Just like in fashion, styles in home décor come and go, with decades taking turns experiencing revivals and reimaginings in contemporary designs and spaces. Drawing inspiration from the past can yield unexpected results, and when balanced with more modern elements can create a look that is fresh, unique and classic but still very of the moment.
Many styles that come back in vogue are relatively current and evoke ideas from recent memory. But one trend gaining popularity is to go back much further and explore aesthetics and principles from ancient civilizations. The result lends a timeless quality to the space. Perhaps not surprisingly, modern design that incorporates ancient elements can often be more environmentally friendly, using more natural and local materials and leveraging natural sources of energy like sunlight.
Thinking about doing a major makeover or a few strategic upgrades in your home? Then take a page from history and incorporate some ancient elements into your renovation project.
Futuristic stainless steel is on the way out, with today’s materials getting their cue from the past. Depending on your personal taste, there are a range of ancient-inspired materials to choose from to bring a touch of old-world style to your home. Warmer metals are a popular choice, with brass and gold leading the charge. You can try the trend at home with some budget-friendly updates, like gold plumbing fixtures in your bathroom, brass hardware on your kitchen cabinets and warm metal accessories in your living room or bedroom. Also, while not exactly ancient matte black is on an upward trend right now and evokes vintage gothic aesthetic.
Another ancient material making a comeback right now is marble, which can look gorgeous as tile. More adventurous renovators can try marble wallpaper, a chic and inexpensive twist that’s trending in Pinterest boards and designer plans alike. If the idea of faux finish wallpaper intrigues you but marble isn’t your thing, you can try it in other ancient materials like terrazzo, metal or wood.
While the Eco-friendly green movement has gone a long way toward making us reconsider our relationship to the natural environment, the move towards ancient design also encourages us to reconnect with nature. In the past, people spent more time outdoors, and their indoor spaces were more intertwined with the outside world. This is an easy trend to try at home, but it can have a major impact on your mood by helping to create a more relaxing and cheerful environment. Start by adding more greenery to your home — indoor like ivy and Hoya work well with a more industrial aesthetic, houseplants like cacti complement both more delicate and rustic looks, and blooming floral balance out colder, more contemporary spaces nicely.
Texture is another fantastic way to bring more natural elements inside. Woven titles are very trendy in 2018, and look great in practical pieces like pretty storage baskets that can disguise unsightly clutter. Use them in your kids’ playroom; in the front hall or mud room to organize keys, mittens and trinkets; and even in the bathroom or home office to organize loose items like makeup or desk supplies. You can also play up texture in a big way with artisan rugs, fluffy throws and pillows, and natural wood for shelving or side tables.
Think of the great architectural buildings in Europe, like the Roman Pantheon, which was the first to have an opening in the roof to bring daylight and illumination to the center. While the design concept was revolutionary, the opening lacked glass panes to keep the elements out. But this idea of getting more daylight through the roof is a great trend to try in your own home in 2018. Today’s skylights, like the ones from VELUX, feature flat glass for energy efficiency and are factory-engineered to keep the elements out. They add drama and style to the home with a flair of ancient opulence, while being incredibly useful and beneficial to the people living there.
Skylights can deliver two times the amount of natural daylight as vertical windows, and natural light happens to be another ancient design element that is essential for our health and well-being. Some modern advantages of skylights include greatly reducing the need for artificial light and lowering electricity costs, as well as improving our mood and fighting Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). VELUX programmable skylights also help to achieve optimal indoor air quality, which is important for a good night’s sleep and children’s learning abilities. This is especially important because we spend 90% of our time indoors, but the indoor air quality is up to five times worse than the outdoor environment.
Rooms that would benefit from a skylight include the kitchen, bathroom, top of stairs, attic and bedroom, but if you are looking to make a major architectural statement, try multiple units in your living room or the top of a flight of stairs. Consider a programmable venting skylight to create a natural multi-level ventilation system for a healthier, fresher and brighter home. Control the amount of light in the room while adding additional energy efficiency by adding a bling. A light-filtering blind is perfect for softening or diffusing the light in the common spaces, while room-darkening blinds completely block out the light for the privacy and comfort you would need in a bedroom or bathroom.
By incorporating some of these ancient tactile and visual elements into your home, you’ll amp up your style game and make your home a more enjoyable environment for yourself, your family and friends and guests.