Out with the old, in with the new, as they say. With a new year, comes new styles, and as we inch into a new decade, design trends are expected to reach a new frontier of transformation. If you’re planning on buying or building a new home in 2020, or perhaps renovating your current one, you’ll want to familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of this years’ up and coming trends. 

Multi-functional Spaces

2020 is going to be a year of multi-functionality. No more will we see a distinct separation of spaces within the home, but a clear and decisive move to rooms with multiple uses. For instance, the idea of the kitchen as no more than a space to store and prepare food is slowly falling out of favour. We are starting to see more and more examples of living spaces incorporated into once deemed exclusively single use areas. Kitchens with more furniture additions will incorporate comfort designs and living room aspects that will blend spaces more seamlessly.

Offices and work spaces are likely to blend more informal lounge room elements to combine areas of work and recreation. This is an attempt to utilise wasted spaces whilst bringing warmth into an otherwise austere and formal environment. The multi-functionality of space is a trend that has been slowly rearing its head over the past decade with the rise of open plan living spaces. Home designs are becoming more and more refined in their ability to embrace a combination of aesthetic quality, comfort, and practical living. 


You may or may not have heard of biophilic design, but you best remember it now because 2020 is set to be the year where nature and design become one. Biophilic design is used as a means to bring people closer to nature by incorporating natural elements within human spaces.

As we move into a new century that is utterly dominated by technology with quantum computing this, and virtual reality that, it would seem that the necessity for us to rekindle a connection with nature is more important than ever.

With this in mind, you’ll start to see more designs that embody the assimilation of plants within everyday spaces. For instance, a living wall or green wall is an incredible natural centerpiece  that is partly or entirely made up of wall-mounted plants and is as striking and vivacious as it sounds. In addition to this, your favourite indoor plants are also going to be big this year for exactly the same reasons. So keep your domestic jungle growing! 

In terms of building, bio-based and eco-sustainable materials are likely going to take off like never before as we see an undeniable shift towards sustainable building and environmentally friendly practices take precedence.


On the more artful end of the design spectrum, one trend you can expect to see more of this coming year is that of Terrazzo. Invented by 18th century Venetian workers, this composite material of quartz, marble, granite and glass has moved away from outdated industrial uses and instead taken on a very modern appeal that is growing in popularity. As terrazzo makes its way out of train stations, its heading straight into trendy bench tops, splash backs, and home wares abound. Although it might feel like an antiquated design trend for some, online searches for terrazzo were up 28% last year. So you terrazzo nay-sayers might be in for a bit of a surprise. 

Warmth & Bold Designs

Perhaps again as a response to our expanding concrete jungles, technological inundation and our ever-increasing detachment from the natural world, warm colours and earth tones have made their way into design trends for the new century. The people have spoken, and we’ve had enough of all those cool tones, all-white kitchens, and pristine living spaces that would make a hospital feel cosy. We’ve fallen in love with yellow ochres, and the chocolate browns, the burgundy reds, and olive greens. Colours that bring a warmth back into the heart will reign supreme over the coming year and homes will feel more comfortable and serene because of it.

On top of warm colours, for the adventurous of designers we’re likely to see a big rise in the use of bold and exciting monochromatics. Think entire rooms dedicated to vibrant hues such as a deep Cobalt blue, a stunning Kelly green, or a vivid Aubergine purple. Interestingly, in contrast to the deep colour takeovers, daring black and white designs are expected to be a prominent feature as well. When combined with artistic grace (think Art Deco with a modern twist), the high contrast dynamic of black and white adds a striking impression with classic appeal.   

These are colour trends that will bring some serious life into an outdated home and ones that you can easily do on your own for minimal cost if you’re looking to add some style and elegance with a side of 2020 pizzazz.

Blending the Old With the New

There are two separate facets to this design trend. The first is a trend that can often be seen as a non-trend, which is exactly the reason why it’s gaining traction. Many designers and homeowners alike will scoff at the idea of design fads as being impersonal and manufactured, and instead prefer to keep the design process as an intimate way of expressing a home that is first and foremost what it should be – lived in. This is where mixing the old with the new comes in. There’s no drastic overhaul of living spaces and aesthetics, but a more gradual integration of new pieces or design tweaks into the already established sphere. For example, the addition of locally made art you procured on your last trip overseas, or a stylish centerpiece dedicated to your favourite books.

The second idea is the concept of mixing antique or retro styles with a more modern design. This has a seemingly endless array of combinations and design elements that can be utilised and when done well, adds a very interesting and eclectic vivacity to any space. For example, antique furniture can look mesmerising in a vividly colourful room, whilst vintage artwork can bring a old-timey feel to a more modern interior. 

The world is your oyster and your home is the pearl. Along with a perceived need to get back to nature and bring some vibrancy into our homes, 2020 is sure to bring a great deal of excitement and intrigue along the way. So take a deep breath, and get ready for the turn of a new decade!