As we move into 2020, we’ll notice that many of this year’s interior design themes are repeated from past years and updated for today’s houses. From country to country, we can see how the global interior design trends for 2020 really apply.
This year has some common themes that are applicable throughout the entire house. Classic trends seem to be returning, with florals making an appearance in wallpaper, cushions, rugs, and more. Classic lines and comfort seem to be a trend as well, as we move away from the straight almost angular designs from the 2010s. Antiques and unique pieces are also a huge trend, as buyers look for items that are either ethically produced or handmade, as they create rooms that are unique but comfortable. And lastly, colour seems to be the keyword for 2020 design, as we move away from the whites of the last decade.
As always, some trends from previous years carry over. Just because something was a trend last year doesn’t mean it became outdated on January 1st. Boho is still popular, but this year boho design is projected to have a unique twist with even more unfinished pieces, sourced from Southeast Asian and Africa. As 2019 tentatively stepped towards maximalist themes, 2020 plans to embrace it with a variety of textures and designs, best exemplified in British and Japanese wallpapers. Above all though, we are seeing a theme of classic and timeless trends. To that end, this article looks specifically at projected global trends and styles for 2020.
A Return to Blue and Colour Everywhere
Before we look at global trends, we must focus on colour. The Pantone color of the year is called “Classic Blue” and that really sets the stage for the rest of this year’s trends. Move away, greys, because the blues are back! This elegant shade fits well into nearly every design scheme, making it a near perfect color for interior design. From a classic living room to a very modern bedroom, this shade of blue fits well everywhere.
Of course, last year’s pink is still in style. Using a muted, blush pink is a fun way to add a pop of colour or a way to refresh an entire room, without looking like your decorator was in middle school. Avoid using a glossy paint, but embrace the matte paints instead, for a more sophisticated finish. Beyond pinks, think earth tones, like terra cotta, muted greens, and mellow yellows. The Dulux Colour of the year is Tranquil Dawn, which is soothing, but far brighter than a white wall. Color is taking over the all-white minimalism of years past, and it’s coming back with boldness.
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High contrast decor is also proving to be popular this year. Think black or colourful trims, or furniture with contrasting arms and cushions. Even kitchens are getting in on this trend with two-toned kitchens making an appearance. The 2010s were full of bright white kitchens with simplistic decor and tiles, but the new decade is bringing in colour in a big way. Many are implementing this trend with darkly painted lower cabinets and brightly painted upper cabinets. Some are even painting kitchen islands a darker colour and leaving the remainder of the cabinets brighter, making this a simple change for any style of kitchen.
In short, adding in bright, warm colours, high contrasting colours on walls and furniture, and incorporating in Pantone’s Classic Blue, are all ways to make colour work for 2020.
Image Credit: The Spruce
Traditional Prints and More
Layering prints is back, but it’s not like we remember from the 80s. With muted colours and memorable designs, this trend harkens back to a simpler age.
Think English country house style with clean lines and moderately used, but lovely floral prints. Chintz was last seen and popular in the 80s, before Ikea’s memorable ad in the 90s, which depicted women throwing out their chintz drapes in favour of sleeker options. Now chintz reappears, but in a more modern setting. Mixing prints is definitely fine, but the experts recommend keeping it to around 3-4 prints per room. If you’re going to mix, start with the smallest prints and work your way up to the big pieces, to keep it all unified and comfortable. Using the same pattern throughout a room contributes to a matchy-matchy feel that most want to avoid, so think of adding stripes alongside florals of all sizes.
If you’re looking for a traditional pattern, look at William Morris’s designs. Born in 1834, Morris contributed to the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain. His designs are classic and timeless; blending with today’s modern furniture. His designs are full of typical British objects, like brambles, birds, and British flowers.
If you’re looking for something more exotic, look at Japanese prints, which feature colour and beautiful designs. The V&A has a Japanese exhibit full of beautiful prints and designs if you’re looking for further inspiration. Unlike last year where Japanese style really focused on meditative style, this year’s Japanese style is about bold, colourful design and texture. Think reds, black, and greens for your Japanese colour palette.
From India and Sri Lanka, we see large leafy designs from jungles, along with exotic animals and birds also feature strongly in this year’s pattern themes, and they blend very well with previous boho styles. Complete your boho look with an Indian made, durable dhurrie rug made of cotton, silk, jute, or wool for a classic rug style that works on areas both indoors and out.
A popular trend in America has been shiplap, but this year it’s on its way out, and instead wallpaper and beadboard are in. If you absolutely love shiplap and can’t do without it, add it in smaller doses, but be aware that this is definitely a trendy pattern, whilst beadboard and wallpaper are always classic.
From the continent of Africa, we have animal prints set to return, but in a smaller, more muted way. So, don’t go out and buy that cheetah print rug - yet. Add in animal prints in small doses before you splurge on big, focal points.
Image Credit: The Spruce
From Italy, terrazzo is making a return in kitchens and bathrooms, appealing to many because it is eco friendly, unique, and modern. Think of it as a backsplash to your natural kitchen, or fun, bold flooring in your bathroom. With a variety of colors and designs, terrazzo is a great way to bring in a unique but classic style to your house this year.
Abstract styles and designs are also projected, but unlike animal prints, these are going for the wow factor. Think blocks of colour, bold geometrics, and unique, hand-drawn sketches. This trend seems to be like a Wassily Kadinsky work come to life in your room. This is the place to be adding in fun colours that might not work anywhere else, like mauve, reds, and browns. You can work these designs in subtly with some throw pillows, or you can go all out with a massive rug as a focal point. There is no right or wrong here.
Seeing prints in style in 2020 may bring back memories of oversized, chintzy couches, ruffled drapes, or busy rugs, but this year’s global trends are nothing like that. With carefully combined prints, you can create a cozy, but unique house, that is right on trend for this upcoming year.
Even More Natural Accessories
Linen sheets, from Ireland or Belgium, which has been popular the past few years, are moving from basic white and creams to rich jewel tones.
Houseplants are still popular, but might be found in either aged with patina or more polished containers, depending on style. Layering leather or suede pillows against other fabrics keeps the boho style in the forefront.
As people look to add more natural accessories into their homes, they’re going to look at rattan, marble, natural or raw woods, cane, and more. These bring the beauty of the outdoors inside, where we can enjoy them even more.
From Morocco we can find brightly coloured and fun natural accessories. Handwoven baskets can be used to hold blankets, laundry, or grouped on a wall as decor. The natural North African landscape offers the beautiful, muted tones that are incredibly popular on Instagram and therefore in households today.
Image Credit: Pretend Magazine
Moroccan style rugs are simply beautiful to look at and add a degree of luxuriousness to your outdoor space. With vivid colours and patterns, Moroccan rug styles add both fun and richness to any room or space. Consider pairing with hanging lanterns and opulent pillows and throws for a classic Moroccan look full of texture and style.
Fast Fashion and Ethical fashion
In 2019, fast fashion was a hot topic and it made many people really evaluate where their items were coming from, and if they were necessary. As we move into 2020, fast fashion is still worrisome to many, causing shoppers to move towards smaller, local shops, instead of larger stores. Many shoppers want items that are unique and with a story behind them. Shopping local gives them both.
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And as people move towards smaller shops, larger stores are catching on, by focusing on the eco conscious or sustainably sourced. Now, Tencel fabrics can be found for cushions and rugs can be made out of recycled plastic bottles. Sometimes, it’s not always possible to buy ethically made items at a high price point, but using even a fast fashion shop for items made from recycled materials may soothe your conscience. Ikat rugs from Indonesia are a great way to incorporate recycled materials into your indoor or outdoor living space. Made from a variety of materials such as wool or recycled polypropylene, these exotic looking rugs are fun and can support smaller artisans.
Focusing on shopping small is a great way to benefit smaller shops that have artisans in Africa, South America, or Asia. Here you can often find beautifully unique pieces, made by talented artisans. By shopping small, you can pay an artisan what their piece is truly worth. Fun pieces to look for that are on trend this year would be rugs from Morocco or Asia, cushions and linens from Mexico, and handmade woolen cushions from Scotland or Ireland.
If you’re constrained by a price point, consider shopping second-hand for cheaper pieces. Thrift stores, antique shops, and even auctions all offer fantastic deals on the now-popular, one-of-a-kind pieces that really sets your decor apart. By giving second-hand furniture a home, you’re not only staying on trend, but also saving money by buying a higher quality item than you probably would have found brand new.
One of 2020s big themes is uniqueness, and what better way to find unique than to shop used or small. This is an easy and cheap trend to incorporate into your house.
We’re mixing prints and we’re combining different textures to create a unique, one-of-a-kind home. Mixing accessories is huge this year. This texture trend relies on a variety of fabrics, natural and manmade, along with smooth surfaces like glass, for an appealing room full of unique delights. You can build off the colour trends and have various shades of one colour on your furniture with natural accents. Or you can harken back to the 80s with textured fabrics and prints all combined for a luxurious design.
Popular in Italy and surrounding Mediteranian countries are the beautiful affects of a patina wall. Adding a patina wall or even patina accents to give the illusion of age and uniqueness, alongside vintage furniture and accessories is another great way to mix texture in 2020.
Even the classic Scandinavian style is embracing texture and colour like never before. Think dark, almost gothic tones of deep blues and purples instead of bright whites and creams. While a mark of Scandinavian style has always been layering textures, like woods, faux furs, wool blankets, and stone, now these textures are deeper and darker in colour, making for a beautifully inviting room.
If your designs still harken back to simple and minimalistic of the past years, here is where your rooms can really shine. Instead of adding in colours, you can combine textures in a variety of matching hues, to modernise, but still keep your simplistic, yet global focus. Moving away from greys and into warmer hues will keep your rooms fresh, without looking dated. Artisan pieces, unfinished or raw edges, or quality pieces all can be combined to create a look full of texture within a simple colour palette.
Adding texture to your outdoor space is a fun way to blend outdoor and indoor styles. For texture in your outdoor space, you’ll often want natural or synthetic fibres that are more durable to foot traffic and the elements. Consider incorporating styles from warmer weather countries for your outdoor space.
From Indian you can incorporate natural fibre rugs made from jute which is both hardworking and lovely to look at. Adding in reds, silk pillows, and lush, tropica
l plants can also be a simple way to incorporate traditional Indian styles to your outdoor space. And from the Middle East, flat but colourful kilim rugs add a splash of colour and
texture for your hard-working areas. Rugs in your outdoor space can help limit dirt being tracked indoors, and protect or cover ordinary outdoor flooring, while adding colours and texture.
In 2020, texture can be utilized however you see fit, be it colourful or monochromatic. The biggest takeaway from this trend is to have fun as you decorate. This is your opportunity to mix and match and really make a statement.
Decorating and interior design are so personalised and 2020 designs really appeal to the unique and individualistic styles that the 2010s lacked. After all, this is your space, and you have an opportunity to really decorate it however you want. Utilize these global themes for 2020 to really show that it is your house, and you can take these styles and do what you want with them, to create a home that is your haven.