butcher-block-topped island can be great if you are a baker. Even a stainless steel sink surround can look great and work great on marble countertops.
Mar 07, 2013, 12:01 PM
I agree with the previously posts, have many of them, and am thinking about using bamboo blinds again. Love that look and haven't used them for 30 years so it's time again!

Looking around my house I see some things that IMO will never be out of style (at least for me):

~good architecture (especially proper scale and proportion which much recent architecture often doesn't consider)
~shapes such as urn, ginger jar, or baluster
~traditional candlesticks
~silver holloware in traditional styles
~books to read and as home decor
~art I like
~classic traditional furniture
~Oriental (Asian) style area rugs

Other things that are always in style are:

~ceramic garden stools
~classically framed photos

Originally posted by aychihuahua:
"Stick to the things you really love. An honest room is always up to date."
-- interior designer Billy Baldwin

Gotta love Billy Baldwin's quotes. There are many here: http://www.interiordesignquote...m/billy-baldwin.html and this is another about style -


"I have always had an aversion to the concepts of in style and out of style." ~Rose Tarlow

Inspirational pics:
Mar 07, 2013, 12:17 PM
Charles D
Well safe and boring is always safe. And boring. Adequate storage,plenty of natural light,a good lighting plan, and ergonomicly planned counter and sink heights sound like fairly timeless investments to me.

As far as style is concerned, we live in a market driven economy. If things aren't percieved as "out" then insecure people won't shop for things they don't really need. Didn't we think the lightness and brightness of 1990's "pickled" floors was a timeless idea? Speaking of the 90's, mammoth pine armoires to house our equally mammoth TV's seemed classic as well.And isn't "cerused oak" the new "pickled pine"? Light vs. dark, luxury vs. simplicity,American vs. European, the new, new, the new black, the new traditonal, contemporary Now! We've all seen the shelter magazine headlines. Nothing stays forever, except our need to spend, spend, spend, to keep the economy going.

The English have no problem what so ever in adding the latest fabric to a 30 year old scheme, whether it goes or not. If we were more confident with our own aesthetics, maybe nothing would ever be out. But as long as interior design is marketed as a fashion related industry, there will always be someone telling you that this is "in" and that is "out" no matter how timeless it may seem at the time of purchase.
Mar 07, 2013, 12:41 PM
Originally posted by Charles D:

As far as style is concerned, we live in a market driven economy.

Nothing stays forever, except our need to spend, spend, spend, to keep the economy going.

And aren't those of us in the industry glad about that? Smile

I recently read an article on a real estate blog and the author said that in certain markets they are now having difficulty selling homes with SS appliances. Didn't we have a heated discussion on this very topic? There were many declarations about how classic SS was and that it's here to stay.

Great quote Aych "Stick to the things you really love. An honest room is always up to date."
-- interior designer Billy Baldwin
Mar 07, 2013, 01:18 PM
There were many declarations about how classic SS was and that it's here to stay.

It still is a classic and popular and not going away anytime soon. There are those who will always love stainless and those who hate it.

It's the appliance manufacturers who are ginning up the controversy because they want to push the next trendy finish. The latest? Whirlpool's "White Ice." I thought that was the name of a rap star.

And, now Wolf Appliance is pushing black glass finishes. Gimme a break.

Be wary of the many blogs out there that are touting the next best thing since sliced bread. Many of the blogs are sponsored content from advertisers, not the musings of a real consumer.
Mar 07, 2013, 04:05 PM
I agree with any and all of you who say decorate the way you like, and it will be in style. That being said, here is just one article about how kitchen design affects resale.

The SS controversy will rage on and on for a while. I personally have no ax to grind with those who love it. But when I see TV shows where a prospective buyer turns up their nose at kitchens without granite and SS, I want to tear what's left of my hair out! It will go out of style, that is inevitable. Otherwise, how will appliance makers and kitchen designers justify their jobs? The OP asked what never goes out of style. I maintain SS is not on the list but that's JMO. Smile
Mar 07, 2013, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by Cavin:
That being said, here is just one article about how kitchen design affects resale.

We all know real estate is local, and the realtors in my area would certainly argue with the premise of that article. I provide freelance marketing consultation and copywriting services to a successful agent in my neck of the woods. And, I track her listings and DOM.

Houses here generally sell much faster with SS appliances and granite countertops. They are considered important upgrades, and there is great demand for them. A home without stainless steel or granite will sell, of course, but in a highly competitive market as we are experiencing lately, these upgrades often seal the deal quicker than a home without them.

This may not be the case in every market.
Mar 08, 2013, 05:13 AM
out on a limb
I was listening to my favorite home improvement radio show last weekend. The host said "everything eventually gets ugly at some point"

And I had to laugh - because I'm getting ready to pull up my black and white tile floors (Peel-n-stick) because I'm tired of them.

Aychihuahua - totally agree - knowing your real estate market is so important. My pocketbook is appreciating the fact that I don't have to have granite and SS to have an updated kitchen look in my neighborhood! LOL!!


Mar 08, 2013, 09:46 AM
Mary Ruth
OUT of Style...

Any materials that do not wear well get old fast... and NOT in ways we like (showing substrate materials or asbestos, or lead paint.

PATINA is not beautiful on all materials... anything old (antique) made well with what was beautiful and expensive to produce due to craftsmanship and material patinas well... just look at the Greige trend going on these days, that old weathered wood that is a piece of broken fence on the ground in someone's yard (let's say a junk yard) DOES NOT have the same patina beauty as an old piece of hardwood that was carved a 100 yrs ago and is cleaned up to be in someone's home. Driftwood is pretty, but only after the ocean and sun have had its time with it for even wear.

Patina never gets out of style with me anyway...
an old marble black and white floor in a Conservatory takes my breath away even IF it is cracked, worn and soiled.... the beauty shines through of what was and what it still is... beautiful and NEVER out of style!
Mar 14, 2013, 04:21 PM
I read your question about a week ago, Annett, and have been thinking about it ever since. (Great question)

I have two thoughts.

First I think that the older something is, the less chance it has of going out of style. By old I am talking one or two hundred years or more. Maybe that is because time has a way of sorting out the best from the rest, and an objects beauty can be seen apart from the hype and vogue of it's day.

Then my other thought has centered on the idea that "timeless" might work well on the pocketbook, but is that really how we want our homes to be? Still, stagnant, and unchanging? If our homes are a reflection of who we are, and we, as people, by nature, change and grow and develop throughout our whole lives, then shouldn't our homes reflect that? I think I would feel sad and stifled if I couldn't make changes and updates to my home, as my feelings, and vision, and opinions change.
Mar 14, 2013, 04:29 PM
Things you love (Granny's Fostoria stemware, Mother's gold-rimmed china, antiques, old hardback books, ...)
Mar 14, 2013, 05:46 PM
It's already been said, but good manners never go out of style. Smile
Mar 17, 2013, 10:26 AM
I'm so glad I asked the question ---your replies are so insightful and thought-provoking. Thank you!

I originally asked the question because my daughter asked me for advice on how to budget for decorating. My reply was that she should use the same advice I gave her for buying clothes: Spend your money on well-made classics, but look for low-cost deals when it comes to fads. The problem is that she's still learning the difference between classic and fads in decor (..."but barnwood is OLD, right?"). So now that you've helped narrow it down for her, I'll print out this thread and pass it along.
Thanks everyone!
Mar 20, 2013, 10:45 PM
Love, Lu
I was just reading another thread when something occurred to me to interject here.

Persian rugs never go out of style. And I sure wish the reds, dark blues of these oriental rugs appealed to me enough to live with them. Decorating with them is so much easier than the path I have been forced to take with with aubusson design rugs and a green and muted color palette.

The women at the fabric store told me last week that pastels are coming back next year.
Mar 21, 2013, 07:55 AM
Mary Ruth
Yes, pastels, BUT with the goal to match the 'chalky' colors of chalk paint and greige furnishings. More on the French palette.

I also think that with the United States, and really most European countries and the internet... we find that people are MOBILE in our modern cultures. They move around for education, experiences, jobs, families... etc. So, the expense of moving items that they HAVE to have... can become an unforeseen added expense to the items. Paying once for a great rug can be justified, but moving it 10 times adds to the cost... and storage costs also (as we had to do twice to move to Florida).

I think that changes the dynamics of building on the future layers of furnishings has changed for the Younger generations. Ikea, Pottery Barn and West Elm would not be so popular if the changes in the way we live were not so mobile. A lot of the utilitarian pieces have wheels or are interchangeable and or can have pieces added to it to make more storage space.

I like the changes in versatile pieces, and NOW that I am in a house I will not move from, I can finally choose what fits my lifestyle and the house for keeps. I know we will most likely sell the house with furnishings or have an Estate sale IF we need to downsize for health reasons (go to different type of aging situation).

I guess I am still remarking on what is NEEDED as still my main reply... about 'What never goes out of style'. And filling a NEED is the basis for good Design. Making pretty is done after needs are met. And quality construction assures the longevity of any piece!
Mar 21, 2013, 10:12 AM

I know it's subjective but, sometimes it's pretty clear when something is done badly simply because of lack of knowledge or inspiration or just plain bad taste.

**Life isn't about waiting for the storm to's about learning to dance in the rain**
Mar 21, 2013, 12:52 PM
Originally posted by Charles D:
......As far as style is concerned, we live in a market driven economy. If things aren't percieved as "out" then insecure people won't shop for things they don't really need.......

I think that pretty much sums it up. Wink

Whether You Think You Can Or You Think You Can't..... You're Right - Henry Ford
Mar 25, 2013, 01:59 PM
lol..clutter! remember several years back and those bathrooms with barely a sink, toilet, and tub? the minimalist look used to drive me crazy!
May 29, 2013, 04:32 PM
for your kitchen sink,use granite countertops.