The other night, while enjoying an episode of a renovation show on HGTV, the designer was going over his plans for the featured couple’s new kitchen, and my fiancé (who has recently taken a real shine to HGTV) hit pause and turned to me. “Let’s guess,” he said. “I bet they will take down that wall and make it an open space, install a white subway tile backsplash, and put in an oversize reclaimed-wood island and industrial lights.” When he pressed play and the episode rolled on, lo and behold, that’s exactly what happened.
My fiancé was proud of himself, but I was concerned. I’m still into subway tile; it’s classic, right? Same with reclaimed wood—the ultimate sustainable material. And industrial fixtures are great for adding patina and interest to a more refined space. Yet have we come to a place where these seemingly timeless design choices now feel so expected that they’ve lost their appeal?
It’s hard to flip through a shelter magazine or scroll through Pinterest without seeing many similar looks in countless rooms and homes. With our increasingly connected society, ideas and inspiration are shared so freely that many find themselves being drawn to the same sorts of spaces. Therefore, we’re exposed to these timeless looks again and again, which begs the question: Will we soon be burned out? Don’t get me wrong—I love all of the below looks (I have the majority in my own home—nine out of 11, in fact), but are they on the verge of extinction from overexposure?
These simple tiles take their name from the underground metro stations where they originated over 100 years ago. Popular in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry spaces, these tiles are commonly installed in a staggered pattern but can be placed in a grid or herringbone design for a different look.
A twist on a straight stripe, these offset designs add a layer of interest to an otherwise expected arrangement. We love it in this home by the inimitable Amber Interiors as featured on MyDomaine.
Metalworker Xavier Pauchard is credited for having designed the Marais A Chair for Tolix out of galvanized steel in 1934. The popular style is now available in a variety of colors, from pink to green to copper.
Decidedly Scandinavian in origin, these fluffy textiles are being draped on contemporary seating for a textural contrast or layered over natural rugs to add a soft touch underfoot.
We credit artist Franz Kline for igniting a deep love of this high-contrast abstract style within us. We love the unexpected look that these somewhat harsh pieces bring to softer spaces.
Brass accents help to soften the high-contrast look of black-and-white spaces. Bathrooms in this scheme have become especially popular when executed with a vintage vibe. The Ludlow knows how to make black, white, and brass look classic and chic.
Not just for floors, this material is being used on furniture and walls to bring in a seasoned, rustic look to even the most contemporary of spaces.
With a variety of designs that look like they could have come straight from a schoolhouse, a factory, or a train station, these vintage or vintage-looking fixtures are particularly popular in kitchens and dining areas.
This geometric pattern seems to be everywhere lately, from cement tiles to pillows to artwork. Depending on the colors used, it can appear high-contrast and modern or classic and refined. This stunning example proves geometric tiling can be timeless and forever.
We love a good vintage kilim or bright contemporary version. They look great in bathrooms, in kitchens, as pillows—the list goes on. Typically woven in Middle Eastern countries, the rug carries various motifs that can signify its area of origin.
Also known as Handiras, Moroccan wedding blankets feature intricate rows of sequins and are woven from a combination of wool, cotton, and/or linen. Though they were originally created by the family of a bride-to-be, Western design enthusiasts have used these blankets as rugs, pillow covers, and more.