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2020 vision

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Though we’re just dipping our toes into the pool that is the 2020s, there are already a few vibrant trends vying for our attention – and a few understated styles quietly stepping up to the podium. From building design to interior décor, these trends are set to make a splash within the home this year, offering enough variety and versatility to serve as inspiration for a permanent or seasonal change.

HIA content team


Classicism with personality

Inject some fun into the classic look: think busts, columns and Grecian detailing surrounded by bright colours. This trend is all about embracing historic influences without taking them too seriously. Originating in eighteenth-century European arts, classicism reflects restraint, sophistication and antiquity. But this modern day take mixes bold colours with traditional shapes to bring a contemporary twist to the style when used within the home. 

There are two great ways to execute this look and both involve balancing a room with modern and classic stylings by mixing the two with furnishings and décor. For example, heavy curtains and elaborate chandeliers can be paired with a splash of colour on the walls and modern ornaments, while a room with modern fittings and a neutral wall can be given new life by adding classic ornaments and bright artwork. As with many trends, the key is striking an equilibrium.

This trend is all about embracing historical influences without taking them too seriously.

Photo courtesy mindthegap
Photo courtesy Covet House
Photo courtesy Audenza

Curved lines

The renovators and interior designers of the 2010s developed a natural inclination toward sharp, clean lines, so when happening across an arched 80s walkway it was only instinctual to cut the corners out and modernise the thoroughfare. But tomorrow’s designers will be putting down the saw because all things curvy and round making a comeback. 

In recent years we’ve seen curved walls and surfaces bringing a softness to homes thanks to innovative products that make moulding gyprock into shape easier than ever. During the next decade those contours will creep into the highest corners of our homes including a resurgence of arches and curves in window and door shapes as well as walkways. 

Whether this interior trend is modernised with a colourful art pop flair, or used to pay homage to a Roman cathedral, the 2020s will be curvy.  
Photo courtesy Visioneer
Photo courtesy Unsplash – Olko Kohut

Gentle bliss

While showcasing vibrant personality is a common theme in the 2020 trends forecasts, one movement is going against the grain and sticking to its minimalistic guns: gentle bliss. This is the style for those who don’t want to wave goodbye to their clean, white, open spaces. 

With soft curves and low furniture, the style is minimal modernism at its grandest. Using edgeless fittings and design – such as basin-less bathroom sinks and rounded tables and chairs – to complement curved archways and modest concrete or light hardwood floors, the style puts an emphasis on negative space. 

Homes boasting this style ooze a sense of relaxation, quiet and calm. The look is nothing short of edificial, with cathedral-like spaces increasingly popping up on Pinterest and Instagram. Executing this look involves rounding out harsh corners with soft curves and opting for soft colours and shapes in appliances and fittings. 
Photo courtesy Wow Design

Homes boasting this style ooze a sense of relaxation, quiet and calm.

Photo courtesy Woodchip and Magnolia
Photo courtesy Wallsauce

Eclectic layering

If you thought eclectic interiors were already a lot on the eye, this may not be the trend for you. In 2020 we’re going to see a surge in layered eclecticism – that is, blending and layering of old with new and minimal with loud, plus combining different textures, colours and styles to give the home that worldly, laidback feel. However, to be done well a balance must be struck between contrast and conflict. 

Usually achieved through years of gathering and refining a collection of decorative items from various moments and places in a homeowner’s life, the trend can be faked with a few trips to specialty shops and thrift stores, armed with an eye for great pieces. 

Eclectic design allows authenticity and personality to shine, so while clean sleek display homes might seem to appeal to the masses, a well-done eclectic look can make homeowners truly feel at home. 
Photo courtesy Covet House
Photo courtesy Audenza

Black is the new white

Black replacing white as the primary interior shade might not be a new trend, particularly in the kitchen, but it’s been forecasted to continue spreading throughout the home in 2020, becoming more of a staple than a feature. Many homeowners have grown tired of the white walls and beige furniture that were the pinnacle of early-2010s interior design. 

In direct opposition, they are opting for dark onyx and charcoal hues across walls, furniture, cabinetry, appliances and more. From black marble kitchen benchtops and matte black fridges to dark cabinetry and flooring throughout the rest of the home, pairing the right amount of slate black with colour and light tones results in a pleasantly unassuming space. 
To play this trend on the safe side, bring greenery in to give a freshness and lively energy to the area, ensuring the room doesn’t err toward ominous.  


Pairing black with colour and light tones results in a pleasantly unassuming space.

Photo courtesy Paul Tilse Architects
Photo courtesy Jasmine McClelland Design
Photo courtesy Jasmine McClelland Design

Healthy homes

Inside and outside of the home, keeping the environment safe while looking after the health of the family living in a home will always be in vogue. 2020 will be a testament to that, with an increasing shift toward ‘safe’ materials and products. Safe products are those which are non-toxic, or even beneficial, for both homeowners and the environment. 

Think lamps that adjust according to the body’s natural circadian rhythm, integrated green walls, psychologically-soothing colour palettes with the use of zero or low-VOC paints, harnessing natural light with strategic window placement and skylights, or eco-friendly, ethically-sourced building materials – the list goes on. 

Recent research from Houzz has found that connecting with nature and using a ‘green’ approach to building and renovating is becoming increasingly important for Australians, with 22 per cent surveyed in 2019 citing minimal environmental impact as a priority when building or buying a home. 

Photo courtesy Reliabuilt

Safe products are those which are non-toxic, or even beneficial, for both homeowners and the environment.

Photo courtesy Prostyle
Photo courtesy Altalo Brothers

Classic blue

The Pantone Colour of the Year for 2020 is Classic Blue, a deep oceanic tone that instils a calmness and stability into the space it envelops. While the nautical hue makes for a perfect coating for a study or home office, 2020 will also see this versatile tone jumping off the walls and into decorative features throughout the whole home. 

In the bathroom, opt for decorative tiles with Chinoiserie and Danish pottery designs as a focal point or balance blocks of this blue with earthy greens to modernise your nature-centric sanctuary. In living spaces, promote peace by bringing the restful colour to lounging areas with blue couches, swivel chairs and rugs. 

Meanwhile in the kitchen the Hamptons is still in – complement classic blue with off-whites, wicker, rope and lux furniture for that coveted Long Island look and feel.