“Will it go out of style”, a customer asked me today regarding a renovation project she and her husband are considering. This is not an uncommon question; I have actually heard it quite often. My reply was simply that good design does not go out of style. Popularity of styles may ebb and flow. New products and materials, techniques and technologies may grab our attention at times more than those of the past, but truly good design will always be good design. What goes out of style are gimmicks, trends and awkward attempts at design. Fads fade……style survives.
Take a look at this picture….a modern home, right? Sleek and linear; this home could well be a submission for a present day design award. But it won’t qualify; it wasn’t built this year. Anyone with an appreciation of, or education in, design and architecture will know this house. And although it was designed almost 80 years ago by Frank Lloyd Wright; it has not as of yet and likely will never will, go out of style. Falling Water is iconic, it is modern and it was built in 1936.
It has been our tradition as a society to seek out architects and designers when we need to build a new building, a large home or other important structures. But, when we consider taking on a major renovation to our homes, when we think of significantly altering the largest investment we may ever make in our lives; we traditionally leave the aesthetic, the flow, the function, the form, the style and the design to the lowest bidder with a hammer.
Will it go out of style? Not if it is well designed. It most certainly will if it never had any style to begin with. If you are considering an important alteration to your important structure….please consider thought before act, planning before starting, and design before construction. Future generations will appreciate that you considered style as an important part of your project.