Like the clothes we wear, interior decor evolves to keep our surroundings fresh, modern and stylish. So which styles are set to be popular in our homes in 2020, and beyond?
“There’s no denying the interiors world is a sea of blue at the moment – we’ve seen it everywhere, from walls to sofas and soft furnishings,” says Diane Cootes, a design consultant at furniture and home decor business Taskers of Accrington in Lancashire.
“At the start of the [last] decade, magnolia was all the rage. But fast forward to 2020 and we’re all for bolder statement colours, like navy and charcoal, on our walls.”
Cootes says blue helps people feel calm, serene and relaxed, making it an ideal choice for bedrooms. “Use classic blue on a feature wall behind the bed, keep all other walls white and accessorise with blush pink and grey cushions and throws.”
Other touches you can make, she adds, include putting up prints above the bed to break up the blue and add a bit of personality. Black-and-white photos or line drawings can create a boutique hotel look, while adding texture via brass mirrors and frames gives rooms greater dimension. For a markedly on-trend feel, use plenty of greenery, such as palms and monsteras.
Playing the blues
Blue doesn’t need to be confined to the bedroom, though. Cootes says combining this hue with complementary colours is an elegant approach for a living room makeover.
“Jewel tones, such as mustard, burgundy and bottle green, work surprisingly well with this deep shade,” she adds. “[Blue] can be a tricky colour to use on the walls, but it’s a trend that we’ve seen grow in popularity in 2019, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.
“If you’re using the colour on the walls, ensure you have lots of natural light entering the room – otherwise, it can feel encroaching and dark. If you’re not blessed with a huge bay window that ensures plenty of natural light, use big mirrors and cream or beige furnishings to balance out the darkness.”
Megan Baker, head of design at My Fitted Bedroom, echoes the move towards blue. She believes Pantone’s colour of the year for 2020 – Classic Blue – signifies a “serene, confident start to the new decade”.
She adds: “Described by Pantone as ‘a deep shade that’s at once calming and relatable’, it’s a great choice to add tranquility to a bedroom as we enter a new decade. With the colour complementing so many of our styles perfectly, Classic Blue is genderless and transcends the seasons, providing the perfect accent colour.”
Nina Bailey, UK design manager at Formica Group, says rich and dark palettes, as well as monochrome schemes, will take precedence in 2020.
She also believes that, as the sustainability movement continues, there will be a significant focus on making designs that are eco-conscious and include sustainable elements, while remaining aesthetically pleasing.
“Wellness will be incorporated into inspiring kitchen designs,” she says. “Cooking and eating in this environment becomes a more grounded experience with an increased homely and crafted feel.”
Alex Whitecroft, head of design at I Want Wallpaper, agrees that wellness-themed decor will make its way into our homes. “Homes have a huge impact on well-being, and consumers are increasingly seeking out new ways to enhance wellness in all areas of their lives, including domestic spaces,” she explains. “It’s not surprising, considering that almost three quarters of people say they feel overwhelmed or unable to cope due to stress.”
To combat this, Whitecroft says, interior designers are focusing on creating retreats that allow people to forget busy schedules, disconnect from technology and unwind. This is achieved by taking inspiration from spa environments and using texture to engender tranquility.
“Linen-textured wallpaper is ideal for this trend, with the soft finish mimicking that of a freshly washed towel,” says Whitecroft. “Although simplicity is at the heart of the wellness trend, there is [nevertheless] room for pattern on walls. Wallpapers don’t have to be loud. Adding a subtle design in a neutral tone is a great way to update tired, painted walls, while adding a touch of elegance.”
Another suggestion is to put up wallpaper that evokes the practice of ‘forest bathing’, whereby people spend time among trees to benefit from being surrounded by nature.
In the same vein, the growing trend for biophilia – a love of nature – brings the outdoors into the home. “This look is about carefully curating materials, mixing natural woods with soft wools and an abundance of greenery,” says Whitecroft. “Wallpaper can be a great alternative to living plants, with photographic prints looking more life-like than ever.”
Japandi – a hybrid of Scandinavian and Japanese design – is also a trend to watch. Rebecca Snowden, interior style adviser at Furniture Choice, says: “Both these styles share the same principles: clean, uncluttered interiors that are defined by functional, yet sophisticated, statement pieces.”
But the minimalist approach is just one way of refreshing your home without breaking the bank.
Snowden surmises: “Familiarising yourself with the hottest trends, colours and textures is the perfect way to keep your living spaces fresh and up to date, ensuring you don’t get stuck in a design rut.”