If one of your #interiorsgoals is to have an effortlessly chic space, then we might just have the solution for you. Get back to basics.

These so-called home investment pieces are the common denominators of many a stylish interior and, like wardrobe essentials, the same simple rules apply. Attention should be given to construction and workmanship (a staple piece is not a staple piece unless it can last the test of time) and a bigger-picture mind-frame is essential. Remember, you’re going for timeless. Investing in staple items which will take you through spring, summer, autumn and winter, each and every year (as opposed to faddish pieces which you’ll most likely want to toss in a few years) will give you the most optimal blank canvas to work with. Let these act as a room’s foundation and leave easily changeable accessories to do the hard work. Keep lines clean, patterns to a minimum and, of course, when it comes to colour, nothing beats neutrals. Think of these pieces as the LBDs of the interior realm and you’ll be guaranteed that they’ll survive any cull.

Sofas

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When it comes to time-proven sofa shapes, an easy rule of thumb is: tuxedo, rolled arm, dropped arm or chesterfield. These are the main shapes you see in hotels and interior design projects because they are so versatile. Their classic shapes can take all kinds of patterns, textures and colours and, if you really want a refresh, a good reupholster will do the trick. Tuxedos are sleek and sexy; rolled arms are timeless and elegant; dropped arms are transitional and versatile; and chesterfields are stately and comfortable.

For more on the sofa shapes you need to know, read the guide on luxury sofas.

Armchairs

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Like their sofa counterparts, these chairs are bestselling designs the interiors world has ever seen. They pack the same punch as their big brothers in a smaller space which makes them, arguably, even more useful. Two facing each other creates an intimate tête-à-tête or two facing a sofa acts as perfect complement to complete a formal seating arrangement. Accessorise with cushions for an on-trend look.

Discover the top 10 chair shapes which have shaped design here.

Coffee Tables

Square or rectangular is usually the way to go with coffee tables if you want it to last the test of time. An unbuttoned upholstered stool is a modern-day classic as is a sleek glass-topped metal design. True traditionalists will want a smart wooden offering, perhaps with a stretcher or shelf which actually work surprisingly well in modern spaces. Keep wood dark for an ageless look.

Beds

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A bed is one of the most important pieces you can buy for your home and there are certain designs which stand out as winners. A classic buttoned headboard can be feminine or masculine depending on how its upholstered making it a popular choice. A vertical- or horizontal-channelled design is a modern take whereas a shaped headboard is a beautiful transitional option that can work a pretty fabric. Four-posters have a lot of presence and clean lines are a good choice for pure timeless appeal.

Mirrors

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Mirrors are a great investment for a home because they’re both functional and beautiful. Not only do they work as a looking glass but they open a space up and enhance a room’s natural light. Statement mirrors with all their eye-catching shapes and motifs definitely have their time and place (many a room has been made by an interesting mirror) but simple shapes are the ones you’ll turn to time and time again so invest in one of these first. Triptychs or an oversized round mirror suit a hallway or above a mantlepiece but use more square or rectangular designs in a bedroom where functionality is more important.

Chandeliers

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A focal feature is key for a space and a well-chosen chandelier acts as a beautiful addition to a room. When choosing, bear in mind the proportions of your room and try to find a silhouette that suits it and fits it well. A delicate chandelier dripping with crystals enhances traditional spaces and can work surprisingly well in modern ones too. For the similar look with a more contemporary look, opt for a tiered crystal or selenite design. A radial pendant with mini shades is a smart look with a strong precedent.

Credits: Image courtesy of Inspired Dwellings and GM Developments. Interior design by MILC.