The era of specific decor trends is on the wane. Rooms full of traditional or modern furniture have been replaced by a more eclectic sensibility, interior decorators and designers agree.
Mid-century sofas on a Swedish-country, flat-weave rug. Vintage lighting and a concrete coffee table. An antique Indian sari coverlet on a sleek, lacquered bed frame.
Mixing and matching has become a trend in itself.
And this trend's more liberating than limiting.
"The look is about combining decorative elements and mementoes from your personal history -- the places you've been, where you're at and where you're going -- and arranging them artfully to create a stylish, beautiful, lived-in space," says New York interior designer Elaine Griffin.
The explosion of inspirational media has helped drive the shift, she thinks; amateur decorators now get ideas and confidence from design blogs, TV shows and shelter magazines.
"Homeowners are at last masters of their own ships," says Griffin. "We've revolutionized the term 'eclectic' as a design style."
If you're updating a room this fall, here's a sampler of ideas to get the creative wheels turning:
Sizing things up (or down)
At the International Contemporary Furniture Fair this spring in New York, which presented a first look at what retailers will be offering for fall, designers were playing with scale, in lighting particularly.
California lighting company Cerno showed Silva Giant, a 7-foot-tall floor lamp with a slanted walnut base and barrel shade. The company's Valeo model had a cranelike walnut base that extended 9 feet, with an aluminum rod suspending a large linen shade. Despite its size, the fixture seemed to frame the space rather than loom over it. (www.olighting.com)
Moooi's Raimond chandelier was a sphere of LED lights that evoked a fireworks burst, while MioCulture showed whimsical, glowing LED-lit, floor-lamp cones. Tango Lighting's Memory Floor Light has a 3-foot black, brown or white shade with a choice of dramatic interior colors. (www.mioculture.com; www.tangolighting.com)
Big was big, but the show also featured lighting that occupied as little space as possible. Patrick Townsend's SuperString series played with naturally occurring patterns in science and astronomy. CP Lighting showed its new Growth collection of brushed aluminum branchlike fixtures. (www.patricktownsend.com; www.cplighting.com)
Retailers will also be offering slivers of table lamps with a slim profile.
For its textile collection this fall, Crate & Barrel is putting linen front and center, but not the old-fashioned kind, says Sandy Kortright, a senior buyer at the retailer.
"For the fall collection, we hung our hat on linen that's casual and soft. The idea is not to iron linen but keep it lovely, organic and casual, with a few soft wrinkles spread throughout," she says. "The linen feels easy, welcoming and inviting to use." (www.crateandbarrel.com)
Indian-inspired soft cotton prints are also in vogue. West Elm and Crate & Barrel are offering pin-tucked, hand-blocked and embroidered textiles for beds and lounges. (www.westelm.com)