Interior Trends: What To Get & What To Forget In 2020

All-white bathrooms, grey shades and pineapple motifs are so last decade. Jessica Doyle reveals the top trends right now

Dulux Colour of the Year 2020 'Tauherenikau', styled by Bree Leech. Photo / Lisa Cohen

Grey has been the standout paint colour that has defined the past decade, in all its shades, from dove through to charcoal. After years of magnolia and off-white, grey felt fresh and cool. It’s also incredibly versatile, working with most other colours. For that reason, it’s too soon to say that it’s over. But as with anything that saturates the market so completely, it’s being phased out in favour of other colours that offer a new look.

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Warmer shades such as pink, peach and oatmeal have been gradually replacing grey as the choice for a more neutral palette, but trend forecasters such as WGSN are predicting a move towards pale green. It ties in with the current preoccupation with nature and plants, and offers a calm counterpoint to a turbulent outside world according to Dulux, whose version of the shade, Tauherenikau, is its colour of the year for 2020. Combine it with darker greens or warmer pinky tones to stop it from looking too sickly; painting a room in more than one colour is another current decorating trend.

Practical considerations have often dictated sofa trends. Brown leather was huge in the 2000s, and dark browns and grey fabrics took over at the beginning of the last decade. But that all went out of the window a few years ago when velvet became the upholstery of choice. Not only that, homeware brands are reporting that velvet sofas in strong colours such as burnt orange and yellow are in demand.
The patterned sofa, which hasn’t really been seen since the 80s, is also currently staging a comeback. Look out for modern florals, geometric designs and even animal print. If florals aren’t your thing, try a stripe in either bright velvet or more muted linen.

At some point last year, we reached peak pineapple. It’s hardly new in terms of homeware; traditionally a sign of welcome and wealth, it has been used as a decorative motif for hundreds of years. But when it started appearing on cushions and cocktailware — alongside cactuses, flamingos and parrots — it turned swiftly from a tongue-in-cheek style novelty to a cliche. That’s not to say that tropical patterns are over in general; palm leaves, still look stylish and make a striking statement. But there’s a new, decidedly less brash breed of pattern coming through, with a gentler, more nostalgic feel.

READ: Why Mid-Century Modern Furniture Has Lasting Appeal

Florals have been staging a comeback, but forget large-scale, abstract poppy motifs: the new florals look decidedly old-fashioned, with finely drawn outlines and delicate patterns. Some are executed in punchy modern colourways, while others stay true to traditional chintzes.

The current preoccupation with the state of the oceans could be a factor in the rise of sea-inspired motifs: coral, sea grasses and shells have all been appearing in the new fabric and wallpaper collections. Sea creatures are popping up on tableware, too, featuring everything from sea gods and starfish, to shell dishes. Shells have been a key motif across the board over the past year or so, with scallop edges appearing on furniture, cushions, textiles and mirrors.

Ten years ago, the all-white, marble-tiled, spa-like bathroom was all the rage; but both bright colour and edgy darker tones are gradually making their way in. It started with the taps, which went from chrome to brass to black over the past decade, and now there are taps, tiles, baths and basins in all sorts of shades.
Coloured bathroom suites can look spectacular, but they tend to be on the expensive side. A more affordable way to get the look is with a colourful vinyl wallpaper, or tiles. Alternatively, stick with the white theme, but add edge with black accents in brassware and shower screens.

As with bathrooms, kitchens have gone through a decidedly neutral phase and, in many homes, they still are, with white remaining the most popular choice. The kitchen is usually the most expensive room in the house, and the one where we’re more likely to want to play it safe to ensure longevity — which makes it even more revealing that kitchen suppliers are reporting a definite increase in demand for punchier styles.

The home-interest website Houzz has seen an uplift in its users posting pictures of kitchen cabinets in blues and greens, and one of the rising search terms used on the site last year was, somewhat surprisingly, “yellow kitchens”. Kitchen companies are championing a two-tone (or even three-tone) look, with different colours used on eye-level units, base-level units and free-standing islands.

Biophilia — surrounding oneself with nature and natural materials in order to feel a connection with the outside world — has come to the fore in interiors this year, and it’s a trend that is set to continue into the next decade as we increasingly ditch the plastic in favour of more sustainable materials.

READ: 6 Simple Principles To Consider For An Eco-Friendly Home

The rattan trend has been one example of this — rattan offering an inexpensive and lightweight alternative to synthetic furniture. Raw wooden surfaces, whether on tables, chairs or kitchen cabinets, are taking over from their high-gloss counterparts that were previously so popular. Antique and vintage furniture, particularly in darker-toned woods, is a trend that looks set to grow as we increasingly reject the cheap, disposable pieces popular 10 years ago and seek to reuse and repurpose what already exists — a movement that can only be a good thing both for the planet and for our homes.

— The Telegraph

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