When I first downsized and moved into my townhome in 2010, I hired a wonderful decorator and color consultant to help me decide what furnishings to take from my home. She helped me select paint colors, carpet styles, drapery fabrics and window treatments, and a few new pieces of furniture. She even did layouts to show me how to place the furniture in each room. It was one of the best investments during my life after 50.

The NY NOW Show

Last week, I attended the NY NOW Show at the Javits Center in New York City. It is a huge show of gifts and home accessories. After walking the floors for two days, I decided I either wanted to open a gift shop filled with jewelry, socks, trinkets and home goods (which is not going to happen) or perhaps finally redecorate my combined living/family room (yes, no, maybe so).

Absolutelyyes, that is exactly what I am going to do this coming fall and winter. The room where I spend the most time each day deserves to be updated for my second act.

I'm going to keep trends in mind as I select my decor. That's why I listened intently to the panelists at the NY NOW "Color Forecast 2014 and Beyond" seminar to learn what is trending. Then I walked the show just like the editors and designers to see what's out there.

Adding Color

"Use color to punch up your surroundings," said DJ Carey, Cottages & Gardens editorial director. DJ shared the hot home colors including true blue, a cleaner and clearer blue, nice in a bedroom; green, which brings the tonalities of the garden inside like a mossy soothing green; pops of clean yellow with dark charcoal or gray walls; subtle touches of pale pink; and gray, especially in kitchens. (Ooh, ooh, ooh, I'd love to redo my kitchen counter. I'm not a big fan of dark granite. Maybe I should update my kitchen too. That's what happens when you start redecorating—it always makes the old stuff look really old.)

Core, Impulse, Real

"The world around us is impacting our desire in the home," said Renee Hytry Derrington, group vice president for Formica Group and Laminex. "Less is more, simple is luxury. Happiness counts. Perfection and authenticity are important as is environmental consideration." The three trends Formica is following include "core," "impulse," and "real."

"Core" denotes neutrals with gray being the most essential; dark blue, almost indigo or black; animal tones or natural skin tones; marble and stone; wool; cotton; and felt. Texture is especially important when using neutrals. Denim is as popular in the home as it is for jeans. (There's the gray again. So glad I bought my gray velvet sofa for my office—my astrologer remarked how well I stay ahead of the trends.)

"Impulse" stands for lots of color, playful shapes and materials, nostalgia, bright and fun items. Oranges, corals and tomato red are all popular for interiors. Blue tops the list here too in shades of aquamarine. Floral influences are popping up along with bold prints. Color pop in kitchens brings yellows and purples to the place where you cook. (I adore aqua and painted my bathroom walls this soothing color. Would love to have a new Kohler self-cleaning bathtub—nope not going to happen unless I win the lottery. No, no, no.)

"Real" pays homage to the ecosystem with recycled materials, mindfulness and well-being, homemade and handmade, mellow tones, terra cotta, warm butterscotch, washed tangerine, colored metals, plus natural wood. Renee spoke about upcycling, where materials like jeans are reused to make pillows or quilts and glass bottles are turned into lamps and lampshades. (I'm all about mindfulness and spa treatments. Show me the way. I want my living room to be a place of zen. Maybe I will keep a sunny spot for morning meditations.)

Wow-o-wow, I can't wait to get started but I am feeling overwhelmed just thinking about this home decorating job. There are too many trends to consider. I need some professional advice. Where is that decorator's card?

How have you updated your home since you became an empty nester? Leave a comment and let me know if you have any good ideas. Next week, I'll share more tips from NY NOW on "Fashion Design & Home Decor."

This post originally appeared on aboomerslifeafter50.com.

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