A trend that has been popular in Europe for quite some time is the concept of the "wet room." The idea is by keeping everything open in a bathroom space, it is possible to make even the smallest rooms feel almost spa-like and spacious. Bath tubs, when at all installed, and shower enclosures are separate and typically the entire space including walls and often ceilings are finished in tile. The shower stalls are left open or have a simple glass enclosure and the shower fittings are often luxurious with body tiles or jets, removable handsets and often a ceiling mounted shower head. On a practical side, wet rooms are easier to keep clean and without doors or shower curtains there is less of a chance for mildew growth.
Another trend in decor and design that we see in Europe is the use of colour. Not just for fabrics and walls, but colour is used in more permanent fittings like kitchen cabinetry. Modern styled kitchens may have black, blue, even silver matte or high gloss cabinets while more traditional styled kitchen are often yellows, reds, or light blues in muted tones. Europeans are definately more daring with their use of colour and are not afraid to use colour in the home in bold ways.
One wouldn't usually think storage was a trend but actually it has become very important in the daily lives of many people. Storage is something that seems as though we can never have too much of and by nature of living in much smaller spaces in Europe, designers and decorators have had to come up with creative and innovative storage ideas which allow people to maintain a comfortable lifestyle in less square footage. If you look around your home you may find a perfect place for storage where least expected. Along stairwell walls, flanking fireplaces and even under the steps of the stairs are only a few ideas to maximize storage space and keep the clutter at bay.
Another trend that has evolved from necessity is having multifunctional furniture. Due to the fact that Europeans typically live in smaller spaces than us North Americans, they have had to design furniture that is multifunctional. Tables may be raised or lowered to create either a coffee table or a dining table. A cabinet in a corner may house a computer and double as an office space but once the doors on the cabinet close it looks like any other piece of furniture. Storage boxes can double as seating and sofas and chairs can fold out to reveal beds, allowing even the smallest homes to be functional as well as stylish.