There it stands. The old, dependable night table. The one that supports your bulging lamp, your alarm clock, that pile of books and magazines.
But maybe not for long.
The night table is shrinking. One model, the Diva, is a sleek, pared-down twist on a traditional nightstand. But it has a handy USB port.
"Nobody needs an alarm clock anymore," says James Nauyok, an executive at Baker Furniture, which offers the snazzy new night table at its showroom in Laguna Niguel, Calif. "It's on your phone."
And that old pile of books? They're in your Kindle, he says. How about the lamp? He had an answer for that one, too: Rooms these days have built-in task lighting.
You get the picture.
As the real estate revival spreads, home designers and decorators are taking some of their cues from fashion. Lifestyle changes and technological advances also rule the roost. That's evident in the looks in vogue for 2014.
Here are 10 that are popular now in new homes and in home makeovers.
Showers with multiple heads, frameless enclosures, heated floors and towel racks are big on homeowners' wish lists as they look to "embellish the shower experience," according to the Web's Zillow Digs.
Home design site Houzz released the results of a bathroom remodeling survey last week showing that 4 in 10 people are even willing to skip having a tub. Some bells and whistles for showers skew younger, Houzz says: Homeowners younger than 45 are more likely to choose rain (45 percent) and multiple shower heads (24 percent).
Versatility is big, whether it's a bed with storage compartments or other pieces with drawers and doors that could work in the bedroom, dining room, or elsewhere. (And consider downsizing that night table!)
Porcelain flooring that looks like wood or stone is coming on strong. Improvements in the manufacturing process now offer a more natural, varied appearance compared to the sameness of pieces from the past.
"There is no maintenance on porcelain," said Mai Williams, design gallery manager at Floor & Decor in Santa Ana, Calif. "You install it, and that puppy is done. With the porcelain you've got the look of (wood or stone), but you can wreck it. You can throw plates on it."
She noted that house flippers especially like porcelain, which is cheaper than wood. "They want to differentiate themselves from the other beige house that someone else just did. They're going for more design, but at a lesser price point."
Homeowners with a sophisticated sense of style will seek out black kitchen counters this year, according to Zillow Digs. Design mavens like black paired with a lighter marble or light gray. Zillow also sees open shelves and glass-front kitchen cabinets gaining in popularity. (Have at it, neat freaks!)
A veritable rainbow. Pantone, the paint company that annually proclaims the color of the year, has anointed "Radiant Orchid" as the star of 2014. But at Dwell magazine, Editor-in-Chief Amanda Dameron cited indigo as the newly pervasive color, as well as Benjamin Moore's Gunmetal, a medium gray. Other designers say aqua blue is all the rage. Laguna Beach, Calif., interior designer Sheldon Harte cites a darker look: "I'd say brown is the new black."
UPHOLSTERY AND FABRICS
Corduroy has become so popular for furniture now, Harte said, that manufacturers emboss leather to look like corduroy. He's put purple corduroy on a gold-leafed bergere. Harte and other designers also cited sheer, gauzy wools and linens as the trend in draperies, rather than heavy, swooping materials. "It's really about bringing the outdoors in and the indoors out," Nauyok at Baker said. "You don't want these heavy drapes that create the barrier."
Outdoor furniture, with its new palettes and patterns, can do double duty and come indoors. "With every year and (new) technology, we just see more sophisticated design. It gives people of lot more options," said Amanda Dameron, editor in chief of Dwell Magazine. So it's really OK just to drag those pieces inside? "There are no rules," said Sheila Schmitz, editor of Houzz. "If you want it inside ... you put it inside."
Maybe it's the influence of all those websites devoted to midcentury style, or shows like TV's award-winning "Mad Men," or the popular homes by post-World War II developer Joseph Eichler. But perennial favorites such as Eileen Gray tables, Barcelona chairs and satellite-shaped chandeliers are in demand. "Anybody who is the owner of an Eichler home, this is their playground," said Houra Khani, studio lead at Design Within Reach, a sprawling Costa Mesa, Calif., showroom full of midcentury modern furniture.
There's nothing like a blend of bling to evoke old-time Hollywood glamour. "You're now mixing gold, bronze and silver," said Michael Streit, interior designer and owner of California Style Home Collections at the Laguna Design Center in Laguna Niguel. As he talked trends, Streit gestured to moderno chairs in a platinum and gold fabric, set on each side of a shimmery, mirrored accent table with a gold and pewter lamp.
"The great thing about this new trend is that it's fun to mix and match," wrote Allie Early at the Haute Residence website. "Try blending mercury glass with silver and gold accents to give your home a sophisticated polish that matches most color palettes."
With the economy improving, homeowners are going to revert to spending more on pieces for posterity rather than on "temporary furniture," said Jessica Bennett, one of the owners of Ebanista, a furniture store at the Laguna Design Center. "Every piece needs to have a detail, a finish, a curvature, a carving - something that makes it unique," she said, "that you feel like you could've found it in the antique store." Bennett freely admits to having a bias. "We're not the hipsters," she said. "We love the classics."