A couple of great bloggers have written recently about evolving style and how to keep it fresh. Little changes on a regular basis help so that it doesn't become a major overhaul.
1. Collect what you love but rotate the mix.
For example, Kelley from the Polished Pebble has been collecting grain sacks and using them in her modern country décor for the past several years. Still current...but she is "tweaking" other accessories. For example, she likes these chairs from a few years ago (me too) but says she might change the rug.
Photo: Victoria Pearson Styling: Heather Bullard
Her chairs below, from earlier years, are in her current space...and you can see that her other collectables "things she loves" are still here but with fresh, white updates. Read more about it here.
2. Add on-trend colors in accent pieces.
This a good point that Cindy Hattersley makes in this post.
3. Avoid all matching pieces (especially oak and reddish stained wood).
Oh boy...I get this a lot... "But we spent a fortune on that (insert famous quality brand name) furniture set twenty years ago!"
painted these dining room chairs. The table below feels updated in white.
By Studio McGee
In fact, if you look at my Pinterest board...NOTHING is all matching.
4. Inject life with a few current (not hugely expensive) pieces that appeal to you
... such as with industrial furnishings or fresh fabrics. My friend and talented seamstress, Liana, created this mood board.
OK, the fabrics are luxe but the pendant light with or without rope is from Pottery Barn. I've used the woven pillow from Urban Outfitters. You can get the Tolix chairs at Overstocks and that looks like an IKEA sofa. Great high low mix, Liana!
5. Sounds easier than it is ...but limit the clutter and little things.
Store what is important but not working for you right now. For example, we have a lot of colorful hand painted Italian pottery that we purchased on trips. Good memories...not the look I want right now. BUT it is special and I am old enough to know it will come back. So, keep your Hummels, Lladros, etc. Ha! Just don't display them in an oak or cherry cabinet that matches the rest of the living room.
Here's a great example of streamlined décor by M. Elle Design.
You just might have to consider a big item like recovering a sofa or buying a new one. But the main thing is to make small updates over time...as my sister calls it "a phased decorating approach." It won't become overwhelming if you do.
Thanks for reading!