By KayLynn Stanley

By KayLynn Stanley, ASID, IIDA, SCCID, NCIDQ

Owner and Principal designer, Interiors By Design


As a professional designer for over 39 yrs, I’ve seen a lot of Trends come and go. First of all a Fad is a more accurate term when it comes to design styles that turns over fairly quickly. Fads usually only last 1 to 3 yrs. But a trend is usually 3 to 7, but sometimes have a habit of often becoming so popular that they extend into a decade. 


We have had several years of strong trends, but it seems 2020 didn’t just bring us all kinds of economic, social and health issues, it brought us some actual real changes in design. For a designer who has seen the roller coaster effect on many trends, it’s a breath of fresh air to see some new styles and design elements emerging.


I tell all my clients, become acquainted with the current trends but also look inward for your own style that makes you comfortable, because it’s costly to invest in flooring and cabinetry that will go out of style in 5 yrs. Do your homework, shop in stores and especially online to become acquainted with classic style along with emerging trends before you make large purchases or build a home.


Manufactures are starting to bring us newer materials, finishes, patterns and colors that could just inspire you to try something new this year. But keep in mind your larger purchases will be with you for perhaps 15 or more years, so select carefully as always.


Let’s look at a few important trends.


Wall Color

Beige is back, but it’s not the bland tan or beige you remember. It is warmer, softer and with pink undertones that liven up a room.

I’m also excited by the fact that overall gray and white are in our past. We are embracing color again. All kinds of colors.

Here’s an example of one of Sherwin-Williams color palettes for 2020, the Alive Palate

See Sherwin-Williams for all their other color choices for 2020.


Vintage Everything

Another emerging trend is that vintage is still strong and growing. There are a couple reasons designers are loving Vintage.

One reason is that reusing and repurposing furniture is very ‘Green’ and ‘Sustainable design’. 

We have been a very wasteful society over the last couple of decades, making furniture and design elements that are only meant to last 5 to 8 yrs. I call it “throw-away” furniture and it’s often a waste of money. But not only are we keeping vintage furniture and using it as is, but also painting, reupholstering or using elements of items to embellish our surroundings for more unique and lasting design.


Those of us that love to use “vintage” know that it’s about patina, worn and homey, and the pieces come with a story. Vintage items can promote calm and restfulness to an otherwise cookie cutter environment in our modern homes. I for one can not pass up a good antique store!


Texture Everywhere

We have been covering headboards, benches, sofas and chairs in performance velvets but now we are rediscovering Boucle’. Here are a few images to show you the loose threads that also have slubs in them. Look for colors to also infiltrate into this fabric type along with more color that we have seen in years throughout our wardrobes and homes.

I am seeing lots of types of fabrics with tactile texture. Good design will always use a variety of visual and tactile textures and patterns in a room.



Fabric pattern trends

Another trend in fabrics is stripes are now very strong. Not just uniform stripes, but irregular thicknesses, lengths and color designs. Look also for botanicals to stay strong along and geometric patterns, this applies to rugs and carpets as well.

Tile Trends

We have been enjoying matte finishes for awhile but you will also see the return to high gloss and high sheen. Also we are seeing more and more European influences in tile, especially a Moroccan style. 

At my design market called Surfaces this last year I visited many booths that were filled with patterned tiles, but with lots of color. You will see them coming into our local stores soon and it’s not just the muted gray, black and white ones we have seen the last few years. 

We will still see more unique ways to laying our tiles, especially staying with vertical lays. Tiles have also gotten larger and larger for our floors and walls. Some are 4 to 6 feet wide by 10 to 14 feet high. We seem to be sick of cleaning grout and also a desire to see large soft color palettes that look like real stone without the inherent porous and soft properties of stone. Tile is stronger, won’t stain and is resistant to heat.

Pattern Trends

We learned to love Terrazzo again in 2019, so we are taking our love of colored flecks to sketchy squiggle shapes in dinnerware, bedding and textiles. Look for it everywhere. We are loving patterns again in everything.

Kitchen Trends 

All white kitchens were huge till a couple years ago, now kitchens are about color, texture and WOOD IS BACK! Instead of plain, we are adding warm rich shades of warmer grays and taupes and deep tones of blue and greens. White will still has a place but we are now putting on the walls and in the details and accents.

The wood cabinet finishes aren’t the glossy ones of our past, it’s more rough-hewn; even thinks of Old World European. And we are mixing it more and more with solid colored cabinets. I am seeing a lot of black cabinets mixed with light warm woods in design magazines and websites.

Formal artwork is back in the kitchen, believe it or not. Move aside chalkboards, farmhouse signs and farm friends, instead we are adding real art back into the hub of the home. Consider adding framed art to your kitchen and dining room, it could add warmth and style.

Another Kitchen Trend in large kitchens is no or little upper cabinets. If you have enough storage space in your lower cabinets, then perhaps you too will opt for floating shelves or just beautiful wallpapers and tile. Keep in mind that open shelves will have more maintenance with dusting them and everything on them, but they sure look pretty and apparently we are going to see more of this trend.

Lastly I am seeing a kitchen trend of going more glamorous with appliances. Stainless steel is no longer the default finish. You will see enameled ranges with stylings that mimic luxury ranges like La Cournue at a fraction of the cost. But for sure you will see  more luxurious appearances and features to our appliances.

Most importantly, design should reflect the people that use the space. So whether you are thinking of just updating your bedroom with new linens, purchase new dishes or totally redecorate the house…remember, design it for you regardless of the trends, make it all about what you like and are ready to live with for the long run.

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