10 Home Design Trends You Should Avoid in 2020
Have your eye on a spring cleaning or remodeling project in your home? Maybe you’re looking to give your boring bathroom a refresh, or to take down that pesky wall that stands in the way of your dream open concept space. Or maybe you have plans to sell your home in 2020, and you know it needs some love before going on the market.
Whatever your home upgrade dreams and plans are, you’ll want to make sure your house feels modern and new—no wood paneling and linoleum floors here. At the same time, you don’t want to lean too far into the next big trend, or your home will feel outdated this time next year.
To help you find the perfect home design upgrades that balance feeling both modern and timeless, we’ve found 10 trends that are on their way out in 2020. Avoid these and make use of more timeless alternatives to breathe new life into your home.
The Color Gray
Gray as a neutral color palette was once a novel concept, but it soon became the trend you can’t escape. Some homes boast gray walls, gray floors, and gray counters, accented with—you guessed it—gray furniture.
While you don’t need to make your house a completely gray-free zone, consider expanding your neutral color palette to include browns and beiges as well. This can give your home a warmer feel and break up the monotony of endless gray.
Homeowners and interior designers attempt to tackle the gray (or other neutrals) by designating one wall an accent wall. These are painted a brighter color than the rest of the house and are intended to be a “pop of color” among the neutral grays and whites of the other walls and trim.
If your goal is to make your house appealing to buyers or to maintain a timeless feel, skip the accent wall. Despite the relative ease of repainting a wall, most people fall into the trap of thinking a coat of paint is irreversible. To add color, simply choose brightly colored accents in your wall decor or furniture. Throw pillows, artwork, or even a vibrant sofa can provide that eye-catching hue while maintaining a neutral base for your home.
Cheap, Fast Furniture
On the subject of furniture: skip that trip to IKEA if you can. While big-box stores provide furniture that is both cheap and trendy, the quality and popularity won’t stand the test of time. As soon as next year’s catalog rolls out your decor is out of date, and plus, you’re very likely to sit in the exact same chair at the home of friends or family.
Instead, look for unique or custom furniture that you love and will last. Consider visiting a thrift store or antique shop to look for vintage pieces that still feel modern. There are endless ways to upcycle or refresh old furniture to make it look new and fit your style. Consider upgrading your home with technology to further improve the quality and curb appeal of your home.
Kitchens are perhaps the quickest room to become out-of-date, and the all-white kitchen trend may be joining the ranks of pine-wood cabinets and linoleum floors. While white in the kitchen will never truly disappear, the exhaustive effort of all-white everything in the kitchen is getting a little tired.
We can’t predict the next big kitchen trend for you to get ahead of, but some interior designers suggest that natural wood tones are coming back in style. This can take the form of butcher block countertops, cabinets and storage shelves, or even trim and accent pieces.
Another option is to mix and match your styles. White cabinets and wooden countertops can provide a variety of textures and colors and incorporate several styles, so your kitchen will always have something trendy in its design.
Brass Kitchen Fixtures
Brass kitchen fixtures have had a big moment in recent years, but the brass craze seems to be waning. While these kinds of fixtures have a somewhat unique and vintage-like feel, it’s a smarter choice to go with something more timeless.
Stainless steel and brushed nickel are good options for classic kitchen fixtures. They’ll match virtually every kitchen style and won’t stand out like a brass fixture might.
The 1970s were a tile countertop heyday, and the DIY home remodeling boom in recent years has brought this trend back. Tile countertops are low-cost, easy to install, and lend themselves well to customization, so it makes sense that homeowners would jump on this trend.
But as in the 70s, it’s unlikely that tile countertops will remain popular for long. Opt for something more timeless, like marble, to preserve the modern feel of your kitchen. Marble and other stone countertops are also easier to clean than tile, making them a more attractive option to prospective buyers if your home is going on the market.
While kitchens are a hotspot for interior design trends, bathrooms really aren’t. Some homeowners like to go all in on making a statement bathroom with bright walls, crazy backsplashes, and other “trendy” changes. But bathrooms do best with simplicity: while all-white kitchens are on their way out, all-white bathrooms will remain a constant.
If you’ve ever seen a pink-tiled bathroom from the 70s or 80s, you know first-hand how these statement bathrooms can easily look dated. Stick will neutral, timeless classics for your walls, cabinets, and tiles in your bathroom, and make your statement with a fun shower curtain and vibrant hand towels.
TV rooms, home offices, and other one-use rooms used to be all the rage, but these spaces are moving toward being multi-use, no matter what the intent of the homeowner. Instead of trying to preserve your media room and then resigning yourself to it being used for storage, purposely plan your rooms to have multiple uses. Allow your office to double as a guest room, let your TV room have a dedicated space for craft storage, or whatever other combination works best for your home.
Fake Plants & Other Faux Decor
You might think that fake plant looks strangely realistic, but most people can tell it’s faux the second they enter the room—especially if you forgot to dust that week. Skip the fakes cluttering up your space and opt for the real thing. There are plenty of low-maintenance plants to provide a bit of green to your home without immediate danger of them turning dead and brown.
Let’s face it: wooden block letters and framed minimalist posters of feel-good words are tired. They’re not truly inspirational, and can make a space feel cheap or fake. Find home decorations that have true and lasting meaning to you, and incorporate a mix of family pictures, art, and maybe a word or two that you truly love.
No matter how hard we try to stay on top of home design trends, something is bound to change as soon as the paint dries on our latest upgrade. When making decor decisions, opt for the timeless choice and things that can be adapted or modified with less permanent upgrades like wall decor and furniture.
At the end of the day, however, don’t let the pursuit of a timeless look prevent you from decorating your house with what you love. We think these tips will help you love your house more, but if you really want that bright blue accent wall, we won’t stop you.
Samantha Rupp holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She is the managing editor for 365businesstips.com as well as runs a personal blog, sjruppy.com. She lives in San Diego, California and enjoys spending time on the beach, reading up on current industry trends, and traveling.