Five top design trends to watch in 2020

Pair Dulux's Colour of the Year with different tones to create calm, collected moods for your home.
Pair Dulux's Colour of the Year with different tones to create calm, collected moods for your home.
Image: Supplied

Love them or hate them, trends have a huge impact on our interaction with design. Twenty-twenty is a special case … not only are we looking to a new year, but a new decade too, and for many trend forecasters this signals an even bigger chance to start afresh. We’ve searched far and wide for influences you’ll be seeing come through in the design world this year and singled out five we think will be the biggest. The majority point to a decidedly calm, wellness-focused space … it’s all about peace and harmony in the home.

1. THE ART OF IMITATION

With imitation technology steaming ahead in leaps and bounds, lookalike materials in the surface design industry are hard to tell apart from the real deal. Things have progressed far beyond the wood-look ceramic tile, with high-end natural materials, such as stone, being developed into lookalike floor and wall treatments that bear hyper-real textures and graphics. Not convinced? Look to Belgotex, with their recent release of LVTs (luxury vinyl tiles) which mimic terrazzo, concrete, marble and more but offer superior durability and little to no maintenance.

2. COLOURS

Authority on colour forecasting across the global design industry Pantone released their Colour of the Year recently. Classic Blue 19-4052 is the chosen one, highlighting the need “for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era”. The shade is also considered restful, aiding concentration and clarity of mind.

Pantone's Colour of the Year is Classic Blue 19-4052.
Pantone's Colour of the Year is Classic Blue 19-4052.
Image: Supplied

Looking to its neighbour on the colour wheel, Dulux’s Colour of the Year Tranquil Dawn 45GY 55/052 is a soft, nuanced shade of green which promotes a calm, collected mood for interiors and changes in tone depending on what it’s paired with. Interestingly, both Pantone and Dulux’s picks were inspired by the cycle of the sun, with the former a post-dusk and the latter a dawn shade.

Dulux Colour of the Year Tranquil Dawn 45GY 55/052 is a a soft, nuanced shade of green.
Dulux Colour of the Year Tranquil Dawn 45GY 55/052 is a a soft, nuanced shade of green.
Image: Supplied

3. JAPANDI

You’ve certainly come across the look of late and now it bears a catchy new name. Hybridising Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics, this is a trend we’re happy to be behind. The concepts that underpin it are those of minimalism and function but Japandi (which has also been referred to as Scandinese) fuses the best of both with the rustic elements of Scandinavian style partnering with the clean-lined restraint of Japanese style. Experts say the key to nailing this look is contrast, so throw a splash of black and white in with your wood tones and neutrals, keep your lines clean, compositions restrained and welcome handmade craft expressed in simple forms.

4. TUBULAR FORM

Tonic Design Caletta armchair.
Tonic Design Caletta armchair.
Image: Sarah de Pina

We’ve said it before and, dare we say, we were right. The curve, the circle and the arch became huge influencers last year in both architecture and product design. We’re pleased to say they are set to continue this year but even more so in tubular form as furniture designers ditch traditional legs and opt instead for ’80s-inspired classics. Tonic Design’s Caletta armchair, with its laid-back, low-slung form and tubular mild steel legs, hits the nail on the head.

5. THE HARMONIOUS HOME

The home as a sanctuary is a major indicator this year, not only in theory but in aesthetic too. No matter which source of design inspo you pull from, you’ll see them reference spaces that foster wellness, balance and calm with pared-back, natural and wholesome elements. Lane Reeves of Metaphor Design strives to promote this in all the studio’s interior projects. “The home should be a decompression zone and safe space where we can escape the outside world and rejuvenate. This looks different for everyone but we do find natural materials and soothing textures are calming to us all and plants, stone and wood bring us down to earth, so that’s a good place to start,” she explains.

AND HERE ARE A FEW TRENDS WE’D BE HAPPY TO SEE GO:

  1. Millennial pink, also known as rose quartz, spotted in every bit of marketing to come out of the last few years.
  2. Macramé hangings — why not opt for an original tapestry, rather?
  3. Subway tile — enough already.
  4. Ficus Lyrata or fiddle-leaf fig. I’m a fine one to talk — I have a few — but there’s word that the ancient olive tree will be taking its place.

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