With age comes a clear sense of style. This is true with interior decor just as it is with fashion. The furnishings and accessories that marked your 20s—dorm holdovers, Ikea everything, and those trendy throw pillows—will certainly evolve as your taste (and budget) transitions in your 30s, 40s, and beyond. Of course, the design is all about living with what you love, but as your style changes, it’s helpful to take some advice from the pros to heart.
There’s no better time to be adventurous than in your 20s. “Keep it fun, colorful, and inexpensive,” says Hagan. “Buy a set of brightly colored glasses and table linens. Keep patterns bold and graphic. Great style is never about the money, but is always about a bit of the unexpected.”
But while there should be a bit of playfulness in your decor, Liu considers the 20s an ideal period to set the foundation for your decorating style. “Think about buying staples such as a couch, a bed with a headboard, a matching set of plates and flatware, and a proper set of sheets and towels,” says Liu.
Get a good chair.
Along with the staples, Liu urges 20-somethings to incorporate a statement chair (or even a pair) into their decorating. “Chairs are functional and sculptural,” she says. “They’re portable and necessary in almost every part of the house, so chances are high you will be able to reuse them anywhere you call home.”
Pay attention to how your home makes you feel. “Designing for clients in their 20s is increasingly about the ‘wellness’ of the products around them, and how their home will make them feel emotional, spiritually, and from a health standpoint,” says Woodson.
Hagan recommends that every 30-something and one key piece to his or her space: “You will never regret buying a great piece of art. It will always make you smile.”
Define your style and do your homework.
Be honest about what you love in your current home and discard what you don’t. As you start to hone in on an aesthetic, take the time to research the styles and designers that appeal to you so you can be a more informed consumer as you revise your space. Woodson stresses the need for clients at this stage to “learn more and more about a variety of styles and choose to own and collect more interesting pieces.”
Invest in a quality dining set.
Entertaining in style is one of the many highlights of your 30s. Move away from coffee-table or kitchen-counter meals and buy a well-made dining table, six chairs, and perhaps a buffet that you’ll want to use for years. “Even if you only host dinners on Easter and Christmas, it is an indication that you’re firmly planted in adulthood,” says Hagan.
Keep family first.
Thinking about starting a family? Perhaps investing in a white linen sofa isn’t the best move. “This is an age range when some start families, so design choices often take children into account and how to create a kid-friendly environment,” says Hagan.
40s and Beyond
By the time you approach your 40s, Hagan suggests investing in luxury items, including statement upholstery, art, and accessories. “It’s time to spread your wings,” she says. “Think softness, texture, and scale. My favorite bit of luxury is a cashmere throw.”
Incorporate art and travel mementos.
Clients in their 40s have accumulated a fair share of stamps in their passport, so it’s only natural for their home to showcase these rich experiences. “They have developed an extremely sophisticated and savvy design sensibility,” says Woodson. “Many have started collecting, and their homes reflect these collections.”
At this point, there’s serious interest in crafting interiors that are full of character, so pinpointing unique pieces is key. “If you haven’t incorporated antiques into your design scheme, it’s time to start,” says Liu. “There is nothing like the patina of something old to give a sense of history and context,” Liu recommends a Biedermeier secretary, a pair of Murano lamps, or even an antique Oushak, which she believes could all become family heirlooms.
Upgrade your sofa.
Now’s the time to take your sofa to the next level with quality fabric in a style that suits your taste. “In your 40s, make sure your sofa is as beautiful as it sits,” says Liu. “If you don’t have an eight-way, hand-tied sofa by now, make it a priority to get one. Also, take time to consider the finer details, such as the trim, cord, or fringe that might be used on the sofa, and make sure to finish it off with throw pillows that are equally show-stopping.”
Article from VOGUE