Styles come and go, but when you realize the Tuscan Villa faux finish in the kitchen—it looked so chic a decade ago!—suddenly seems a little fuori moda, it might be time to renovate. With the New Year come new interior decorating trends to liven up your living room, kitchen, and more.

What’s In

Simplicity. These days it’s all about the simple things, with a focus on color and contrast. A trend that will continue into 2014 is the single-color painted wall, free of embellishments such as borders, wainscoting, or anything else to steal attention away from the star of the show—the color. A simple way to liven up a room is to paint an accent wall, which is also a great way to highlight a room’s architectural flourishes, like vaulted ceilings or picture windows.

Go bold or go home. Colors that may have seemed too strong for a whole room—like a deep orange or an eye-grabbing dark-red wine—are the next big thing. Don’t be afraid of rich color.

But you can keep it in neutral, too. If the bold colors above overexcite the senses, you’ll also find calm palettes in the new neutrals in 2014. An ocean of calm blues, grays, and greens awaits you.

Mix and match. Mixing colors like plumb, fuchsia, and dark gray can create a striking and sophisticated look to any room. Look for colors that are complementary but don’t match, such as charcoal and pumpkin, to bring your room up-to-date. Attention-grabbing colors can also be used with softer shades—think a bright yellow paired with a muted blue—to make a room pop.

Plaster caster. Venetian plaster, an Italian-inspired finish, is finding its way into more and more homes and for good reason. It’s simple enough for most do-it-yourselfers while also a widely available option from professional painting and design firms. Venetian plaster can be mixed with colors and then glazed for extra decorative umph.

Keep the trim white. Painting interior trim white will provide great contrast to any color. It also does double duty, keeping cooler colors from looking too harsh and adding crispness to warm hues.

What’s Out

Faux past? Many kinds of faux finishes are on the wane, especially the sponge- or rag-blotted look, which, in light of the new focus on clean lines and solid colors, looks messy and half-finished. Other faux finishes, like fake bricks or simulated marble, are also less popular than in years past, instead giving way to a clean, modernist style.

Bad feelings for popcorn ceilings. Not as tasty as they sound, this outdated ceiling style can be hazardous to remove, as the kernels may contain asbestos. If you want to get rid of a popcorn ceiling, have a sample tested before you take care of it yourself, or call a professional to remove it for you.

What Now?

If you’re interested in updating your room’s decor, a professional painting company can help you choose the latest colors, textures, and styles for your home. Even though it might seem challenging to keep up with changing trends, creating a unique and personal look from current and up-and-coming styles can keep your living space looking fresh and contemporary for years to come.

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Sources: Behr; Benjamin Moore; DIY Network; HGTV; Houzz; This Old House.

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