Ooh-la-la! The 2020 home design trends are here, and they’re inspiring me to stay in my PJs and work from home today. Why fight traffic and wait in line for coffee when my house can be a studio of creativity with vacation-style elements that promote a more balanced, enriching life?
Sounds fantastic, right? Well, that’s what’s coming in 2020, according to Jessica Steeves, Regional VP of Builders Design, who shared her forecast at a recent national builders’ conference hosted by Bentley Homes. According to Steeves, “the down-home and humble farmhouse look is moving high-end. It’s all about casual luxury in the coming year with accessories stylizing homes as you’d see on the fashion runway.”
How we think about space is changing, too, as shared travel images from around the world transform design from a regional to global experience. This cross-cultural influence is also changing how Americans use their rooms. Kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, and bonus spaces are doing double duty, challenging design norms. In 2020 home design is all about maximizing the use of square footage and creating environments that support healthy, happy living.
What’s making me happy in 2020 is that designers have finally realized that tech is here to stay. The result is visually pleasing design solutions that conceal cords and provide tidy areas to power and operate computers/devices. Cool innovations like easy to install electrical outlets with built-in charging ports are available through Amazon. Alexa, the virtual assistant that responds to voice command, can’t dust or clean like the Jetson’s robotic housekeeper Rosie. Still, Alexa can order groceries, find a recipe and interface with WeMo, Philips, and Lifx to control HVAC, lighting, blinds, and appliances. A spot for Alexa and all our tech is a must-have in 2020.
Tech’s impact on design is hard to miss this year. Just look around, and you’ll see tech-inspired metallic and lacquered finishes everywhere. A perfect example is the GE Café appliance collection in matte black, matte white, or stainless steel. Hardware finishes include stainless, black, bronze, and copper. But that doesn’t mean everything is shiny and modern in 2020, quite to the contrary. It’s about skillfully mixing textures and surfaces like wood, stone, glass, and metals so as not to become hodge-podge.
This year, small-scale nooks and niches are igniting conversation. These vignettes often showcase the home owner’s favorite possessions or pastimes and incorporate bold elements like large-scale wallpapers, vibrant colors, geometric patterns, and built-ins. The effect is playful and fun, especially when the homeowner’s personality resonates.
Nature continues to inspire home design this year. Merging indoor and outdoor spaces is a high priority and achieved architecturally with windows and doors. Retractable glass doors, transom windows, and entire windows walls in rooms like the kitchen are growing trends. Using similar flooring styles inside and out creates visual continuity, and no step walkouts make the indoor/outdoor transition feel seamless.
Reflecting a growing desire to entertain and imbibe at home has resulted in tricked out outdoor spaces with grilling kitchens, pizza ovens, fireplaces, bars, and soft seating. Basements are transforming into gastropubs with kitchens, bars, and game rooms. Guest rooms and loft spaces are doing double duty as playrooms, craft areas, TV lounges, and home offices.
The measure of a home in 2020 is its beauty from all vantage points. Bentley Homes is known for its high-end architectural design and superior room composition. Pleasing views from every interior angle is achieved with design bump-outs, detailing, framed openings, high ceilings, spatial layering, curves, and elevation changes.
Pops of classic blue, the Pantone color of the year, mossy green, red clay, soft pink, and chartreuse, Etsy’s 2020 “it” color is punching up neutral backdrops. Cool grays walls are out, but warm grays remain popular — think greige — a combination of gray and beige like Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter. But don’t get stuck on gray too long because white is on the rise with a 90% white and 10% color rule coming soon.
In my grandmother’s home, the kitchen was a mysterious place where steaming platters of deliciousness emerged for family dinners. In those days, the family gathered in the formal dining room, and the kitchen was merely a workspace, concealed by a swinging door.
Today, the kitchen walls have come down, and food prep’s on full view. The kitchen has evolved into the beating heart of the family experience – a place to gather, entertain, work, and make things. Food prep is now a group activity requiring multiple work surfaces, excellent traffic flow, and two of everything, including sinks, ovens, refrigerators, and dishwashers.
And, as the kitchen’s functionality continues to evolve, so does its look. A shift toward more comfortable, serene, and relaxed kitchen spaces is trending achieved by windows walls in place of upper cabinets for more natural light and better views. Island sizes are growing in both length and width. Generous, family-style dining tables – in farmhouse or mid-century modern-styles – are replacing the breakfast nook. The newest kitchen trend is the walk-in pantry. In higher-end homes, it’s a stand-alone space used for food prep and cleanup equipped with appliances, an island, and lighted display cabinetry.
White kitchen cabinets are still the most popular choice, followed by gray. Cerused, flamed, and wire-brushed wood cabinets with natural graining are combining with white to warm things up in 2020. A continuing trend is tuxedo-style cabinets with one color for the top cabinets and another on the base cabinets. Blue is big in 2020 from rich navy to baby blue, and black is back, especially when paired with white. Shaker cabinets are still the most popular, but sleek European style frameless cabinets and more traditional English cabinetry are coming on strong.
Quartz is the preferred surface choice for kitchens and bathrooms, beating out granite and marble again. Its durability, low maintenance, and many styles make it a practical and beautiful choice. Vast fields of white with dramatic veining are the most popular in either polished or honed finishes. Another trend is wood covering entire works areas. Pairing two different surfaces, like quartz and wood, on an oversized island offers an elegant solution to surface seaming. And, building the island at two different heights with two surfaces looks fabulous. Watch for dark stones with deep graining making a comeback, especially alongside dark cabinets for a moody, monochromatic look.
As for wall tile, standard-sized subway tile orienting horizontally in a brick pattern is out, but textured and beveled subway tile in new lengths or standard subway on the vertical is in. Large-scale tile that mimics wood or stone is covering both walls and floor, and tile with metal accents, hexagon shapes, and herringbone patterns along with colorful ceramic designs are trending.
Floor tiles are either itsy bitsy or oversized. Textures and sheens are mixing. Ceramics that look like natural stone or rough-hewn, wood planks are big again this year. Emerging trends include de-constructed tile fragments, art deco patterns, and terrazzo variations. Chevron patterns and asymmetrical geometrics are also popular. The in-color combinations include blue and blue-greens, black and white, creams and ivories, and beiges and brown.
Wood flooring is shifting warm and light and moving up the walls, on to the ceiling. Yellow oak, natural unstained oak, maples, and warm gray tones are coming on strong. Super dark hues like graphite and brightly painted wood floors are also trending, as are wood-laying techniques like herringbone patterns. Engineered woods and waterproof finishes are perfect for kitchens. And, the technology behind luxury vinyl just keeps getting better, offering an affordable wood alternative that is durable and mimics wood right down to the graining and texture.
Black, and honey bronze hardware and faucets are trending, and farmhouse sinks remain popular though under-mounts are picking up steam. In appliances, stainless reigns supreme, but other finishes are catching on like slate, black stainless, and glossy white.
Statement lighting is found in literally every room in 2020. Look for exterior-style fixtures like sconces and lanterns moving indoors. Orbs and globe chandeliers, oversized pendants, linear ceiling fixtures, and geometric forms are very popular in a variety of finishes. Textured glass, woven natural fibers, and perforated or patterned metal finishes also are fashionable.
Love of travel is creating a desire for hospitality-inspired, destination-style bathrooms. Masculine touches, dark colors, and dramatic wall coverings such as heavily veined stone, patterned tile, or mirrored mosaics create high-impact focal points. And what does every uber-luxurious master bath need in 2020? The answer is an island, Peloton bike, and wet room. And, if that’s not enough, why not add some shiplap, herringbone tile, or veined stone to one or every wall for some serious wow factor.
As far as vanities go, gray and white remain perennial favorites though weathered and lighter wood tones and black varieties are coming on strong. Large single mirrors with multi-light fixtures over the top are “out.” “In” are individual mirrors with small wall sconces or pendants in industrial and mid-century modern looks. Don’t be afraid to go overboard with the lighting; in other words, a chandelier over the tub is not too much. Grid-style vanity bases and shower enclosures are trending, as are quartz and marble countertops with black and honey bronze fixtures. Look for brainy technology in bathrooms like smart TVs in mirrors and other practical features, including heated towel bars, radiant-heated flooring, and self-cleaning and comfort-height toilets.
Taking inspiration from nature, the master bedroom is becoming an enchanting, sanctuary space in 2020. Color palettes lean monochromatic ranging from serene dessert creams to the calming hues of the ocean. Look for oversized original art, custom niches, rich paint tints, and patterned wallpaper, which by the way, is stick on these days.
Architectural details like a tray or wood-planked ceiling with a dramatic chandelier looks awesome in the master. For a dreamy effect how about an oversized upholstered head board in bold colors with channel or button tufting topped with piles of plush pillows and layers of luxe fabrics. The cozy look just begs you to rest. And, for the finishing touches, don’t forget statement lighting, plants for better air quality, and nightstands with built-in USB and tech organizational features.
Bentley Homes is a forty-five-year-old family-owned business that was recently named “Best Builder” in Chester County by the readers of the Daily Local for its innovative design and quality craftsmanship. Many of the 2020 design trends discussed in this blog are seen in our model homes. Our current communities include Stonehouse, Pemberton, Walnut Walk, and Marlboro Springs in Kennett Square, PA. Come visit and be inspired!
By Barbara M. Gall for the Bentley Homes Design Team