Let’s skip the clichés about 2020 being unprecedented. We’re here to talk about something of far greater international and historical significance: interior design! What happened last year and what have we got to look forward to this year?
FIRSTLY, LET’S RECAP WHAT WE SAW IN 2020…
SUSTAINABILITY GREW IN IMPORTANCE
With people starting to see, feel, and literally embody the effects of the climate change—Black Summer—and the effects of human–wildlife conflicts resulting from biodiversity loss—COVID-19—we saw even more people join the decade-long trend of re-thinking their consumer behaviour. Everyone from shoppers to retailers and banks to insurance corporations is making greater efforts to be more sustainable and more transparent about their sustainability. (Quite frankly, we saw a lot of hypocrisy and greenwashing, too.)
Some of the most popular interior design topics included those covered by sustainability-related blogs we’ve been writing and updating for years. This includes how and why you should consider the environment when decorating your home.
Other environmental topics, usually the province of technical specialists, also came to the fore. This saw us publish and constantly update blogs on indoor air quality, noise pollution, and the relevance of your neighbourhood when it comes to home decoration.
A bit of a short-lived buzzword in 2020 (understandable, given everything which happened last year), ‘biophilia’ became an everyday concept. Biophilia, for those of us who aren’t familiar with Greek, translates roughly to “love of organic life”. Biophilia saw retailers stock more timber, cleverly woven natural fibres, and nature-inspired décor, all of which were already made popular by the ever-popular Hamptons style.
PANTONE COLOUR OF THE YEAR: ‘CLASSIC BLUE’
With previous colours like Ultra Violet and Living Coral, we were a bit surprised to see Pantone reveal the 2020 Colour of the Year to be something as plain as Classic Blue.
But there was a bright side to this: most of us found it relatively easy to (re)decorate with Classic Blue. It was also easy for us retailers, as it was a popular colour already in-stock in many furniture and homewares.
As with all the Pantone colours of the year, we saw Classic Blue come in more as a family of blues rather than the single shade. This made home decoration less of a chore. Indeed, for those of us working from home or otherwise isolated or quarantined, it was quite simple to keep our homes on-trend and looking good (especially when paired with warm neutrals, which were also on-trend).
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM 2021?
Hop on Zoom with ten different interior designers and you’ll get a hundred different ideas of what to expect in the new year!
Trying to reconcile all these different predictions of the future is, frankly, more effort than it’s worth. So, as in previous years, we’ve decided to save you the hassle of going through half a dozen blogs and fifteen Instagram accounts. We’ve done the research for you and synthesised three of our findings below.
CONNECTING WITH NATURE VIA INDOOR GARDENS
In spring last year, we pre-empted a trend: indoor gardens are becoming a thing!
It isn’t hard to understand why. More of us are wanting more meaningful connections with more of nature, for all sorts of reasons. But more of us are also stuck at home. Moreover, some of us, like those in apartments or rentals, only have small or indoor spaces to work with. The indoor garden has come to the fore because it is something anyone can do in these circumstances. Expect indoor gardens rise in popularity.
PANTONE COLOURS OF THE YEAR: ULTIMATE GRAY AND ILLUMINATING
An unprecedented year justified the (nearly) unprecedented call by Pantone to have not one, but two colours of the year. Pantone, with characteristic wordiness, describes them as “[a] marriage of color conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting”.
Yellow and grey might seem difficult, but the pairing gives you scope for some really interesting combinations of homewares and furniture. For example, you could have yellow flowers sitting in a vase on a table near a grey sofa set. Jennifer Ott at Houzz has written a blog with some great ideas on this from a broader interior design perspective. It’s full of great ideas like painting the front door yellow while maintaining a grey-toned paint colour scheme inside the home.
FINALLY, WE’RE GETTING BACK TO BASICS
Last year, we wished designers would become less pretentious and the trends would align with homeliness and comfort (which we’ve always seen as the hallmarks of Australia interior design). It might’ve taken something unprecedented to do it, but finally it seems like the trends are aligning with getting down to what matters. Expect people to fuss less about things like whether the texture of their upholstery is on-trend and more on whether their homes help them live the good life.
As a part of this, we expect to see people focus more on what they need. We saw a spike in home office orders last year, for example, and working from home is unlikely to abate this year. We expect more people to make the most of their space to help professionally as well as personally.
Any trends we missed? Why don’t you start a discussion? Our Facebook group, My Family Home, has over 10,000 members who all share a passion for good, unpretentious interior design. We’d love to see you there!