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2020 interior design trends, what’s in and what’s out?

18 Feb 2020

Now that we’re well into 2020, it’s time to think about upgrading your home to reflect this new decade. Sure, some of the décor in your home is timeless, like the percale linen and commissioned art piece, but what about that antique clock and the all-white kitchen? Those are so 20-teens and they need to go, to create a room for what’s trendy and very 2020.

2020 will see homeowners opting for warmer tones in their kitchen in order to make it more inviting and ‘homey’.

This is according to Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate, who says that with a new year comes a fresh start - it’s the perfect time to revamp your home. “Before we look at what’s in, let’s look at what’s out.”

What’s out?

1. Grey-on-grey colour palette

During 2019 there was a lot of varying hues of grey, saturated in one living space. Let’s take the bedroom, for example, the linens would be grey, matched with grey scatter cushions and a grey throw - that’s too much grey. In 2020, there is more of a demand for warmer toned palettes and rich accent colours - there’s more mix and match than just sticking to one colour and all its variants.

2. Traditional dining table in the kitchen

Gone are the days of stiff and starchy dining tables. Homeowners are wanting a more ’liveable’ feel and are therefore opting for comfortable, upholstered chairs and lower tables that are more suitable for laidback socialising.

3. All-white kitchens

2020 will see homeowners opting for warmer tones in their kitchen in order to make it more inviting and ‘homey’.

4. Faux plants

These are great initially as they are low-maintenance and add a bit of ‘character’ to the room. However, as time goes on, it remains the same. Choosing to go with real plants will add more personality to the room because as the plant grows, it changes the look and feel of a room. Plus, the O2 is great for you.

There are two words to describe the décor trends of 2020 and those are: anything goes. Gone are the days of structure and sticking to one colour, now it’s all about mixing and matching, and playing around with different textures and tones.

What’s in? Trends to watch

There are eight significant trends that have taken 2020 by storm and you are encouraged to incorporate your favourites into your home, making it the trendiest on the block:

1. Off-trend will be on trend

In today’s world, everyone wants to be different and stand out, and what better way to do that than in your home?

“Homeowners are looking for the most unique, most avant-garde pieces that scream ’uber-unique’, and we will see these being used meticulously as furnishings and architecture throughout the home,” says Greeff.

Having said that though, it’s not about having random bits and bobs in your home just so you can follow the trend - no, the items you choose, the colours you choose, need to reflect who you are as an individual. After all, isn’t that what uniqueness is all about?

2. Colours are the new neutrals

Neutral colours are being replaced by warmer, jewel tones to provide more character to the home. It’s suggested that shades of pink will be making a return so expect to see soft, peachy corals and terra cotta - colours that feel soft yet grounded in earth tones.

3. Geometric patterns

Geometric patterns are not new to the design world and they are certainly not going anywhere, but what is new is geometric balance. Because geometrics are such a popular trend, they can be found everywhere, which means it’s easy to overdo.

Instead of having geometrics all over the show, stick with more classic or contemporary patterns with chairs and throws. You can also pick an area of your home where you want the geometric pattern - and make a bold statement.

4. Florals

Floral fabrics and wallpaper have made a comeback. Florals have technically been around for a long time, but there’s a big difference between the floral interior design trends of 2020, and the florals you saw in your grandmother’s home. Florals today, incorporate different patterns, sizes and colours instead of sticking to one colour, one shape and one size.

5. Black is back

Black is back, and it’s bigger and better than ever. Black everything is the way to go for this new decade - from cabinets to sinks to paint to countertops - people are going black and never going back. Black walls, finishes and furniture has the potential to make your home look high-end and on-trend. One of the reasons black has been so off-putting in the past is because there’s this misconception that black makes a room look smaller, but you can combat that problem by including contrasting colours.

6. Sustainable materials and natural luxury

”Sustainability has become increasingly more important in today’s day and age. As we gravitate towards more eco-friendly lifestyles, people are more ecologically conscious and knowledgeable than ever before. This is being reflected in a desire to bring warm, earthy elements into a space,” says Greeff.

”We will be seeing more natural materials being used with a luxurious spin added to it like marble finishes in bathrooms and kitchens. Organic linen will also be big, not only in white, but in beautiful jewel tones, giving it a more polished look, rather than raw and ‘unfinished’. We will also see people looking for ways to incorporate nature into their home using houseplants and natural materials like cane, raffia and rustic wood. More on interior gardens later.”

7. Indoor garden

As mentioned above, homeowners want to bring more of the outside, inside - and one way of doing that is by creating an indoor garden. Not only will you receive cleaner oxygen because of your plants, but you will have a fabulous talking-point when entertaining.

Make your indoor garden a place of tranquillity and the ideal family room by adding a few armchairs and a sofa for that perfect ’homey’ feel.

8. The re-emergence of the wallpaper

It can be so difficult to choose one colour for your walls, so instead of using paint, use wallpaper. That way, you can change it whenever you like. Wallpapers are affordable and add an exciting touch to any blank wall. Popular wallpaper motifs to this year include 3D motifs, watercolour art, geometric shapes, art deco and bohemian motifs.


2020 is looking pretty bright - both literally and figuratively, with wild colours, sustainable décor and floral prints. Remember that yes, these are the trends that are ‘in style’ at the moment but at the end of the day, it’s your home and you need to be happy with it - so if none of these trends tickle your fancy, then go with something you like, regardless of whether it’s 1920 or 2020. 

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