2020’s Top 5 Trends in Design from the Experts

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WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

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Published on May 31, 2020

Believe it or not, we’re nearly halfway through 2020. For most of us, this unexpected year has flown by, and we wouldn’t blame you if home design was one of the last things you’re thinking of right now. 

But, as the days heat up and sunlight lingers longer each day, it may do you some good to refresh the space we’re all spending so much time in these days. Plus, improving your space can have material benefits to our emotional wellbeing. We asked out CEO, Lee Mayer, to shed light on the five go-to design trends for 2020, and how you can incorporate them into your home.

Lee Mayer Havenly

There’s never been a better time to embrace the ancient Japanese aesthetic philosophy of Wabi Sabi. The name translates to “imperfect beauty” and it’s all about celebrating what’s natural and authentic, and embracing flaws. Think displaying a favorite bowl, even though it has a crack in it, wrinkled and relaxed linen, or a rustic wooden table where you can see each knot and swirl of the wood grain. The philosophy encourages the functionality of minimalism, but still has elements of character and warmth. 

Bringing Wabi Sabi home is simple, and there’s no way to do it “wrong” because it’s all about a no-fuss and simple approach to design. It’s okay if drapes aren’t perfectly pressed, it’s more about loving belongings than anything else. 

Paint in a soft and relaxed color palette, drawing from natural elements. Similarly, decorate with natural materials, like wood, stone, or metal instead of plastic. 

Finally, work to clear clutter, keeping items that spark joy. This leaves rooms feeling meaningful instead of messy. Keep the things you actually use that make you happy—like a set of pretty mixing bowls or a sculpted soap dispenser.

Organic, natural finishes are having a moment right now. Whether you’re scanning the Crate & Barrel catalog, or watching Leanne Ford take on a property on “Restored by the Fords,” chances are you’ve noticed the rise of natural textures from plaster to woven rope, that add imperfect beauty to a room. 

Bringing natural textures into home design echoes the growing cultural trend to connect with the natural world. From nature bathing to phone stacking, it’s about grounding ourselves in a space that soothes our senses

Embrace organic texture through accents in your home. Bring in plaster serving bowls, pedestal side tables, lamps, or vases. Replace the fussy crystal chandelier in the formal dining room with a natural woven rope lighting fixture with a laid-back sophistication and elegance that’ll make the room feel more approachable, while still stunning. 

Art work

Neutral shades might be all the rage on your home’s walls but think about a dramatically painted door to offset all the white in the space. The dark hue, think black or deep navy, adds some much-needed contrast and dimension to a space without being overwhelming. 

If a dark door sounds like too much, try a dark trim around the edges of the room for a small, yet bold statement. These small moments transform a functional element, like a door or trim, into a sophisticated focal point in your home’s design. Don’t be shy, add a little drama to your home.  

Head to the flea market for a modern take on your grandmother’s cozy decor. GrandMillennial is the juxtaposition between modern and vintage, keeping things eclectic, but current. Bring in touches of floral wallpaper, English paintings (think Queen Elizabeth), crocheted throws, and vintage plates for a whimsical flair in your home. 

What’s old might be new again, but Granny-chic shouldn’t be confused with shabby chic. Think nostalgic and homey, but not fussy. It’s more about the cheeky balance between old and new than stuffing your space with vintage finds. It’s using an old radio cabinet as a new media console or setting the table with mismatched vintage plates and a minimal floral arrangement. 

As we spend more time at home, the neutral grays and whites are beginning to wear on some of us. Making the home feel bright and cheery is our aim in 2020. Don’t be afraid to infuse your rooms with personality—mix and match textiles, ceramics, and art. Bring in pops of color with statement furniture or boldly painted walls. 

One color that continues to pop is blue, Pantone’s color of the year. It’s classic, yet refreshing in a world of grays and whites. Try other rich moody hues in your home such as moss greens, striking blacks, or deep grays. 

If dark and moody isn’t quite your speed, try desert tones. Subtle blushes and natural terra cotta shades are also having a moment right now. 

A bold color scheme can be intimidating, so try blending it with neutrals. If you plan to bring in color through textiles or flashy furniture, keep the walls a simple white to create contrast. On the other hand, you could try a dramatic dark paint color or wild wallpaper and keep accents neutral to create visual interest. It’s all about balance and deciding what you want to be the focal point of a room’s design. 

While many elements of 2020 feel unpredictable, your home’s design doesn’t have to be. Find a style that suits you, and start trying out the year’s trends to make your house feel a little more like home.

Words by Emma Diehl