You want your mobile home to be a delightful living space — somewhere to share hours of quiet relaxation or joyful activity with the family you love. And making the space beautiful is one step towards that goal. But knowing you want something to be beautiful doesn’t mean all your style questions are answered. After all, beautiful means different things to different people. And different styles can be beautiful in different ways. What if you want to go beyond the ambiguous “beautiful” and create a space that’s timeless — that doesn’t look like you decorated it in a fit of trendiness?
To trend or not to trend
Now, let us be the first to say that “new” is very often better. In fact, “new” can be wondrously revolutionary. For instance, the advent of the electric light was “new and better.” The appearance, and eventual widespread use of cars (once horseless carriages), was “new and better.” Advances in medical care have saved countless lives. And there are plenty of other new inventions and ideas that have significantly improved the quality of life.
However, new isn’t always better. Unlike horseless carriages, electric lights, and telephones, some things that are new have rather short lifespans. And certain decor trends can fall into the short lifespan category.
Not all decor items and elements are guaranteed to stay. Some will be en vogue for a while, then fall out of favor. Some may participate in a cyclical process. They’re popular, then they fall out of constant usage, then a bit later they’re back again.
To illustrate the idea that not everything stays popular, just think about two examples. First, think of rust-colored shag carpeting. Second, envision a walk-in shower fully tiled in avocado-colored tile. (Oh, and the sink is the same avocado color — as is the bottom half of the tiled walls).
Ever seen those shag rugs in the basement of an older home? Or perhaps you’ve been the proud owner of one of those colorful (and un-updated) bathrooms. If so, you already know that not all styles are timeless.
Timeless vs. trendy
Some things in homes just look dated — whether it’s that shag carpet or tile or some other feature that speaks of the time period in which it was popular. And it stands to reason that if we decorate our homes today with whatever elements are popular now, then in the future, those elements could be the ones to look dated. Obviously, what screams “new and popular” today could someday be what we or our kids will call old-fashioned. So, it makes sense that some people want to design and decorate without an expiration date — choosing elements that will look good for a while to come.
Design, renovate, & decorate with timelessness in mind
Given that not all design and decor is timeless, some of you may be looking for design inspiration that makes your home tasteful and classy, but not necessarily cutting edge. Let’s explore some ideas that could help you in your quest for an enduring style. What are some areas of the mobile home you could renovate to promote agelessness (in style, at least)?
Install hardwood floors
What’s not to love about the look of real wood? Your mobile home will love this upgrade. And you aren’t necessarily required to call in the professionals for this one. In fact, you may be able to install beautiful new floors yourself with help from the DIY Network. However, do carefully consider the color of your wood so you can make sure you keep up the timelessness you’re going for.
Before you begin, decide whether you’ll refloor the whole mobile home or just portions. And once that floor is down, consider incorporating area rugs. Perhaps Emily Henderson’s 52 Timeless Patterned Rugs will help you find something that fits beautifully with your mobile home. Plus, don’t forget to choose a rug that’s the right size for the room you’re outfitting.
Lighten up the kitchen
As you renovate your home for a timeless look, be sure not to pass over the heart of the home: the kitchen. Here’s one way to shoot for a classic look—lighten things up with white. Not sure if white is the way to go? Prepare to change your mind as you check out these white kitchens from Southern Living.
But don’t for a minute think that going with white means you can’t bring in anything other than white. Love color? Then, maybe you could use white as a framework and brighten up with accents or accessories of a different color. That way, if the accessories will be out of style in a year or two, you’ll still have the beautiful white foundation to dress up in another way.
Create crown molding
If you were disappointed, thinking “they say crown molding is timeless, but I don’t have any so that’s off the table,” then get ready to think again! No need to be disappointed. You can add crown molding even if your home didn’t start out with it. Wondering what crown molding you should choose for your mobile home? Check out How to Choose the Right Crown Molding from Steve Allen Construction, Inc.
Bring in life
Clearly, we know plants best because of the work they do outdoors. They fill forests, make grassy lawns, and so much more. From trees to flowers to bushes to weeds, plants pack the world outside with life. But they aren’t only for the outside of your house. You can bring those living things indoors, too.
Head over to check out Top 5 Classic Houseplants. And if you want plants but feel strongly the pinch of having plenty to do with not too much time, perhaps you need one of these easy ones from Living Well Spending Less. In addition to the aesthetic benefits, there are health benefits to having houseplants, too. They purify the air. Plus, they put out oxygen.
Make it marble
For more timelessness (and did we mention elegance?), consider bringing in some marble. Making this lovely stone a part of your kitchen renovation could add classiness and an air of permanence. Check out Michelle Jeresek’s Kitchen Counters: Elegant, Timeless Marble. Then it’s on to 16 Beautiful Marble Kitchen Countertops by Deirdre Sullivan to get your creative juices flowing.
Don’t overdo it
Another thing to keep in mind — don’t overload your home as you try to create a timeless space. Too much might sink your project. While you don’t have to embrace minimalism necessarily, we still suggest that you add to your home selectively. Just because you can find many beautiful, classic items doesn’t mean you should use them all (at least not all at once).
However, this doesn’t mean you’re doomed to deprivation — if you have more items than you can tastefully display at once, don’t despair. First, you may be able to store some smaller items away and use them at a different time, perhaps as the seasons change. Second, if you can’t find a reasonable space for something in one room, consider switching it to a different room (perhaps by repurposing or refinishing in some way).
Though it might seem a touch ironic, antiques could actually be your friends when cultivating timeless style in your mobile home. But this doesn’t mean you have to use a ton of them. The Spruce offers 8 Ways to Decorate with Antiques and Collectibles. Evaluate their suggestions through the lens of the timelessness you’re looking for and deploy antiques thoughtfully and well.
Make it monochrome
Black and white could be another way to help you achieve timelessness. Note that a space does not look timeless simply by virtue of being black and white (as these black and white spaces demonstrate). However, you can deploy monochrome design to serve your own classic purposes.
Introduce a claw foot tub
Now, if this one seems to come out of left field, don’t worry. Of course, a clawfoot tub may not have come to mind when you first set out in search of a timeless style for your mobile home. But when you renovate your bathroom, this iconic bathroom fixture is something to think about. However, do take care before you introduce this bathroom element — ensure that your floor can support the tub wherever you’re planning to place it.
Go for furniture that’s reasonable
Clearly, if you want your mobile home to look timeless, you’ll probably want to opt out of strangely futuristic furniture. Oh, and a free piece of advice, you probably want to steer clear of the beanbag chair — that joy of college freshmen everywhere. (Unless, of course, you stow it in a closet and drag it out only at movie time).
Look, listen, & learn
Another thing you can do is collect plenty of inspiration and ideas before you actually start renovating or redecorating. And don’t hesitate to use the power of other people’s minds, too. Getting other people’s thoughts could help you end up with a look you love.
Ask a designer
Drop by a local designer/decorator’s office and run the question of timelessness by them. If you’ve found someone who loves what they do, they may be more than happy to share ideas. Ask them for do’s and don’ts.
Plus, they may be able to suggest ways to renovate that help you keep expenses down. As a professional in your area, they may be able to point you to the best places to get paint at a discount for instance. And they may be able to share places to find good furnishings, too.
Ask a friend
Identify a friend who has a classic home you admire and ask them what they considered while building and decorating. After they’ve lived in their home for a while, they may be able to share things they’re glad they did. Likewise, they might have elements they’d change.
Learn from books and the community
In addition to asking others, consider checking out design magazines and books. Although these won’t always be devoted to a timeless style, they can still help you get ideas. On the other hand, browse books and other materials expressly devoted to the timeless decor.
Additionally, you could watch home and garden channels and pay attention to what experts refer to as trendy or classic. Another option is to attend a local parade of homes to view different styles in your community. This could help you see what is trending, but you may also see examples of timeless decor and design. And perhaps you could also learn from the perspectives of local real estate professionals, contractors, and designers.
Are they really mutually exclusive though?
Notice that in one of our headings above we wrote “Timeless vs. trendy”? Well, we’ll be the first to say that you don’t necessarily have to choose one or the other. Just because an item is popular right now doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate it into your decor. You may actually be able to blend some modern elements with the timeless look you’re trying to achieve — if you want to.
So what do you do if you just truly love something that you know is going to look dated in a couple of years? Does this mean you have to deny yourself and stay away from it? Not necessarily. Actually, you may be able to use it after all. Just be strategic in what you do.
Not all one or the other
If you want to have a timeless home but you also do want to be able to incorporate some modern elements, don’t despair. One thing you could find useful is giving give plenty of attention to the permanent and structural elements of your home as you renovate. Non-permanent items may be able to be changed or upgraded at easily and with low costs from time to time, while permanent and structural aspects may not. In short, be sure the structural and big-ticket items are timeless. Then, allow yourself some leeway with lower cost and less permanent parts of the home.
Classic doesn’t mean you have to steer totally clear of modern. In fact, you may find that the look you like the most melds a timeless framework with a few new items that really pop. It could be somewhere between fully antiqued and totally modern.
Ponder & peruse
Whether you’re shooting for timelessness to save yourself from having to redecorate or simply to enjoy a timeless style, remember to look around you for ideas. Keep your eyes constantly open for sources of inspiration that you could put to work in your decor. Perhaps the architecture of a historic building in your community’s downtown area will spark a design idea for your mobile home. Also, you can check out mobile home decorating ideas regardless of whether they’re billed as timeless — just keep what’s classic and ditch or adapt the rest.