Though there will always be those tried and true trends that never go out of style (midcentury modern, anyone?), the design world is often a series of up-and-coming trends that burn brightly for a moment before either fading from view (matching furniture, we’re looking at you) or sticking around to ride its ever-spinning carousel.

A living room filled with all the staples of California Cool style, including a neutral color palette and eclectic decor staples.

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The beauty of design is that it isn’t confined by a set of rules. Trends are often a mish-mash of popular styles that blend perfectly to create a new style all their own.

One look that’s definitely having a moment right now is the “California Cool” trend, itself a conglomerate of hip, distinctive, and ever-so-popular design choices. Think laidback, coastal vibes, bohemian chic, marvelous midcentury touches, and a bit of Scandinavian influence, all combining to create muted, eclectic interiors full of character. While this may sound a bit incongruous, it definitely works.

Simple but relaxed-feeling living space decorated in the popular California Cool style.

Below are some of the most important characteristics of the uber-cool trend that’s taking the design world by storm:

Start with a Muted (Yet Sophisticated) Color Palette

Beige couches, large windows, and lots of white wall space define this California Cool living area.

While all-white minimalist interiors may be on their way out, incorporating white with a muted, neutral color palette is a cornerstone of the California Cool aesthetic. Think neutrals like creamy beige and low-key primary colors like subtle blues, with the occasional orange or brown tone peppered in by way of warm wood or leather accents. Black can even make an appearance here, as long as it’s used as an understated way to accentuate the more subdued palette. The result? A perfect combination between warm and cool tones that draws the eye but doesn’t overwhelm the senses.

Work in Tons of Texture

Coarse textiles and a rustic set of hallway drawers bring splashes of texture to this California Cool interior.

The beauty of California Cool is the ability to play with other design aspects like texture. Because the trend’s overall color palette is neutral, a space’s depth and dimension can be defined with a variety of textures. Creating a layered and mixed perspective are smatterings of wool side by side with softer velvets, rough rattan accented by curved, smooth decor pieces, and rustic timber tempered by airy linen. These contrasting textures amplify the streamlined, modern look of a room’s palette in interesting ways to create a dynamic and stylish space that defines this trend perfectly.

Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

This California Cool den space is a masterclass in experimenting with different textural and stylistic accent pieces.

One of the main tenets of California Cool is a thoughtfully curated feel. Built up over time, a California Cool space is dynamic, rather than static, ever-evolving to continuously update itself with added depth and interest. A mix of styles is key to achieving this look, so feel free to mix signature, one-of-a-kind pieces with vintage finds and personal touches like family heirlooms or travel mementos. Most importantly, create a space that tells a story and leaves itself open to changing over time, even in the subtlest of ways.

Embrace the Imperfect

The California Cool trend prides itself on its quirkiness. Anything but stodgy, it’s a style that tends to embrace a bit of weirdness, and hints of out-there touches that may not seem to fit, but add character and an eclectic flair to the space. Think mismatched patterns, vintage, imperfect furniture, or deviations from standard room layouts. Symmetry is optional, formality is passé. The feel is lived in, relaxed, and sometimes even playful.

This California Cool dining space may seem mismatched at first, but there's no denying the aesthetic's homey charms.

With a muted color palette as its backdrop, California Cool opens a world of possibilities, embracing eclectic, laidback vibes that are anything but boring. Seeming to break with convention, the trend makes for spaces that are thoughtful, chic, and most importantly, homey. Its fluid and flexible nature is sure to give it staying power in the world of interior design for years to come.