With another year almost over, it’s natural for us interior designers to look forward and think about what’s next. After all, this is a profession that prides itself on building for the future. So what will those trends be? I thought I would make a list of things that I think will be growing in popularity over the next year, because of how much fun it will be to look back on it in another twelve months and see what actually transpired. Even with the amount of trends I’ve encountered over the years, I’m still constantly surprised by the fresh, new concepts I see and sure we will be seeing a lot more of in 2020.
After a few quiet years, there seems to be a fresh crop of products that I think are going to start some new conversations about the role of technology in our homes. The first is voice-operated assistants. Jibo is a voice-operated assistant that can do many things, from making calls, to changing the volume on the stereo, to even adjusting the level of the lights. Amazon also has their similar device, Echo. These may look like toys now, but I think the potential for these two is huge, and they are just the beginning. The second piece of technology to watch for in your home is television streaming devices. For ages, we have had yet another clunky box by the TV, whether it’s Roku or any other number of devices. With the Amazon Fire stick, all that’s going to change. Just plug this piece of magic into the side of your TV and you are done—and all for less than $50.
I think what we will see in the next few months will be a lot more strong pastel colors. Nothing too bright, but definitely colorful. So start to think in terms of Sky Blue, Tangerine and Mint Green. If you are thinking this sounds a little 80’s, then you would be totally right! That color palette is starting to come back…just not the leg warmers (thank God).
Every design trend forecast must have a metal aspect attached, too. Well I predict that the metal for this year is brass. That’s right—it’s back. After being pushed aside by nickel and then bronze for years, brass is now front and center. I would look more to a burnished, satin finish for now, rather than polished. But who knows—maybe we are ready for that too!
After what seems like years of bright geometrics, trellis and chevron patterns, it seems we are bracing for an influx of organic and photo-based patterns. Manufacturers are using better technology in their mills, and it is allowing for a fresh new look. So look for patterns that are based on organic forms, but not just flowers and leaves, but patterns based on mineral crosscuts, star patterns and photo studies.
One of the hottest trends of the year is totally transparent—acrylic furniture is back! Perhaps it ties in with the 80’s idea a little too well, but manufacturers are starting to line the showrooms with new see-through pieces, using it on everything from bookshelves to tables and chairs. The chair pictured above is my new obsession.
6. Salon Hanging
As it begins to seem like the days of austerity are over, people are starting to shop again, and that means—MORE STUFF! So where to display it all? One of the best ways to do that in regards to art is with Salon Hanging, i.e., grouping multiple pieces together. It’s a great way to show off many pieces at once, especially pieces with different styles and from different periods. Perhaps this was driven by the opening of the new Barnes Museum, which is famous for its juxtapositioning of similar pieces.
Ladies and gentlemen, luxury is back! No more sitting on scratchy Belgian linen sofas or getting splinters on rough reclaimed tables. Bring on the velvets, silks and brocades. Bring on the varnish, gold leaf and French polish. As people begin to regain financial strength, this year will bring about renewed interest in the finer things, and the desire live like a well-appointed monk in Bruges is fading away.
Maybe this one is tied to the one above, but it remains a trend nonetheless. There is a rise in interest in fine, handmade products. It’s no longer enough to have an expensive piece of furniture; the trend now is to know who the artisan was, what techniques were used, etc. This trend is probably a reaction to the number of mass market retailers who are the antithesis of this. Access to these artisans ironically has been helped out by the internet, which lets even the most obscure artist in the hills of Mexico reach out to a consumer on the coast of California.
9. Culture Clash
As we spend more time traveling the globe, either virtually or in real life, we are influenced by many cultures, which I believe is a really great thing. Displaying these new discoveries creates a dynamic culture clash, as you can sit on a French Deco sofa, put your drink down on a carved Namibian table, and rest your feet on a Moroccan rug, all the while basking in the light of a Venetian Chandelier.
10. Curated Online Collections
As we get more and more access to more and more information, it starts to be less helpful. The design version of brain-freeze sets in. This has led to the rise of curated collections online. Tastemakers who have filtered all the white noise for you, now you just have to find the right tastemaker! Zelen Home is on the frontier of this trend—so, of course you should be at the forefront of new trends in 2020 and join us!