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Home Decor Trends 2020 (Consider This Instead of That)

by - Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Do you follow design trends? January is a time when all of your favourite shelter magazines and design sites lay out their predictions for what will be popular in the year ahead (I quite enjoyed this list). While my style tends to be more classic, I do like observing the trends because some of them inevitably have longer term appeal and become more than just a passing fad.

What's In and What's Out in Home Decor


Home decor trends in 2020, or any year for that matter, are in constant motion. The popularity of materials, objects and styles doesn't happen instantly with the changing of the calendar. Some of my picks for 2019 home decor trends never caught on while others are still slowly gaining interest (expect to see more 1970's lounging vibes this year). I look at trends less like "what's in and what's out" at this particular moment and more like an evolution to "consider new but similar alternatives". Here's some of the top trends I'm seeing in interior decorating.

Consider Vertical Tongue and Groove or Beadboard Panelling instead of Horizontal Shiplap

With a general shift away from farmhouse style (sorry, Fixer Uppers, but it's happening) towards a more traditional aesthetic, there's been a return to these classic moulding applications in kitchens, bedrooms, and family rooms.

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Studio McGee - Cove Remodel

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Farrow and Ball kitchen in Treron

I especially love vertical panelling  in utility spaces like laundry rooms and mudrooms. It's a very crisp, fresh look and adds warmth and texture in what otherwise could be a cold and unwelcoming space. Beadboard does have a country flair so it's a nice transition from shiplap which has become all too common.

Consider Inset Cabinets vs Overlay Cabinets

Let's call it the English kitchen effect. English style kitchens with their flush cabinet doors and exposed hinges, muted colour palette, and worn and patinaed accessories are everywhere on Instagram. Humphrey Munson, deVol Kitchens, and Plain English are just a few who have perfected the look.

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Humphrey Munson Petworth Project

Having the doors sit flush with the cabinet frame, as in this kitchen above, creates an overall cleaner impression. It's a detail you might not notice, but you can certainly feel its calming effect. Inset versus overlay cabinets do come at a premium though. There is more workmanship required to get the details right and the wood doors are at risk of expansion with changes in humidity and might not sit properly.

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Stoeffer Home Store

While I love the look, you do lose some storage space inside the cabinet. If you have an abundance of cabinetry space though, it definitely is an option worth considering.

Consider Tartan Instead of Buffalo Plaid

There are some things that will never go completely out of style - blue and white ginger jars, white kitchens, schoolhouse lighting. I'd add plaid to that list too. Plaid is timeless and appealing though variations of it fall in and out of favour.

Along with shiplap, buffalo plaid enjoyed quite a resurgence over the last few years due to the popularity of farmhouse style. But it's time for the cheery oversized black and white or red and white buffalo plaid to make way for other plaid patterns that are complex and sophisticated.

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Veranda - The Fife Arms

All tartans are plaids but not all plaids are tartans. What makes a tartan? Tartan is a pattern where the stripes running vertically are duplicated exactly on the horizontal axis; you can look at tartan either left to right or up and down and and it looks exactly the same.

Plaids in general are associated with Christmas but to me they are a year-round neutral that can work with any design style. I love this application of tartan on the ottoman and on the walls. Tartan adds an instant coziness and nostalgic appeal that other patterns can't quite match.

Consider Wall to Wall Pattern Instead of Accent Walls

Do you have any accent walls in your home? Perhaps an eye-catching wall at the end of the hallway or a wallpapered wall behind your bed? It's a way to add interest with little commitment but can leave your decor feeling dated and choppy.

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Architectural Digest - Miles Redd Lyford Cay retreat

One 2020 home decor trend I am loving is the return to all-over pattern. Matching your walls and curtains and furniture makes a room feel exuberant and bold. We could all use a bit of that these days, could we not? I imagine in some strange way that because everything matches in this room, nothing stands out and feels too chaotic. You need to be sure you really love that pattern though!

Consider Bare Windows Instead of Layered Window Coverings

Throughout the 2010's, bamboo blinds layered with curtains had to be one of the most enduring approaches to window coverings. I had them in my own master bedroom and still love the look. But lately, I've noticed a different take on windows: going bare.

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Remodelista - Studio Ezra Kitchen

Pulling off this look is much easier when you have a few elements: beautiful views, privacy, and spectacular window frames. With this style, the simpler, the better. I love how the window casing and muntins match the cabinetry in the kitchen above. Sticking to a uniform palette draws your eye outward, to the lush garden view.

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Source
Isn't this room beautiful? The mix of operable doors and floor to ceiling windows creates a sunny sanctuary. I wouldn't want to cover up those windows either.

What are your thoughts? Will you be incorporating any of these home decor trends into your home in 2020? What trends are you spotting?

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