A timeless look is achieved by using top-quality, natural products. Fashion is great for small accessories, fabrics and paint which can be changed relatively easily, but classic, well-made, beautifully proportioned pieces of furniture will stand the test of time. A Georgian chest of drawers, for instance, looks as fresh today as when it was made, because the Georgians had a fantastic sense of proportion.
We would advise, if possible, to commission bespoke pieces of furniture which will ensure the pieces fit the space for which they are intended perfectly. This automatically makes the furniture timeless and makes it look like it has always belonged in the space. The other advantage is that it’s easy to select a colour which is going to complement floors and window frames and any material on the wall.
As with everything, furniture can age and the more fashionable it is when you buy it, the more likely it is to date. The fashion for uber-glossy pieces a couple of years ago seems to have been replaced by far more muted, weathered pieces. A good solid wooden piece in a classic design will date much more slowly.
In the world of fashion think of the trenchcoat, which gets brought out year after year, by everyone from top designers to the high street. The refectory table is the furniture equivalent, it just doesn’t date, it will last a lifetime as it’s solidly built and it improves with age over the years. The same is true of the Windsor chair which has been produced for centuries and is still produced because of its timeless style and its level of comfort.
There’s also something very visually appealing about the mix of the traditional and the brand new. For instance, put a heavily carved traditional bed in rich honey-coloured tones in a cool, pristine white bedroom with big steel picture windows and it really pops and gives the room a warmth and integrity. The contrast makes the space seem timeless.