Looking ahead to a new year is always exciting, though there’s something about a whole brand-spanking new decade that feels even more special. That, combined with seeing all the new trends coming through, has got us itching to redecorate (and frankly, anything to take our minds off trying to stick to our NY resolutions of general healthiness and sobriety is more than welcome, too).
We’ve tasked our go-to interiors stylist, writer and trend forecaster, Joanna Thornhill, to sum up the key trends we’ll be seeing in 2020 and offer some tips on how we can make them work in our own homes.
Paint brand Dulux is always one to watch when it comes to leading new style directions, based – of course – around their ‘colour of the year’, which they work up to produce an entire palette. For 2020, they’ve gone with Tranquil Dawn: a soft, gentle hue sitting somewhere between misty blue, smoky grey and soft sage. The tone came about as a response to “a growing anxiety about the digitisation of the world and the state of the planet”, resulting in this gentle colour, which aims to help us redress this balance and bring a sense of calm and – well – tranquillity back into our homes. They suggest combining it with warm neutrals, blue tones, or shades of another ethereal colour – purple – playing with darker mauves right up to lilac, to bring touches of interest to this relatively neutral base.
Showcasing a distinctly different palette yet a not dissimilar message, the grounded trends also has roots in calm and wellbeing, fuelled by the positive health benefits of taking the time to physically and mentally ‘ground’ ourselves by noticing the earth under our feet, the awareness of our breath and connection to the space we inhabit. In interiors terms, this translates as bringing in the rich, nuanced colours of nature into a space, such as warm terracotta and ochre tones, to decorating with natural materials such as woods, rattan and wool. With a distinct artisan twist, get the look in your own home by opting for furniture and accessories that showcase the hand of the maker, from hand-thrown ceramics to wooden furniture showcasing the natural beauty of the material alongside visible joins and craftsmanship.
Industrial styling in both homeware and interiors has been big news for a good few years now, though lately the look has taken a gentler turn, as we move away from the slightly pastiche attempts at trying to shoehorn an open-plan, New York loft-style aesthetic into a suburban semi in Shropshire. In 2020, we’ll continue to see industrial elements such as dark metal detailing, bare brick walls and those ubiquitous factory-style ceiling shades, but these will be tempered with softening elements like luxe linen throws and bedding, warm woods and copious amounts of house plants. The idea is to create a look that’s authentic to the building you live in and ensure there’s enough textural warmth and homely touches to really feel like home, so ensure you mix in grounding elements like a leather armchair or fluffy flokati rug to create a more cohesive space.
We called this one back in 2019 with our ‘Spiced Curves’ trend, which showcased a softening of lines and a blurring of edges, all wrapped up in a beautiful warm colour palette of dusky pinks and earthy taupes. Now, designers are continuing to play with these shapes to create interesting, new definitions of interior spaces: think painting curved lines or block colours to demarcate a cosy seating area, or to loosely define different areas of a ‘broken plan’ space by messing with the natural boundaries of where walls and ceilings end. The look boils down into furniture, too, as ‘plump’ seating continues to trend and circular motifs are carried through into tabletops. If you’re up for creating your own painted curves and don’t fancy doing it freehand, look online for special ‘masking tapes for curves’, which are designed to be super flexible for creating guidelines for rounded edges.
It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Victoriana is making a comeback: think riotous florals and bold colours that sit on just the right side of garish. What stops this look from feeling fuddy-duddy, however, it its bold confidence when it comes to playing with patterns and clashing with confidence. Whilst you might want to stop short on the pattern-on-everything vibe, this can still be a surprisingly warm and easy look to live with if you follow a few basic rules: ensure there’s a common thread between any patterns you use – colour, say, or a common motif such as trees, albeit in different designs – and ensure you incorporate at least some plain elements, too. This is a great look to mix in treasured vintage heirlooms with more modern silhouettes to give a more blended appearance.
It may sound like an oxymoron, but Streamlined Glitz is moving the glam factor on from the previous season, which saw warm metals and rich jewel tones paired against dark and moody backdrops. Appropriately for Spring, the look has been lifted and increasingly, white and bright backdrops are making a return, with colour used more sparingly and deliberately in accents only. Show-stopping glitzy elements in gold and brass are left to (literally) shine within the space, whilst bold colour pops – appearing on Memphis-style and retro-inspired curves – sneak into lighting and accessories and amp up the fun factor. This is a really easy trend to tap into, especially if you already have a neutral space: start small – a gold lamp base and a vibrant cushion, say – and work your way up as far as you dare.