Interior Design Trends Going Away In 2020

In 2019 we saw lots of interior design trends change. We said goodbye to dark wood cabinets (finally) and bid adieu to grey. But now, it’s officially the end of a decade of design. Whether you’re planning major renovations in 2020 or buying a new home, it’s important that spaces don’t look as if they belong in the early aughts. Here are the interior design trends and styles that will look dated in 2020.

Neutral Colors

Most designers have a very strong opinion on neutrals, declaring that they’re finally done this year. Wayfair Professional design manager, Rebecca Breslin is calling the end of “Greige, grey and all neutral everything without texture or visual interest.”

So, if you’ve been thinking of replacing that tired grey sofa, repainting your walls or upgrading your bedding, this is a great excuse not to think twice. 

All White Kitchens

Everyone who spends too much time cleaning their all-white kitchens will be thrilled to know that this look won’t be popular for much longer. Breslin says that an entirely white kitchen from countertops to cabinets, walls, and floors won’t be on-trend for 2020. Instead, she shares that colored cabinetry, dynamic stone counters, and patterned flooring will take their place next year.

This also applies to the standard white subway tile we’ve been seeing so much of for the past decade. “Skip this basic look in favor of small geometric tiles, a herringbone pattern, or a bold color or shape,” she says.

To upgrade an all-white kitchen without a major renovation, consider painting cabinets, adding a colored backsplash or swapping out the countertop. 

Single-Use Spaces

As open floor plans continue to be the standard for new homes and renovations, especially for kitchens and living rooms, multi-use spaces will also become part of this evolution. Breslin says it’s about Less formality and more functionality. Your home office can double as a guest room, a finished basement as a media room and home gym, your walk-in closet as a cozy reading nook, etc.” 

Singular Design Schemes

Along the same lines, Christiana Coop, cofounder of Hygge & West, believes that having a singular design scheme in one space won’t be a popular look in the next decade. “Nobody is perfect, so as people gravitate towards expressing their personalities through design, it’s not a surprise that we’ll be seeing less perfection in interior design,” she says.

Similarly, there will be fewer design schemes solely based on a single look or trend. “For example, the boho look is becoming more refined and mixed with contemporary pieces and modern spaces are becoming warmer and mixed with vintage.”

Accent Walls 

Wallpaper had a major moment in the past decade. From high-end designs by Gucci to peel-and-stick papers from The Inside, there’s no denying that wallpaper itself has major staying power. However, the trendy accent wall just isn’t sticking around, according to Coop. “We still love the wallpapered accent wall as it serves as more of a large art piece, but next year we’ll be seeing more rooms with all four walls wallpapered or painted in bold colors.”

While multiple wallpapered walls might have felt over-the-top last decade, in 2020, they will be precisely enough.  

The Faux Look

Kelley Mason, stylist at Lulu & Georgia, gets real about faux, calling this trend done. “Faux-anything, whether faux plants or faux finishes feel insincere and gimmicky,” she says. “The Wabi-Sabi aesthetic and the return to quality over quantity emphasizes a return to actual objects that require care and creation by artisans, rather than mass manufacturing.”

Ben Marshall, who is the creative director of Hudson Valley Lighting Group shares the same opinion. “People today crave authenticity, so these sorts of faux finishes will quickly become a thing of the past. Give them the real thing.” 

However, faux isn’t going away entirely. “There will always be a place for faux decor,” explains Marshall. “For example, something like the textural quality of faux bois has a classicist element at this point. But there’s a difference between faux that knows it’s faux, and faux that’s attempting to make something look like something it’s not.”

Accents like faux fur throws and blankets will continue to be in style. This is because while real fur throws might be beautiful, they aren’t ethical, sustainable, or even practical and must be professionally cleaned.

More Is More

More won’t be more in the impending decade, according to Los Angeles interior designer Delta Wright. “Overdone anything [is done]. Too fussy and faux as well as maximalism for the sake of making a statement.

The same rule applies to having too many decorative objects. “Fewer is better. Always,” she says.

If you have lots of decorative objects, it’s best to edit and then refresh seasonally.

Neon Lighting

From high-end art and custom designs to college dorms, gyms and even medical facilities, neon lighting has had a moment. But according to Marshall, the clock is ticking on this design mainstay “I mean, it looks cool in pictures, but who wants to live with it? Trends are trends for a reason,” he says.

Defined Shapes

Defined shapes like arches, circles, rectangles will evolve towards more curved designs in the next decade. 

“Having seen so many arches the past two years,” explains Aurore Martial of Domus Venus, “I start becoming a bit sick of it, in my opinion, it’s been overdone in the paint on walls and wallpaper, and in small architectural details.”

Samantha Gallacher of IG Workshop and custom carpet line, Art + Loom believes the pill-shaped pieces of 2019 will evolve into a more free form shape in the coming years. “Last year we were seeing a pill shape in every aspect of interior design from the rug to the shape of the entire sofa. I think 2020 will build off this movement but these rounded and curved shapes will take on a more free form quality. We just saw this at Design Miami with the install by Rogan Gregory,” she says.