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My Top 5 Classics

Some things just never go out of style.  Tried and true classics that stand the test of time.  When it comes to designing homes not only for my clients, but also my own, sticking with the classics will serve you well.  If you have followed this blog for awhile, you know that I stay very true to my design aesthetic, no matter what I post. Here are my top 5 classics in no particular order.

1. Subway tile.  You can never go wrong with subway tile.  A soft white or marble will stand the test of time.  Use it in a bathroom or as a backsplash in a kitchen.  I'm partial to a matte finish in a kitchen though.

2.  Marble.  I don't care what anyone says, marble is my number one choice for counter tops.  If you take care of it, you will not have any problems.  Can it chip, yes.  Can it stain, of course if you leave something on it for a long period of time, but who does that?  Can it etch, absolutely, but using a cutting board alleviates most of that.  A honed finish is much easier to care for than polished, so I always recommend honed, especially in a kitchen.  I have had marble in my own kitchen for 5 years now and only have a few tiny chips and zero stains. Marble has been used for thousands of years all over Europe and only looks more beautiful over time.  

{giannetti home}

3.  Antiques.  I'm a firm believer that every room needs an antique element.  It's what makes a home feel like a home and not like you went to your nearest furniture store and bought everything as a set.  You know that's a no-no, right?  If you buy something that really speaks to you, you will treasure it for a lifetime.  Think of different ways you can use an antique, like this piece used to store towels in a bathroom.


 4.  Beautiful millwork.  Want to make your walls come alive?  You can't go wrong with beautiful millwork.  Take your room from blah to beautiful in no time!  Those herringbone floors are also a great classic.  Wish they were in my own home!

5.  Painted cabinetry.  Nothing dates a kitchen or bathroom faster than wood toned cabinets.  Oak cabinets speak the 80's, dark cherry speaks the 90's and light maple, early 2000's.  See where I'm going with this... Dated with a capital D.  I'm not saying wood is totally off limits, but it's very rare I personally come across a wood tone for a cabinet that actually looks good.  It's amazing what a few coats of paint can do!



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Reader Comments (18)

I could not agree with your top five faves more! I've redone so many houses and I've never strayed far from these top five basics. Not only do I love the look, but we've always sold our homes very quickly (sometimes little too fast) and I think it's because of these things.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterl o v e l y t h i n g s

I couldn't agree more!! We have four of your Top 5 Classics and we'll never tire of them. What am I missing? Antiques!! I need a beautiful antique piece...

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSheryl Spencer

yes to all, according to lil ole me. i have never understood the granite countertop craze. marble all the way...

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentera perfect gray

I am so with you! I really need to remember to add more antiques. Done right it looks so tasteful done wrong it can look like n unwanted hand- me- down , not anything you have!great post , bookmarking now!

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLizziefitz

Cheers to your list. Could not agree more...all things that looked as good 50 years ago as they will 50 years from today. You are so right, Marianne!

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterthe enchanted home

Somethings are just timeless and so worth the extra effort!

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaryanne

Such a great post! I couldn't agree more! Dated with a capital D. Love it!

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke @ Blueprint Bliss

Marianne! Agree 5 times!!! Love the line-up of wood in the decades, seeing it in print really made it clear. I am glad I have painted kitchen cabinets and it is a green I can live with for years. Love it!!
I am busy choosing fabrics for my family room. I am my worst client ever!!
Have a good week,

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKATHYSUE

I so agree with you, Marianne! You have impeccable taste. Love every image. I will take the shower, please.
Happy Monday.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTeresa @ Splendid Sass

HI Marianne.

Thank you for including our client's bathroom in your top five (marble!)


February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke Giannetti

i so agree with you! and i love how you have streamlined your loves in a way that makes design so much more approachable but no less fun!

happy monday, sunshine.


February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermichele

Love, love, love! So beautiful and a great top 5!!

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLiz Carroll

Done, done and DONE! Awhile back some genius decided that subway tile was "over" in her opinion. I spit my coffee at my computer screen. Maybe someone should tell the entire planet that subway tile is over. It never will be. Ever. It's been around…well since the subways were built. I have classic white in Beans' bathroom and a hand made ivory in my bath. I adore it.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Vermillion Interiors

I agree with you Marianne, these are all great design details that are classic. Thanks for sharing these great that herringbone floor against the millwork.


I couldn't agree with you more! I've used all of these in my home and will do so again in my next one! So classic and beautiful :)

February 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlisaroy

Check, check, check, check, check! And lots of natural light too!

Thinking of you today, lovely sis-friend. Happy hearts day!

ox, Mon

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSplendid Willow

Agree with every word in this post. :)

February 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

I love these! We just got back from Paris and Versailles, and those building are classic and have the points you mentioned. I'm pinning this for my future home. Isn't the hardwood a chevron pattern, not herringbone, though?

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlicia

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