We all have our own idea of a timeless interior. When discussing timeless interior design, I often talk about a home for life, which is what I’d like to focus on in this post.
Home decor is mostly about what each of us values in their daily life. It all starts with the person living in the home.
Ask yourself the following questions when you aim for timeless decor
When designing a home for ourselves, we all should ask these questions early on:
- How do we feel about cleanliness, patina, wear and tear or dents?
- Do we constantly crave change or get bored quickly?
- Is decision-making difficult for us, how do we feel about change and do we tolerate risks?
- Do we value everyday aesthetics over ease of home care?
- What do we value the most in a home and what kind of an everyday life we wish to lead?
These questions do, in fact, have an impact on everything from the home model to the choice of materials, fixtures, furniture, textiles and lighting. These are the questions I try to ask my customers first, as these matters have the greatest impact on how the home should be designed.
Individual differences between persons are significant; what someone finds difficult to maintain, someone else can maintain without much effort. Instead of pitting aesthetics against practicality, I want to find solutions and perspectives. Even though aesthetics does not exclude practicality, it is worth considering which takes priority in everyday life. Neither of them is a wrong preference, and there is no point in black-and-white thinking, since current materials are so developed that you can choose a material that is both visually pleasing and timelessly ecological without having to compromise on quality. Materials are key.
Wood is an unparalleled building material; it is easy to process, relatively easy to maintain and possible to repair. With various treatments, wood can be used as a building material for almost anything from the exterior to the interior. Wood is a unique and valuable material for all interior and exterior surfaces. Wooden furniture has many lives, as it almost becomes as good as new when processed professionally. In addition to all of the above, wood is one of the most ecological materials in the world, and Finnish wood is, of course, also an ethical choice.
Wood is one of the most ecological materials in the world, and Finnish wood is, of course, also an ethical choice.
An example of timeless building and interior design – Honka Halla
The holiday house Honka Halla combines the best aspects of clean-lined architecture and an ecological log home. The architecturally impressive Halla is distinguished by its nest-like presence; its single-level, low-built ‘shell’ structure provides an exceptionally handsome setting for interior design.
Timelessness is created by the whole, with the building, its surroundings and all rooms ‘interacting’ in terms of their look. It’s about balance between the past and future, understanding both. With the main role being played by the landscape and surrounding nature seen through large windows, the interior can be all about minimalism. I would pair wooden surfaces with natural stone and warm earth tones. The range of materials has the right amount of edge and details. A soothing colour scheme and modern furniture solutions create a balance, leaving room for new dreams.
Chair: Gubi Pacha Lounge Chair, Table: Gubi Epic Coffee Table, Sink: Il Granito Rocco, Parquet: Timberwise Oak Snöhetta Chevron, Tile: Florim Rex Ètoile Symphonie, Lamp: Astep Design Model 2065, Colours: Tikkurila Color Now 2021 Tamarix K480 and Mirage G481.
It is important to understand that some of the choices made for the home can be more easily modified in the future than others.
Painted walls are among the home surfaces that are the easiest to modify and changing wall colour does not require a big budget, especially if you have the skills to paint the walls yourself.
Replacing the flooring, on the other hand, takes significantly more time and money and often requires hiring a professional. Genuine wood flooring and most parquets allow sanding, and the tone of the floor can be altered with various products without having to replace the whole flooring.
Price often influences the desire for change; the more expensive the investment, the higher the mental threshold to opt for a new one. The most expensive investments in a home are wet rooms and the kitchen. The design of these facilities is often where the customer seeks the help of a professional. When it comes to timelessness and environmental friendliness, the factor that influences the choices the most is, in my opinion, the size of the budget.
What I’d like to say about colours is the fact that there is no single colour that has more character or is more timeless than some other. A completely white home does not indicate a lack of personality, and a colourful interior is not, on the other hand, a sign of the resident being bold or original.
Instead of wondering what colour is currently trendy, I would rather think about whether I like to play it safe or take risks.
There is nothing wrong with making sure decoration choices, and there is nothing wrong with strictly following interior design trends, either.
Timelessness is often speculated and defined through trends, which is then reflected in their juxtaposition. These two are not, however, automatically opposites. What is trendy now is not necessarily a thing of the past in ten years. Interior design includes numerous elements that are both trendy and timeless classics at the same time.
In a world full of trends, it is much harder to achieve the status of a classic. Design history and different eras provide information on what elements have become classics. It is, on the other hand, much more difficult to deduce which of the new materials or more recent design or products will become timeless classics. The whole industry is evolving and with it the selection is growing at a rapid pace. Who can assess whether matte black faucets will be popular 20 years from now? That is difficult to figure, as such products have not existed for very long.
Timelessness or elegance cannot be tied to any particular colour scheme, style, or price range. There is no simple truth to this. Timelessness has to do with durability, sustainability, environmental friendliness and aesthetics.
Timelessness has to do with durability, sustainability, environmental friendliness and aesthetics.
The emphasis is on the ways of making a home feel comfortable for as long as possible. It is necessary to illustrate which elements affect the durability and environmental friendliness of materials and products and think whether we can make certain choices to make the home as aesthetically and technologically timeless as possible for the next buyer.
Do we select some other material instead of parquet because it is easily scratched, or do we accept that feature? Is it more important that the flooring is made of natural material that provides warmth, or do we choose vinyl because it is moisture resistant and not easily scratched?
I would like to challenge the view that the home should be flawless. No material, neither natural material nor vinyl, is meant to last its life cycle without any dents or scratches. Nothing in life is permanent, and the pursuit of flawlessness is not sustainable.
Our home shows the signs of life lived, just as we humans. Whether we want it or not.
Interior designer Laura Seppänen has provided the Honka Halla villa model with a moodboard that gives ideas for timeless interior design. Laura Seppänen is also known for her recent initiative to develop transparency and cooperation between construction industry players, which has become a social media phenomenon.
Download our latest catalogue
Enjoy the peace of nature in a Honka holiday home
The path to tranquillity is via nature. Our new holiday-home designs bring surrounding scenery indoors. Explore our collection: Honka Lux, Halla, and redesigned cabin favourites: Saimi, Aarni, Naava and villa-sized Lintukoto.