The design trends of decades gone by are often marked by colors and finishes that "date" your home. What was once the height of fashion later becomes the height of ugliness. A lack of aesthetic appeal is often what leads many homeowners to renovate in the first place.

So, when you're finally ripping out avocado appliances, paneling, and formica countertops, how can you be sure to choose a new design that will still look great five or ten years down the road? Your home is more permanent than the fads. Here is a guide to help you when choosing "evergreen" remodeling details so you aren't at the mercy of ever-changing home trends.

Go Natural

One of the easiest ways you can ensure that your home will still look beautiful in the years to come is to finish your renovation with natural materials.

For example, instead of choosing kitchen cabinets coated with white melamine, opt for wood doors and panels that have been painted white. This way, the cabinets will maintain their structural beauty and can be refinished, sanded, or painted down the road.

The same philosophy can guide you when choosing flooring and tile. For a design that lasts, opt for hardwood or natural-fiber wool carpet. Slate, marble, or ceramic tile are also good options.

Countertops also have an advantage when made from natural materials. Butcher-block tops are inexpensive, but they have the warmth of natural wood and they can be refinished to look new again. Stone countertops also last and remain in vogue.

Go Moderate

Many people deck out their favorite rooms with bold feature walls, patterned tile, and wallpaper. While your home doesn't have to remain a blank slate, choose neutral options when creating features in a room.

For example, for a backsplash, you might be drawn to a uniquely shaped glass tile instead of a plain square or rectangle. This is a great way to create a visual feature in your kitchen or bath. But to offset the more unique design, choose a neutral color, like white, grey, black, tan, or light blue.

If you have a plain shape, you can afford to be a little bolder in design and color. However, just keep in mind that bright or bold prints will more quickly wear out their welcome while more moderate designs will keep their appeal for a longer period of time.

If you must have louder patterns and colors, make the statement with removable pieces. It's easier to replace a patterned couch, a bright rug, or a bold piece of artwork than tile, carpet, or wallpaper. Remember that timeless colors are not boring—they are simply staying.

Go Authentic

If you want a home that never goes out of style, you have the option of staying true to historic periods or classic themes. For example, Craftsman bungalows feature walls of windows and beautiful woodwork. When renovating, match the original style of the period. People who visit your home will appreciate the ties to a respected era of home building.

If your home is newer, you can still remain authentic to classic themes. For example, a farmhouse theme is a standard American design. White or light-wood cabinetry, dark countertops, a simple tile or stone backsplash, and wooden floors all hearken to the classic farmhouse design. This is a style that has endured through each decade of trends.

Research other styles that have remained over many years. Shaker-style cabinet doors, wood floors, clean tile lines and penny-tile floors, wooden siding, and divided windows are seen in homes from every era, regardless of governing architectural style. Other styles to follow might be French, Greek, or Tudor.

Be sure that every element of your design considers both appearance and function. If something looks nice but is not functional, it will fade in favor of more lasting designs.

If you're not the type to follow the crowd and instead wish for your renovation to reflect an enduring style, these tips will help you as you make choices for finishes. Contact us at American Icon Home Improvements for more information on choosing the right improvements for your home.