Design_trendsImage via Flickr by Maegan Tintari

Interior design trends like oversized pastel furniture and faux paint finishes have come and gone, but true interior design elements last forever. It’s difficult to predict coming trends in the world of interior design, but there are ways to avoid trends that are likely to become outdated before the paint dries.

With modern design in mind, here are 6 interior design trends to consider.

Neutral Colors are Always the New Black

Going bold with your color choice sometimes pays off, but sometimes it doesn’t. If you want to make a lasting interior design choice, go with neutral colors instead of dark, bold colors like reds, browns, and blues. This goes for wall color as well as your home’s furnishings.

Neutral colors are known as colors without color, but they do contain noticeable hues. For example, beige, ivory, eggshell white, and taupe are all shades of white that have undertones of more color. These colorless colors go with just about anything, including complementary colored furnishings.

Small Scale is In, Large Scale is Out

Whether it’s referred to as downsizing or minimalistic, small-scale design is an interior design trend that’s catching on quickly. Why? Well, not only are larger spaces more difficult to design, they’re also more expensive to outfit and oftentimes still feel empty after the design work is done.

Small-scale design incorporates modular elements to create a space that feels large in scope, but small in size. Take a home office for example. Whether you’re building a space for extra work outside of the office or you’re studying for your online MBA, it’s important that you eliminate any and all distractions. A simple and minimalistic design will allow you to have the most effective home office environment.

This type of interior design is also great for apartments and condos where it’s necessary to utilize one space for different purposes, like living rooms by day that become dining rooms by night.

Staying Current with Minimalist Furnishings

As mentioned before, oversized furnishings like human-swallowing plush couches and bulky tables are things of the interior design past. In order to stay ahead of interior design trends, minimalist furnishings are always a safe bet. In fact, just take a look at the evolution of chairs and you’ll see just how current and trendy sleek, basic seating has become.

For seating in general, think chairs and couches with taut, neutral colored fabric as well as natural metal and wood structural elements. Throw pillows and blankets should follow suit, but with bolder color schemes. Likewise, coffee and side tables should utilize the same streamlined approach as the seating—the fewer lines and corners, the better.

Go Nouveau with Wallpaper

Wallpaper may seem like a thing of the interior design past, but when chosen correctly, it can actually add an eye-catching design element to any space. Nouveau wallpaper is anything that incorporates fresh, trendy patterns like geometric shapes, classic heirloom designs, and sharp chevron lines that create a bold look.

Before you cover the walls with your trendy wallpaper of choice, first keep in mind that less is more. Nouveau wallpaper says a lot more if you choose a dominant wall to cover as opposed to the entire room. Putting wallpaper on a large, dominant wall will have a bold effect without overwhelming the entire space.

Weathering the Weathered Look

An all-natural, weathered look will last the test of time when it comes to interior design. From aged hardwood countertops and tables to bleached wood floors and cabinets, weathered design elements make a room feel warm and vibrant without screaming antique.

The first step in achieving the all-natural, weathered look is deciding what type of wood will dominate the space. Redwood has a different tone than oak and oftentimes those tones don’t mix, especially if you’re going for unfinished wood surfaces. Likewise, for staining purposes, pine is an inexpensive option that holds various colored stains well.

Eco-Friendly is an Everlasting Design Trend

Environmentally friendly interior design is an earth-conscious way to inspire any space. From natural bamboo flooring to rustic reclaimed wood shelves to crushed glass countertops made from recycled bottles, eco-friendly materials will always stay on the cutting edge of interior design trends. So, when it comes time to plan your space, research and incorporate recycled materials into your design.

The above interior design trends will help you avoid outdated mistakes and create a space that always feels current.