What Makes a Piece of Furniture Timeless?

November 08, 2019

Drop by our Jacksonville furniture store at any time during the day, and you’ll likely see a handful of individuals all looking for different ways to express their own unique sense of interior design. The way we decorate and design our homes and other spaces is a reflection of ourselves, and our customers want pieces that enhance that sense of self.

But unlike fashion that comes and goes, it’s much harder to swap out furniture every season. As such, our customers are looking for pieces with enduring appeal and style. The quest for timeless home furnishings can be challenging, especially if you have a sense of what it should be and not necessarily what it actually is. Fortunately, timeless designs do have some notable elements that you can find in a number of products. Let’s take a look at the things that make a piece of furniture timeless.

The Piece is Remarkable for How Understated it Is

When you walk through a home that’s been recently staged with the latest trends in furniture, you might be struck by the bold patterns, the avant-garde design elements, and how it commands space in a room. While these pieces can be visually appealing, exciting even, this is probably because it is capitalizing on current trends. The harsh reality is that furniture like this just doesn’t hold its appeal for very long. Bold colors, prints, and styles only make sense in spaces that are also embracing those design elements.

Instead, for truly timeless home furnishings, look for pieces that are simple. A piece that’s not too showy can find its way into nearly any room in your home and can effortlessly match with the other decor in a space. Timeless furniture, however, embraces an almost minimalist approach. These pieces make use of simple or proven lines and forms, neutral or natural colors, and classic, useful shapes. Pieces like these add to the appearance of a room without standing out from it. Some might call timeless pieces “boring,” but we think deliberate is a more apt way to describe it.

Neutral Colors Can Create a Statement

One of the reasons that you don’t see common pieces of furniture like couches and tables in uncommon colors like bright pink or a vibrant orange is that they struggle to blend in with the aesthetics of the space around them. Timeless furnishings make use of beloved, and more importantly, versatile neutral color palettes. The fact is, you’ll be able to place a cream or light gray colored couch in nearly any room in your home without it interrupting any of the other design choices you’ve made there.

Of course, if you’re not a fan of a whiter shade of pale, you can also turn to other neutral tones that are still pleasing to the eye. We think that classic colors like black, dark green, and navy are the perfect fit if you’re looking for darker furniture.

Let Accessories be Your Statement Pieces

That said, if you want your neutral-colored furniture to stand out, you can do that with strategically placed accessories. Pillows, blankets, and throw rugs all enhance the visual appeal of furniture in a notable way that doesn’t overwhelm the look of the furniture.

Through accessories, you can tie together other visual elements of the room, like wall color, the choice of rug, or even individual designs that are echoed throughout the room. As an added benefit, accessories can be replaced much more affordably than the actual piece of furniture can be. That means you can have seasonal changes in accessories should you so wish.

Practice Precise Proportions

After a long day, there are few things more luxurious than melting into an overstuffed and plush couch. While it may be comfortable, it doesn’t always look great. When you’re looking for timeless home furnishings, the key is to find pieces that maintain proper proportions. 

So what makes for proper proportion? You can use the Golden ratio to guide your search. This is commonly found in nature in things like conch shells. We’ve already mentioned that pieces with understated designs look better longer, and much of that has to do with the balanced and simplified designs that you can find in the Golden ratio. A piece with nice proportions is balanced and carefully balances form and function.

Examples of Timeless Furnishings

Fortunately, even the most cutting edge of furniture manufacturers are creating pieces that fit the definition of “timeless.” Examples are plentiful and can be added to nearly any home. Here are some of our favorite designs.

Bentwood Chairs

Made from bent wooden pieces, these chairs were first designed in the 1850s. But these chairs still maintain a modern appearance more than 150 years later. This piece perfectly balances many of the features we outlined above. It’s made from simplified wood elements, and these chairs are often stained and finished in a pleasing way that highlights the natural colors of the wood. The gentle bends and curves of the wood are easy on the eyes and easy to accessorize. A bentwood chair looks great in nearly every room of your home.

The Tulip Table

You’ll find these in trendy restaurants and high-end technology stores, but they’ll look great in your home too. The tulip table was first designed in the 1950s by Eero Saarinen. Rather than rely on tables with clunky legs, this table makes use of a single stem that opens up to a circular base. Sturdy, practical, and elegant, a tulip table can be used in rooms that have an ever-changing theme or appearance.

Plain Front Dresser

A dresser is a piece of furniture that we use every day, so you’d be surprised at how quickly you’ll tire looking at one that is ornately decorated. Instead, look for a plain front dresser that embraces mid-century modern styles and designs. These dressers are simple, stylish, and utilitarian, making for a piece that you’ll be able to use with pride for years to come.

Chesterfield Sofas

Perhaps the most obvious example of a timeless piece of furniture is the Chesterfield sofa. This design has been a mainstay in homes across the world since the design was first unveiled in the 18th century. 

Despite being nearly 300 years old, the design is practical and stylish. With its buttoned tufts, curbed arms, and spacious cushions, this is a popular choice for many interior decorators. This piece can be had in numerous coverings, from fabric to leather and more. 


For Timeless Home Furnishings, Choose J. Turner & Co.

A family-owned-and-operated company, J. Turner & Co. offers some of the finest home furnishings in the Jacksonville area. More than just furniture, we offer professional interior design services to make your house truly feel like a home. Visit us today, or browse our furniture collections online!


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