Interior Design

7 design trends that defined the past decade

From hygge and millennial pink to a Mid-Century revival –here’s our look back at the major themes we’ll come to associate with the past decade in design.

What a significant difference a decade makes: from Brexit to the growing rise of social media and smart phone technology, a lot can happen in just ten years, and these design trends show just that.

The design world was equally in flux, from embracing all trends Scandinavian to our love for the enduring hue that is Millennial Pink. Here’s our look back at all the major design trends we’ll come to associate with the past decade.

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Interior fans know that tiles are a stylish way to breathe life into your home, with a host of different shapes, colours, prints and patterns to choose from. Patterned tiles saw a huge resurgence in the late 2000s, with the rise of stylish new designs, in bold colour ways.

'This has definitely been the decade of the patterned tile. Whether it’s stars or stripes, monochrome patterns or colours that pop, our floors and walls have seen an injection of personality and we couldn’t be more on board with this trend. Pattern and print play a big part in bringing personality into any home, it injects life into small spaces, whether that’s a utility room or cloakroom and makes quite the statement in both modern and more traditional kitchens. Think that pattern tiles are just for contemporary spaces? Think again, opt for a Victorian-inspired patterned tile for a hallway, or a trellis pattern for a shower space to make it timeless,'Hamish Smith, Ca’ Pietra Creative Director. We predict that this trend will keep going strong in to 2020.

'While plain tiles will always have a place within the home, the past decade has brought a huge demand for bold, eye-catching designs. Patterned wall and floor tiles have exploded in popularity and remain a key trend when it comes to making a statement in the home. As a nation, we have become more daring with our interiors, slowly warming to the idea of pattern through experimenting with surfaces, appliances and accessories,' saysKaty Harris, Marketing Director at Verona.

Design trends of the decade

(Image credit: Artisan of Devizes)

See:Tile trends 2020 – from Art Deco to Moroccan, these are the surfaces you need to see


Millennial Pink, also known as blush pink, was the interiors trends that just wouldn’t go away. If there ever were a colour that encapsulates the zeitgeist, it would most certainly be Millennial Pink – a soft, dusky shade that is calming, strong and pretty. It is so popular that currently, on Instagram, #millennialpink has almost 80k tags, and it shows no signs of abating. ‘Though the pretty pastel colour has come and gone throughout the years, the colour most recently began trending back in 2016 when Pantone announced Rose Quartz as their colour of the year. Whilst met with some trepidation, the very following year Pantone went on to select Pale Dogwood for their spring fashion report and whilst in this form the shade my not immediately ring any bells, this very colour went on to be renamed the now famous Millennial Pink,’ says Terry’s Fabrics.

So, where has this obsession with pink come from? If we look to science for the answer, the psychology behind the colour pink is extremely interesting. If you’ve ever heard of the saying 'everything is rosy' then you’ll know that pink is seen as a positive colour that inspires warm and comforting fondness, associated with feelings of hope and wellbeing. Because of this, it comes as little surprise that millennials and other generations alike are swaying towards the colour when it comes to creating a welcoming and inviting space at home.

Design trends of the decade

(Image credit: Jan Baldwin)

See more design trends:Lighting trends 2020 –to illuminate your space throughout the year


The ability to renovate and give a new lease of life to old factories, warehouse, barns and derelict buildings was one of the hottest design trends of the past decade. From sharp lines, architectural elements and stripped back interiors, industrial design was definitely having a moment, and we predict that it is here for the long haul. Focusing primarily on manufacturing, mechanical ingenuity and construction, there are so many ways to introduce industrial style into your home. Function, innovation and simplicity are the key elements of an industrial designer’s philosophy and they take great pride in ensuring products not only look beautiful but work efficiently too.

Design trends of the decade

(Image credit: James Merrell)


The past few years we've embraced Scandinavian design and comfort with open arms, and none more so that Hygge. This Danish word translated means life’s simple pleasures or things that evoke the cosy feeling, and who wouldn’t want to replicate that in their home? With pared-back Scandi style as a starting point this trend puts an added emphasis on neutral colours, natural materials, soft lighting and tactile fabrics that help to envelope you in a mood of calm. This trends seems to have such a positive effect on mental health, so it is one we are happy to keep around. Surround yourself in things that bring you comfort, from a favourite blanket to a relaxing scented candle. It’s your oasis so tailor it to your needs.

Design trends of the decade

(Image credit: Polly Wreford)


Twentieth-century modern design came back in a big way this past decade. Blame it on Mad Men, but our appetite for 1950’s style and furniture is insatiable. It was the design movement of the times, which launched a quintessential look that was organic, minimalist and smooth with a distinct style. Iconic names such as Eames, Ercol and Arne Jacobsen were key players in the innovative design movement and their ideals are still evident in today’s contemporary design. Nowadays, we can teaming Mid-Century furniture with Scandinavian neutrals and an abundance of floral and fauna.

Design trends of the decade

(Image credit: Mark Bolton)

See:Interiors trends 2020 – the key looks to take your home into a new decade


You only need to peep at Pinterest to see that houseplants have never been more fashionable. From retro 1970s-style hanging creepers to blowsy, beautiful blooms there’s sure to be a plant to suit your style and space. Indoor plants fell out of fashion briefly in the 1990s, but we’re happy to report that they’re back – not only are they beautiful, bringing vibrancy and colour to our homes, but they also freshen the air, filtering out pollutants and releasing oxygen. Thankfully, some of the most handsome houseplants are low-maintenance types, such as succulents and cacti.

Design trends of the decade

(Image credit: Catherine Gratwicke)


'The figurative trend made a resurgence into the interiors market about 6-years ago when artists such as Luke Edward Hall renewed interest with his loose line drawings and sketches of the human figure, attracting a younger audience. Faces became (and still are) a predominant trend that were translated across interiors – a playful, timeless concept that (unlike many patterns and colours) will never go out of fashion as the human face will forever remain relevant. What is interesting about this trend though is the sheer range of styles and techniques that different artists use to express these facial features and achieve such different products. From painterly abstract to more graphic repeat treatments, eyes, silhouettes, lips have all been used with very different results that work for a variety of interior styles. We’re now looking at figurative in new areas moving away from more defined and obvious body parts like faces and eyes to looser more suggestive shapes and curves of a body and even evolving this to suggestions of other shapes such as fruits and plants,' says Kate Butler, Head of Design for Habitat.

Design trends of the decade

Faces ceramic vase, £40; Easter white ceramic face vase, £30, .
(Image credit: Habitat)

What did you think of these design trends of the past decade?