Design gurus talk about how to create homes with classic style.
We ask the experts for their tips on enduring style – and their own favourite forever pieces
‘My least-favourite word is ‘trendy’,” says Wellington interior designer Bridget Foley. “Create your own look rather than being too influenced by other people.”
And that’s the problem with “trendy”. It’s very of-the-moment, filling stores and homes until next year’s trend comes along and renders them immediately out of date.
“Style will always outlive fashion,” says Christchurch interior designer Ingrid Geldof. “Choose furniture and joinery that you love and that enhances the style of the home – not necessarily based on trends or fashion. Be aware of fashion versus style.”
Quality basics are crucial. Napier interior designers Vic Bibby and Dael Brady suggest you start with a classic foundation. “Get your flooring, window treatments and sofa right, and you can layer current pieces on top that are easily swapped out,” says Vic.
“We always recommend purchasing the best quality you can afford for these key pieces. High-quality furniture and fabrics will last for years and give your home a strong sense of character, as opposed to the tired look you’ll get quite quickly with cheaper furnishings.”
Christchurch interior designer Angelique Armstrong says: “In a home that has classic style, it’s a good idea to bring out its features and highlight these areas. Play to the room’s strengths, architecture and the year the home was built.”
Bridget Foley agrees: “When doing my own renovation, I invested a lot in the joinery – I had the original villa windows copied to the last detail and they look as if they have always been there. It makes me happy looking at them every day, especially now that the pain of paying for it has subsided. Always spend time and money getting the bones right – no amount of furniture, art or soft furnishings can hide a shell that isn’t right, or corners that have been cut.”
That’s when you can add personality. “To me, what makes a home is unique, individual pieces that you absolutely love,” says blogger Amy Tennent of Mitzy & Milo.
Auckland architect Guy Tarrant says his favourite possessions all have personal meaning. “I think the most interesting interiors are furnished with an eclectic mix of objects that have a story to tell.”
Basics covered, we asked designers, architects, artists and all-round stylish people for tips on creating enduring style.