Trendy or Timeless? Dripping Springs Interior Designer Montana Shrader Shares Her Take

Maybe you’re moving to Dripping Springs, or maybe you’re a lifelong resident. Either way, it’s always fun to give your home a decorating reboot. And a new year always brings new designs in home décor. But before you jump on the latest trend, consider these wise words from Dripping Springs Elite favorite, Montana Shrader, founder and principal designer of M. Elliott Studio.

Which is more cost-effective, trendy or timeless?

When investing in your home, which interior design is an investment, you want to get the most out of it. Timeless will look good now and 20+ years. It takes into account the three critical factors in design, which is: time, place, and client. For example, you wouldn’t outfit a home that is rustic with a beachy theme and vice versa. Trendy design is good for 5 to 7 years, and then slowly a new trend takes root. I feel an obligation to give each client the best, and trendy is never it.

What are the pitfalls of being trendy?

Trendy design can be fun, but there are a few pitfalls to consider. The first is cost. Do you really want to spend a ton of money for something that will look outdated in a few years? Secondly, by being trendy, you risk having your home look like your neighbors, or like every other house on Pinterest. A good designer will push you beyond trendy and craft a design that works for your home and your family, without all the trendy details. What you like today, you might not like 10 years from now.

What are the advantages of timeless design?

Timeless design can mean different styles to different people, but the elements are the same. Timeless design is “themeless” in that there are classic elements, balance, repetition, symmetry, contrast, and texture that--when brought together--will have an effortless feel. It’s not overly matchy-matchy, and when you enter a home, you feel the need to explore, to gravitate around a room. It feels lived in and will age well in the years to come.

How do I choose a “timeless” piece?

Consider giving key pieces or elements in your home a “time” test. In other words, ask yourself “Will this piece look stunning now and 50 years from now?” Real materials, granite, stone, wood, iron, rattan, linen, silk etc. are always a great choice. These materials develop a patina over time and will look only better with age. Faux materials look good only the day you install them. Antiques, also pass the “time” test. Mixing old and new into a space infuses character and depth. When in doubt, always spring for the real deal.

How do you infuse originality into a timeless design?

When I collaborate with a client, they always have their own element they bring to each project. I lean heavily into who they are, how they live and what inspires us within the walls of the home. One of the key points to a good interior space is don’t over think it. Sometimes the best surprises are those that just happen. For example, we were once tasked with finding a way to store a client’s massive liquor collection. We ended up finding a beautiful, gothic cabinet that was 10 feet tall and made from solid fumed oak at Round Top Market. We paired this piece with colorful ceramic art for an unexpected moment when you enter the home. It’s hard to believe that behind the cabinet doors you’d find tons of liquor!

What inspires Montana Shrader?

Architectural history, antiques, hitting antique markets and looking at inspiration from other countries inspire me. The best inspiration is education, so I’m constantly learning, reading and researching.

Montana Shrader is a Licensed Interior Design, founder and principal designer of M. Elliott Studio and advertiser with Dripping Springs Elite Real Estate Professionals. She holds a B.F.A in Interior Design and has over 10 years of experience in the design industry. Her approach has always been hands on, working directly with contractors, experts, and artisans to achieve a well-executed vision. Her goal is to create unique, tailored spaces that have a sense of character and warmth. Want to learn more? Visit her website.