12 Home Remodels That Won't Go Out of Style

You're shelling out a lot of money to remodel your home, so you don't want your upgrades to look dated in a year or two. These features, styles and finishes are timeless — not trendy — so you can remodel with confidence knowing that you’ll love your look forever.

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Photo By: KC Sterling for Greige Design

Photo By: KC Sterling for Greige Design

Photo By: KC Sterling for Greige Design

Photo By: KC Sterling for Greige Design

Install Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors work with almost any style — year in, year out. Given that flooring is the biggest expanse of product you’ll see in your new space, designer Christina Fluegge of Greige Design recommends going with a high-quality hardwood that allows you to refinish as time goes by rather than having to replace. “I currently have a love affair with a sandable engineered wood floor that’s hand-distressed and has a wax finish,” Fluegge says. “It’s simple to clean and takes scratches and regular everyday living in stride.”

Choose a Vintage Look

Funny how as the years pass, older styles become ageless rather than looking dated. If you go with a look that has at least 50 years under its belt — say, midcentury modern — it won’t go stale, says designer Tatiana Machado-Rosas of Jackson Design and Remodeling. For the backdrop, it’s smart to create a simple and versatile setting: here, the clean lines of the fireplace and the neutral tones of the flooring allow the period furnishings to make the statement (and allow you to change your mind down the road).

Mix Neutral Finishes

“Keep your details simple and clean and use the trendy stuff in accessories that are easier to change out,” says Christina Fluegge, owner of Greige Design. “I like to combine neutral materials so that spaces have contrast and texture without too much going on, so there’s room for variety.” In this bathroom, Fluegge used beadboard on the walls in colors that contrast slightly with the white marble countertops and sinks below. Underfoot, she chose a porcelain tile that mimics vein-cut limestone, but has more texture so that it doesn’t get slippery when wet.

Cultivate Some Zen

Japanese design sensibility is simple, tranquil and based on natural materials. Because it uses ancient principles of visual harmony, it isn’t likely to overstay its welcome in your home. This peaceful Zen bath created by Tenhulzen Residential is anchored by a Japanese soaking tub and fir woodwork.

Connect the Outside and the Inside

Seamless indoor/outdoor living is a centuries-old ideal that crosses many different cultures. When you blur the transition between home and garden, you allow natural light and air to permeate your living space, changing its character entirely. In this open-concept living area by Jackson Design and Remodeling, the Zen garden and the living room are separated only by massive glass doors on a track that can open and close with the push of a button.

Remember Universal Design

Make sure your bathroom will age gracefully along with you. If you’re going to remodel it anyway, you will never regret adding universal design features that accommodate users of all ages and physical capabilities. Typical UD features include handheld sprays, grab bars, wider doors and curbless showers. It’s a minimal expense to install these features during construction compared to adding them later, and modern versions look sophisticated and design-forward, as in this sleek bath from Greige Design.

Finish Minimally

The cleaner your look, the less likely it is to go out of fashion. This kitchen from Jan Goldman, owner of renovation and design firm Kitchen Elements, minimizes hardware with custom-designed pantries and drawers that are flush with the wall; the china hutch in the middle features simple sliding glass doors.

Use Marble

Granite may have fallen out of favor these days, but the clean, natural patina of marble will never fail you. Designer Tatiana Machado-Rosas of Jackson Design and Remodeling says that if marble in the kitchen is too big a maintenance commitment for you, you might want to consider a quartz that mimics the same look but is easier to keep up — or you can always incorporate marble as an accent elsewhere, as with this fireplace surround.

Install White Cabinets

White cabinets will complement almost any decor you want to choose — now or 20 years from now. “To choose a style, consider the existing architecture of the home and how the cabinetry works visually within its environment,” says designer Tatiana Machado-Rosas of Jackson Design and Remodeling. “A raised panel is often a good choice for more traditional styles, while a Shaker style (shown here) works with a modern, simple design.”

Pick a Subtle Backsplash Design

A classic backsplash accent may not seem as sexy as many of today’s flashy glass and metal choices, but it’s a good bet for enduring beauty. This backsplash created by Tenhulzen Residential features glazed 3” x 6” ceramic tiles with an inset made of handmade tiles from Pratt & Larson, surrounded by subtle 2” x 2” glass squares. “The trick with accent features is to coordinate them with the look you intend for your entire space,” says owner Mike Tenhulzen. “You want to add intrigue without being too bold.”

Go With Stainless Steel Appliances

Kitchen trends come and go, but stainless steel has proven staying power. “Stainless steel is perceived as a luxury material in almost any environment,” says designer Tatiana Machado-Rosas of Jackson Design and Remodeling. “Its tone is neutral, so it works with many different types of woods, materials and finishes.”

Top It Off With a Great Ceiling

It makes no sense to splash out on a remodeled room and then install a cheap-looking ceiling. (And we don’t have to tell you that the popcorn look is over.) For an elegant look that transcends era, choose a plank or coffered ceiling (shown) to finish your new space.