Trendy vs. Classic Furniture-How to Choose


As a professional interior designer in Bergen County, NJ, I frequently help clients make selections, especially when it comes to furniture.  When doing a major update, I ask clients to accumulate inspirational images of rooms they like.  This is an exercise that helps decipher their style in this process.

Sometimes people fall in love with something trendy.  Trends come and go.  If they select items that are trendy, I ask if that space will be redone in a few years.  For most people, that is just not realistic.  They aren’t going to re-do.  They are looking for something that is more timeless and long lasting.

How do you make that decision, so your home doesn’t scream “dated’?



How long do I expect to live here with these furnishings?

It is a balancing act.  When you choose a trendy piece, it will eventually look outdated when the trend is replaced by something new. 


How much does this piece cost?  Can I afford to replace it soon if I tire of it?


How will it hold up if I want to change the fabric or is it going to need an alternate soon with the wear and tear it will get from my family? 

Sometimes it is just not cost effective to reupholster if the construction of the piece is weak.


  1. When quality matters, a timeless piece can go a long way.  Made well, a sofa or chair can be re-covered in a new fabric to refresh it down the road.  Our tastes change over time so we will not be boxed in forever.  That is a good idea.
  • If you invest in a neutral style and/or color you love [for the next 10 years?] for big-ticket items such as sofas, bedroom furniture, large area rugs, and dining room furniture, you will capitalize on these purchases.
  • Some of the items you need aren’t that costly to update.  So, if you get in a rut down the line, you could afford to replace them later.  Items such as lamps, comforters and bedding, coffee tables and bar stools are good examples.  Pillows and throws can be replaced often to keep up with more current colors, especially if you are placing them on neutral colored furnishings. 
  • Some things are meant to go, and you don’t spend tons of money on them.  Items such as nursery furniture and cribs, toddler beds, bunk beds, loft and small apartment furnishings fall into this category.  If you select a classic style and/or color for these, it will help you to sell or give them to others when you are done. 
  • Trendy stuff is great fun as accents.  If they are inexpensive and replaceable, it is ok to go a little wild!  Throw pillows, blankets, baskets, poufs, and accent chairs are good examples of these items.

Accent pieces and even some art can be trendy and can be moved around from one room to another to create a fresh look!

Items with clean lines are always in style.  Texture adds interest to a room, so go ahead and get that jute rug or grass cloth wallpaper.

Here’s a hint:

Remember old lamp shades?  They used to be oval or round shapes.  Not too long ago, they became rectangular or square.  That trend has hung on for quite a while.

Rugs have a huge impact and have many price points.  They can change a room dramatically.  If the basic flooring is neutral, a rug can become the basics of the space.  Antique, vintage, or Moroccan rugs give visual interest and will ground the room. 

Classic items are stone, wood, glass, and leather.  Marble counters, oriental rugs, campaign chests, animal prints and beautifully tailored draperies never go out of style!

The number one goal should be to make you feel happy!  Your home reflects you and your lifestyle.  Enjoy it!

Are you sick of looking at the same stuff with all this stay-at-home time?  Maybe it’s time to refresh and update?  Let us help you get a new look!  Contact us now.