Five interior design trends for 2020

An expert shares her design forecast for this year

Want to know which trends to watch out for in 2020? Interior designer Jane Thomson shares her predictions with us.

1. Personal expression: Repurposing and sustainability.

This 2020 prediction is a favourite of mine and it’s driven by our universal need of sustainability requirements. How many times have we seen furniture sitting forlornly on the roadside edge waiting for the council clean up?

The question is ‘Could it be repurposed?’ Possibly. Buying an item brand new is cheaper and easier but think of those weekends and time wasted trudging through retail establishments to find a piece that resonates.

Repurposing in my book is pretty simple. Repurposing an old piece of furniture is not only sustainable, but allows us as individuals to make a statement about ourselves. It saves money and resources but it does take time, and requires some imagination. At home you may have a piece that can be refurbed and you can really personalise the piece. Gumtree is a goldmine for old pieces. I find it can also save so much time, money and angst when searching for new second hand stuff.

Take an old battered timber buffet for example…a lick of paint, sand and apply some milk paint/ lime wash, some new sexy handles and hey presto! Here’s your new bespoke designer item! Curate your new piece with your fave piece of artwork and you will have a personalised and sustainable space that screams you!

Brigid Arnott
(Credit: Brigid Arnott)

2. Eclecticism

Incorporating a mish-mash of different design styles isn’t new, but sadly it has waned over the last few years. For 2020, I do hope this design style takes off. Eclectic interiors are far more interesting, and just like our previous trend allows you to speak about yourself through your living space.

If you feel like a more elegant vibe take a look at bolection moulding. Its origins are French (Parisian actually) and the trend has been around for a while. It takes a little more time to design, but the results will make you smile. It really is a classic look that’ll stand the test of time.

Chris Warnes
(Credit: Chris Warnes)

3. Wall panelling

This fabulous trend is something of a time-honoured tradition, after all it has been around a while. I am hoping this is a trend that people will take up the gauntlet and run with in 2020. Panelling is a relatively inexpensive way of imparting architectural detail and depth to a space. There are a plethora of materials and styles out there. Whether it’s 1920’s style battening to a coastal feel using V-joint panelling that is available so inexpensively through well-known hardware suppliers, these deliver a million-dollar feel.

In addition to this, with so many new apartment builds and so many people having to turn to apartment living, developers don’t have the budgets to create inspiring interiors. Panelling over white uninspiring plaster board brings greater architectural merit to the space for little outlay.

4. The return of curves

Nature doesn’t have many straight lines nor angles so it is refreshing to see the return of something that resonates with everyone. Given that more people are living alone and at least half of these are women, a curved interior, in my opinion, resonates with the feminine psyche. Men also seem to like it. Curves deliver a calm, soothing environment which is something we all need regardless of our gender.

The curves which we find in spaces such as archways now are reverting and pay homage to curves past, but in a cleaner less obvious way. Lines can be sharp, but the design integrates rather than shouting ‘Look at me, I’m a curve!’

5. Large scale art

This is a 2020 design trend prediction that is close to my heart. My design idiom has always been ‘go big or go home”. Never have I been an art exponent of the small and piddling, unless of course it’s a Drysdale or Nolan! Large art ALWAYS works, no matter the size of the space. Teeny tiny rooms sing with a large-scale artwork. It acts more like a mural and can almost be a window to another imaginary world. Repeat it with me: ‘Go big or go home.’

Shania Shegedyn
(Credit: Shania Shegedyn)

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