Top interior design trends for 2020

Colour swatch for a popular blue tone trending in 2020 with blue feathers

Sarah Marinos

Posted January 15, 2020

We take a closer look at 2020’s hottest home, design and interior trends.

Whether you’re renovating, building a new home or simply wanting to give your living spaces a quick refresh it pays to be across the latest design and decorating trends. Scandi pastels and blond woods might have been the go-to looks for interiors over the past decade, but in 2020 new colours, shapes and textures are coming to the fore. You might not be ready for fabric walls or fluted shower screens but referencing even a few of the latest trends in your decor will give your home a contemporary look for a new decade.

Here’s what to look out for

Feeling blue

World colour authority the Pantone Colour Institute has anointed Classic Blue as the colour of the year. Colour experts say Classic Blue is dependable, stable, simply elegant and creates an air of peace and tranquility. “We are living in a time that requires trust and faith,” says Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone Color Institute executive director. “Imbued with a deep resonance, Classic Blue provides an anchoring foundation. A boundless blue evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky, Classic Blue encourages us to look beyond the obvious to expand our thinking, challenging us to think more deeply, increase our perspective and open the flow of communication.” Expect to see the shade popping up in fashion, accessories and of course around the home, in soft furnishings, as a feature colour in rugs, in couches and seating and even in wall coverings.   

Showing restraint

The natural world will also inspire home colours in 2020, according to Dulux. The paint business tips neutrals, such as Clay, inspired by the natural world, and muted brights including Hint of Lavender and Pancake Mix. “These colour trends are influenced by what’s happening in the world around us,” says Andrea Lucena-Orr, Dulux colour and communications manager. “With more focus on mental health, the wellness movement continues to gain momentum, as does an emphasis on natural materiality.”  

Layers and textures

Don’t be afraid to mix materials and textures, says Serena Elise, owner and principal designer at White Chalk Design. “Take a beautiful, dark oak timber floor and layer a sisal rug on it to create interest,” says Serena. “Add a honed marble table with brass detail because brass details will be around for a while, and sit cottons and velvets side by side.” 

Manmade bench tops

Marble has reigned supreme in kitchens across Australia for decades but in 2020 we will see more home renovators choosing manmade porcelain sheets and reconstituted stone for benchtops. “They cleverly mimic the natural veins of marble but without the maintenance concerns. If you put a piece of lemon on your marble benchtop, you will get an acid etching mark but you don’t have to worry about that with these newer materials,” says Serena.

Terrazzo and fluted glass

Bathrooms become quietly elegant with classic terrazzo tiling on floors and walls in natural, earthy tones. Fluted glass, reminiscent of the Art Deco era, also makes a return and will be seen in pendant lights as well as shower screens and partitions.

Fabric wall panels

Amp up style and interest in bedrooms, theatre rooms or formal lounge areas with a statement oversized wall panel. “Have an over-sized canvas or wallpaper with an image that covers the whole wall to create drama in one focal point,” suggests Serena. “Or create a whole bedhead wall in velvet or linen with panelling and stitching detail and put your bed head in front of that. Bedrooms are sanctuaries and people don’t want every wall to be a hard surface.” A fabric wall panel also adds interest to a theatre room and can improve acoustics.

Upcycle and accessorise

If you find a vintage sofa that you like, give it a new lease of life by having it covered in new fabric. Serena says curves, soft edges and scallop details are big in furniture shapes in 2020. Refresh a room on a budget by changing cushions and mixing inexpensive patterned varieties with a few good-quality cushions in classic colours like navy blue. Fresh flowers add softness to a room and so do candles. “Hang a couple of inexpensive framed prints on walls to give a room an instant lift and points of interest,” suggests Serena. “You don’t have to spend a lot of money on accessories and can switch looks in summer, when you choose something bright and light, and winter when you choose accessories that create a feeling of comfort and warmth.”

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