Timeless Design and How to Avoid Being Lured by Trends [sponsored]

Photo by Doma Architects

Example of a traditional kitchen by DomA Architects.

A short while ago I was visiting family in the D.C. area and for fun we decided to pay a visit to The Smithsonian National Museum of American History. I was pleasantly surprised to find an exhibit that featured Julia Child’s actual kitchen from her Massachusetts home dating back to the 1960’s. I was left with a strong impression that any one of our current clients would be more than pleased to have that exact kitchen in their new or newly remodeled home. I suspect the same will be able to be said in another 50 years.  

Design trends are as much a part of architecture as they can be for fashion, furniture, hair styles, etc. The difference with architectural trends is that they tend to be a little more permanent and costly to update. To us, timeless design translates into lasting design that can weather the effects of passing eras. There is a difference between architectural trends and architectural styles; architectural styles stand the test of time and become a staple for reference in the annals of architectural history. According to A Field Guide to American Houses, the majority of American houses are modeled on one of four principal architectural traditions: Ancient Classical, Renaissance Classical, Medieval or Modern. 

Photo by Matthew Millman

Example of a modern kitchen by DomA Architects.

From these four core styles there have been countless interpretations, amalgamations and accidental wanderings into quirky fads. Timeless design is a derivative of well detailed and constructed houses, trim, cabinetry and more from excellence born out of these four core styles. Timeless design does not mean "old design,” rather design that draws form a rich vocabulary of excellent examples from the past with room for respectful interpretation. An example of this is that lately we have had an increasing number of clients wanting a modern feel to their new home. We are excited about the possibilities of introducing them to the timeless modern design examples from the French Moderne Movement and the brilliance of Le Corbusier and the Bauhaus Movement and we discuss how we might pay tribute to these timeless modern style with their new home.

If you are interested in building a new house, or remodeling an existing house, or if you are considering a revamp of your dated kitchen, try to envision that project 20 years from now. Think about the 1980’s kitchen we have all seen with orange and black speckled granite countertops with the bull-nose edge and the white laminate cabinets with the horizontal oak accent strip. Then think about Julia Child's timeless kitchen in the Smithsonian and ask yourself which one you'd prefer.