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As anyone who’s ever encountered a teal bathtub knows, interior-design trends can be fickle. (Matching wall tiles too? What were you thinking?)

That’s why we try to stay up on what’s cool in the home-decor world without, you know, being beholden to what’s cool in the home-decor world. 

Check out our list of the year’s top trends--the ones that are not headed for the land of carpeted walls.

Sectional

Sectionals

Sure, the sectional is the stuff of family rooms circa 1987. But it’s back and in a big way (much to our approval). As living rooms move away from formal environments to more relaxed spaces for lounging, we’re all for a couch that lets us sprawl out.

Oversized Art

Oversized Art

We love a well-curated gallery wall as much as the next person, but the minimalist trend that’s gaining popularity in the fashion world is also quickly translating into home decor. The newest trick is to feature just one standout piece above your bed, sofa or console table, rather than a slew of photos.

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Valspar

Bold Blue

Marsala may be Pantone's 2015 Color of the Year, but Mediterranean-inspired blue is also having a moment. Whether you use the shade shown here (it?s Valspar Reserve?s ?Rushing Rapids?) in your kitchen, playroom or beach house, be sure to pair it with light, neutral upholstery and floor coverings so the room appears bright and balanced.

Open Shelving

Open Shelving

Grab-and-go shelving is not only chic and striking, it also makes mealtime prep a breeze. When planning your kitchen, think about all the items you’d be proud to display--and that you can realistically keep organized. Put these things (say, your classic white dishes) front and center and hide any ugly stuff in more traditional closed-door cabinetry.

Freestanding Bathroom

Freestanding Tubs

Bathtubs have been declining in popularity for years, but there has been a rise in freestanding tubs for a small subset who still enjoy an evening soak. Whether you go modern or stick with a vintage style, this space-saving bath not only looks appealing but also allows you to have both a tub and a walk-in shower in the same bathroom.

Canary
Canary

Smart Homes

For the truly tech-savvy, programmed lighting, locking and HVAC systems (all of which can be controlled from a smartphone) are very much in demand. We’re particularly keen on the Canary alarm system, which lets you spy on your place and sends you alerts when things seem “off.”

70s Decor

’70s Decor

The decade of avocado kitchens and wood-paneled dens is coming back into vogue--though with decidedly modern twists such as subtle geometric wallpaper and plush shag rugs.

All White

The All-White Approach

Clean and simple is still important, but not necessarily in a contemporary style. This year, we’re seeing all-white kitchens and living rooms with a much cozier feel as opposed to the stark atmospheres of the past (think rustic white cabinets and sheepskin throw blankets over the couch).

Blonde Wood
Ikea

Blond Wood Furniture

Turns out, blonds do have more fun. The mid-century modern’s understated pale wood is still very much accepted in 2015. Blond wood looks great with white walls and pastels, but it also fits in surprisingly well with non-Scandinavian themes (e.g., juxtaposed with dark wood and black furniture).

Tandem Sink

The Tandem Sink

In 2014, it was all about the dirty kitchen. Now everyone seems obsessed with having two kitchen sinks. Our advice? Toss dirty dishes into one and keep the other free for cooking prep.

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