2020 Home Decor and Design Trends to Watch

2020 is the start of a brand new decade, which means that it’s time to say hello to a brand new era in interior design. 

Here in Chicagoland and across the country, homeowners, real estate professionals, architects, and designers are all thinking about the future — which includes taking a deep look into the major home design trends and decorating ideas that will be shaping real estate in the months and years to come. 

As we head from the ‘10s to the ‘20s, there has never been a better time to start rethinking your space. Whether your goal is to make your home more chic or start preparing your property to sell, it’s important to keep on top of the biggest movements in home design and decor. 

So, what are design experts anticipating in the year — and decade — to come? Here are some home design and decor predictions to watch for 2020 and beyond:  

Blending the Old and the New

Rather than going all in on modernism or indulging in retro fantasies, design experts are anticipating that homeowners will favor a timeless blend of both worlds in the new year. Look for vintage elements and hand-picked, locally made artisan design elements to become popular flourishes, alongside classical artwork and detailing. 

Interior designer Bria Hammel tells Good Housekeeping that she expects to see “more of a nod to vintage and traditional detailing — things like spooled legs, spindles, and other things we saw in furnishings from the 1800s and early 1900s.”

Similarly, designer Ariel Orkin is anticipating that “Grandmillennial style” will have a moment in 2020; look for what Orkin calls “traditional design with a twist: blending elements of classic design like chinoiserie, scallops, natural fiber rugs, topiaries, and more, with a contemporary edge.” 

So, if the fancy strikes, don’t be afraid to be on the lookout for those intriguing, old school pieces — including canopy beds, rustic kitchen artwork, large tapestries, or retro furniture running the gamut from Art Deco glam to ‘70s chic.

Perfectly Imperfect Touches

Along with vintage finds, design experts are predicting that homeowners will gravitate toward elements with a bit of wear and tear in 2020. Breaking away from the sleek sheen of the digital age, many people are embracing design that shows its age, and highlighting decorative elements with a natural patina.

As designer Lauren Buxbaum Gordon explains in Elle Decor:

“People are opting toward living with pieces that are worn and have patina and don’t mind small scratches on 100-year-old stone. It makes them feel more at ease with how they function in their own homes because nothing is too precious.” 

Look for this rugged, lived-in touch in everything from vintage furniture, to textured walls, to decor pieces, where clay, earthenware, and ceramics are poised to pop as we move further into the decade. 

Bringing the Outdoors In

“Humans are feeling a greater need to be connected to nature,” says Kai Chow, creative director at Doneger, speaking to Architectural Digest. As a result, Chow predicts that we, “will see elements of the ‘great outdoors’ infusing interior design” in the decade to come.

Indeed, many design and decor experts are forecasting that 2020 year will see a major emphasis on all things nature, as homeowners opt for soothing organic colors, natural materials, biophilic design, and a more sustainable lifestyle, overall. 

For instance? When it comes to colors, many paint brands and color experts have chosen a 2020 “Color of the Year” that evokes natural tones and textures. Paint giant Behr has named the soft yellow-green “Back to Nature” as its biggest color for 2020, for instance, while Valspar highlights a number of earthy shades, including “Tempered Sage,” “Secret Moss,” and “Mint Whisper.” 

When it comes to design elements, Architectural Digest predicts that “botanical prints, lush greens, and replications of wood grains and stone veinings for pillows, rugs, and upholstery,” will see continued popularity in 2020, “along with delicate wild flora and fauna motifs in homewares.” Architectural Digest also anticipates that we will see an increase accent pieces made with wood and “organic substrates like rope, raffia, twine, and string.” Similarly, many experts predict that natural furniture materials like rattan and wicker will become increasingly big in 2020. 

And don’t forget the actual lush greens themselves. Designers are anticipating that houseplants will only continue to grow in popularity, as they add color and texture to any space. Good Housekeeping predicts that 2020 will become the year of indoor olive trees, while Elle Decor sees some designers going all in on living walls, indoors and out. 

Starting an indoor garden

Color, Color, Everywhere

Move over neutral shades; bright, warm, and inviting colors are coming back to the fore in 2020, according to design experts from around the country. 

Forbes predicts that “neutrals will be replaced by warm colors, saturated hues and jewel tones” in 2020. In particular, design expert Christina Coop tells Forbes that she sees “opportunities for more color” in “tiles, cabinetry, and walls.” 

Around the house, designers and homeowners are embracing colors and patterns wherever they can. Experts are calling for big choices in small spaces, such as vibrant wallpapers or paint colors in half-baths. Designers are also looking to embrace color with painted trim and interior doors, or even a splash of color or wallpaper on the ceiling. Similarly, look for a decline in white kitchens in favor of two-tone designs featuring blue, red, or black cabinets. 

In other cases, designers are seeing more of a preference for high contrast decor, including stark black and white finishes.

“Bold black and white feels fresh yet timeless, especially in graphic or Art Deco inspired patterns,” explains stylist Kelly Mason in Forbes

Meanwhile, off-beat and unexpected patterns will see an increase in popularity, according to several design experts, who say to look out for floral wallpaper, patterned upholstery, and colorful bedding in the months ahead. 

Blending Beauty and Function

Space is a precious commodity in 2020 — and homeowners are making sure they make the most of every room by embracing functionality, in many different ways. For instance, design experts expect that dual-purpose decor and multifunctional spaces will only continue to become more important as we head into 2020, with homeowners opting for furniture pieces, and even entire rooms, that can be leveraged for more than one use. 

Throughout the home, designers are also predicting that shelving and storage will take on new importance. In the kitchen, this means less of an emphasis on open shelving, and more focus on functional cabinets and drawers. Erika Owen, the associate director for audience development for Clever, predicts a surge in storage throughout the rest of the home, as well. As she writes

“Because so many people are tapping into their creative sides and making things with their own hands — an antidote to our work culture, which is so focused on screen time — they’ll need storage solutions for their crafts.”

Beyond storage, functionality is the name of the game in the rest of the kitchen, as well. Realtor.com predicts a boom in demand for double-islands, which can help divide the kitchen into areas for prep and service, and provide extra entertaining space. Similarly, 2020 may see  less emphasis on having a seated dining table in the kitchen, in lieu of breakfast nooks or even “comfortable upholstered chairs and lower tables that are more conducive to hanging out,” as Brooke and Steve Giannetti explain to Elle Decor


The Next Wave In Finishes

Surfaces and fixtures can totally redefine a space. So, what do design experts see coming down the pike in the ‘20s? For one thing, many people will continue to sing the praises of brass and bronze in 2020. When it comes to brass, Realtor.com notes that the current style is more matte than previous iterations, and mixes well with other metals. Bronze, meanwhile, is “a little more sophisticated and feels timeless,”  as interior designer Tina Ramchandani explains to House Beautiful

In the kitchen and throughout the home, designers are also predicting that granite will be out, while quartz will continue to grow in popularity.  As Realtor.com puts it:

“This tough mineral will be a rock star in 2020, showing up in the kitchen, bathroom, and even the laundry room. Many designers see it as the be-all, end-all for countertops because of its durability and reasonable price.”

In the bathroom, homeowners are looking for standalone tubs and larger showers. The 2019 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study found that 54% of homeowners upgrading their bathroom last year increased the size of their shower. 38% of homeowners added or replaced a bathtub as part of their master bathroom project, and, among this group, 50% choose a freestanding flat-bottom tub shape. As for finishes? Among renovating homeowners who upgraded their shower, “the majority choose ceramic or porcelain tile for shower floors (53%) and shower walls (66%),” according to Houzz

Get Ready to Sell With Chicagoland’s Real Estate Experts

Want to talk about your design ideas with a Chicagoland real estate pro? Curious about what steps you can take to get your home ready to sell in 2020? We’re here to help. 

For more than 160 years, Baird & Warner agents have helped buyers and sellers stay up-to-date on the latest trends shaping real estate. As the largest independent and locally owned real estate brokerage in Chicagoland, Baird & Warner is home to thousands of the most highly skilled real estate professionals in the area. Our brokers are hyperlocal experts who know just what it takes to prepare, market, and sell your home, while helping you navigate the process with ease at every step of the way. 

When you sell with Baird & Warner, your agent can help you connect with professionals that provide expert presale renovation services based on what buyers are looking and paying for in your market, making it easier to get a home updated quickly and affordably before it’s listed. And with mortgage and title services in-house, our full-service approach makes selling your home smarter and more seamless, from beginning to end.

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