Interior Design

2020's top 10 decor trends – the looks that defined this most unusual of years

As we bid farewell to 2020, we look back at the various decor trends that influenced our homes and lifestyles in the past year

(Image credit: Future/Polly Eltes)

We've stepped into a brand-new decade but 2020 is a year we will never forget (for all the wrong reasons). However, there were some high points in interiors... so we've decided to take a look back at all the various interior trends that shaped our homes throughout 2020.

From the growing importance and consumer demand for sustainable materials to a host of glamorous touches and the celebration of individuality and uniqueness, the trends that 2020 provided us with created a look look that made living, working and socialising at home all the more bearable.

See: Interior design trends 2021 – the 12 biggest looks for the New Year

1. Closed doors

Home decor trends

(Image credit: Future / David Lovatti)

As we are spending more time at home – working, relaxing and entertaining on Zoom – cleaning has become a more regular occurrence. Therefore, having items on display was a huge no-no for 2020.

This was the year that we chose to keep things covered behind closed doors.

2. Maximalism and color

home decor trends

(Image credit: Future / Mark Bolton)

Color was back in a big way in 2020. It was the year we choose to forgo the rules of yesteryear and embrace all the things that we love and cherish. After all, we were now spending more and more time at home.

The key was to contrast bright color with plenty of neutrals and natural tones, to avoid an overwhelming look.

3. Broken-plan living

home decor trends

(Image credit: Future)

2020 is the year that we finally did away with the once popular open-plan space. Zoning replaced open-plan in a phenomenon that was referred to as ‘broken-plan’.   

This new way of living employed the use of screens, freestanding furniture, cabinetry and house plants to create distinct zones and nest like nooks intended for working, relaxing and cooking.

4. Natural texture


(Image credit: Future/Davide Lovatti)

With an ever-changing and challenging political, economical and social climate, it came as no surprise to see that nature was at the heart of our design choices in 2020.

‘Brilliant for bringing the beauty of the outside in, a new approach to natural textures reveals everything from colored marble and matte limestone, to dried flowers, eco advances and classic organic textures. 

'Whilst rich wood textures and laid-back linens remained a key consideration, natural didn’t necessarily mean minimal and we were excited to see nature react with luxury materials for a more eclectic, indulgent interior,’ explains Jane Rockett, Rockett St George.

5. Unique design

Interior trends 2020

(Image credit: Cameron Design House)

With so many of us working from home in 2020 – the need to curate a space that was truly unique and individual was at the forefront of our design ethos. 

‘The trend for uniqueness thrived in 2020 as homeowners and designers opted to shock. From hand-blown glass with contrasting materials, to bold eye-catching accessories it was all about being distinctive,’ says Cameron House Design.

See: Paint trends 2021 – the 17 colors you need for the ultimate wonder walls

6. Organic form

Interior trends 2020

(Image credit: Cameron Design House)

Organic forms in nature continue to grow in popularity for 2021, but they first catapulted to 'fame' in 2020.  

Exploration of the natural world, combined with innovation in design encouraged the development of abstract shapes and simplified forms. We chose designs which mimicked nature at its finest and most rustic. 

Technological advancements meant that we could incorporate nature within modern designs more easily and successfully.

7. Classic blue


(Image credit: Future/Adrian Briscoe)

The trend for Classic Blue replaced Living Coral for 2020. A prominent shade in nature, this moody color was seen on walls, accessories and even lighting. 

Associated with calm and quiet, Classic Blue introduced a much needed sense of serenity and stability to the start of the new decade – before things really took a turn.

'Classic Blue encouraged us to look beyond the obvious, and to expand our thinking; challenging us to think more deeply, increase our perspective and open the flow of communication,' says Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of The Pantone Color Institute.

See: Revealed: Pantone's Color of the Year 2021 – and how to use it in your home

8. Grown-up glamour


(Image credit: Future/Paul Raeside)

A trend that’s never far from our minds, grown-up glamour and high sophistication embraced a maximalist approach to décor where pattern reigns and there’s no such thing as too many trimmings. 

Inspired by the roaring twenties and rise of the iconic Art Deco era, glamour was back with a bang for 2020.

‘In times of political confusion, often we look to improve things with a healthy dose of opulence, fun and glamour and Art Deco design is perfect for this. 

We all deserved a little luxury in our lives and as we moved towards staying in and entertaining at home, decadent décor schemes are celebrated with bold patterns, fabulous fringing, tactile velvets and a range of exciting everyday luxuries. 

Plus, as we headed into a brand-new era of the 20s, a little nostalgia for the glamour of the Jazz Age is only natural,’ says Lucy St George at Rockett St George.

9. Forever furniture


(Image credit: Rockett St George)

2019 had seen a dramatic shift away from fast fashion and throwaway trends. In 2020 we wanted to look at all the ways we could make more eco conscious decisions at home and one of these is the ‘buy once, buy well’ ethos.

'Potentially more of an anti-trend, focusing on forever furniture meant choosing timeless design over more fashion-focused trends. When it comes to furniture and the larger impact accessories in your home, we all chose to invest in key pieces that will last us forever,' says Jane Rockett.

10. Wellness in design


(Image credit: Future/Michael Sinclair)

If there was ever a year when mental health would come to the forefront of interior design, 2020 was it.

Unsurprisingly, we were constantly seeking out ways to enhance our mental and psychical wellbeing within our spaces, and the home is no exception. With more time to spend in the cozy comfort of your own home, staying in didn't necessarily mean missing out.

Wellness in home design is about creating the perfect retreat in which to forgo hectic schedules, disconnect from technology and unwind. We borrowed inspiration from spa retreats when incorporating this trend into our homes. 

If you are hoping to recreate this look in 2021, then shop for luxe textures, cocooning bed linen and a color palette that is at one with nature.

See: Kitchen trends 2021 – these latest designs are ahead of the curve

Jennifer Ebert
Deputy Editor (Digital)

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.