I always look forward to the international trade shows that I attend in Paris and Frankfurt. These seem to set the tone for the up and coming home décor trends that will also influence us here back at home. But this year I found that our Southern Californian lifestyle as well as the hip artist Los Angeles loft space were definite references for the designers. It was interesting to see their interpretation of our coastal and urban style.

Black and White – This was a big trend during the trade shows in Europe this year, and it seemed to be shown in every style from the very traditional to modern décor.  This classic combination of black and white was especially showcased in framed photography, patterns on fabric and the use of graphic wallpapers.  This pairing will bring high contrast and high impact into your existing décor. Try updating your existing living space with the addition of a large black and white graphic art piece.

Metallic Accents – This continuing trend was still strong this year.  Many of the displays and showrooms were accented with gold accents in the lighting fixtures or decorative items such as indoor plant containers and cache pots. Shades of gold add warmth to an interior and also blends well with almost any color palate. Mixing different metallics is now the norm and it gives you an opportunity to bring personality to your rooms.

Scent – Appealing to all of the five senses is another factor when thinking of your décor this year.  It seems like this was the largest growing category I noticed during the trade shows.  Especially in Paris, where it seemed every big designer or design house had a developed a signature home fragrance and devoted a whole showroom for their displays.  Scents can awaking a memory, bring excitement to a setting, or even transport back to your favorite exotic location. Think about how you would like to feel or sense when you walk into a particular room.  This can be easily achieved through the use of candles, diffusers or the old fashion way of bringing flowers or fragrant greens indoors from your garden.

Casual Rooms – Formality seems to have taking a back seat this year to a more casual approach to decorating.  Perfect rooms that look untouched are definitely not on trend, and the lived in look that has been collected over the years is what the designers were focusing their attention on.  Mixing periods along with colors and patterns are an opportunity for your creativity. Another viewpoint for this look were rooms that mix a lot of textures and materials that were interesting even without the use of color.  I think the idea of the perfect California lifestyle was a huge influence on this trend in Europe.

Colorful Wall Art and Accents – Another growing trend was the importance of wall space and how it could be used as the focal point of a room.  Arrangements of colorful wall art and decorative accents were grouped together to create a gallery setting.  Hanging paintings in a salon style or stacking art that compliments each piece creates more interest that a single piece.  Patterned wallpapers, especially in bold graphics, were showcased throughout the designer booths and gave an instant impression of their collections being fresh and modern.