There’s always a lot of talk about new trends for interior design at this time of year and when I have written about this in the past it has proved to be one of the most read posts of the year.
But this year I’m not sure things have changed that much since I wrote this post 12 months ago. It feels like the same but more crystallised if you like.
So the fashion for brown furniture, which I wrote about last year, has now become part of the sustainability movement and will, rightly, continue to grow in popularity. We will buy more from eBay and vintage stores, we will paint and customise and upcycle more and we will continue to reupholster and repurpose.
That will, in turn, however, lead to what I think will be a growing trend this decade and that’s individuality. Once you stop buying mass-produced furniture, or start using a bit of leftover fabric to make a cushion, or the remains of a tin of paint to draw an arch on the wall or create a painted frame for your pictures, your interior design automatically becomes more bespoke, more individual and more you.
That can only be a good thing as we discover our own personal style and apply it to our homes rather than trying to follow the crowd. This movement will, I think, increase through the 2020s.
And this feeds into the other growing fashion at the moment and that’s maximalism. True maximalism is another take on the English Country Style, which I wrote about here. In essence it’s a layering of colour and pattern with a touch of wit and whimsy thrown in.
It’s peculiarly English and in certain Shires it never went out of fashion – not for them the pared back grey minimalist of the Scandi decade.Indeed its proponents would be slightly aghast at the idea that it’s now fashionable as opposed to being simply good taste and what one does.
But I’m not talking about true maximalism here, rather a backlash against the clean, pared back minimalism of that Scandi decade that we have just lived through. Suddenly we all want a bit more colour and pattern and, well, stuff on the shelves to show what we’re about.
And one person’s dream pattern is another person’s Hieronymous Bosch painting.
In other words, this trend can only be about individuality as the layering of the items is such a personal choice.
There is a saying at journalism school that if you send 10 reporters to the same fete they will all come back with different stories. Maximalism is a similar idea. Leave ten people in a shop full of fabric swatches and paint and they will all decorate their rooms differently.
Some will add patterned lampshades to ornate stands while others will cover the sofa and leave the cushions plain. Some will, of course, do all of it while half will set that against a neutral wall and the rest will add another layer of colour in paint and paper.
That is the trend for individuality that we will see coming through as we continue to explore what makes us happy and what colours we love and stop being afraid to do what we want in our own homes.
Now that’s not to say that the fashion for pared back mid-century modern is over. It’s well-made, sustainable and vintage so it ticks all those boxes without being part of the so-called brown furniture brigade (which is, see above, coming back as well). However, I think it will be mixed up with existing pieces more than it has been in recent years. You will no longer see a complete mid-century modern room but a room with a couple of mid-mod pieces within sitting happily next to a Victorian bureau and a patterned sofa.
Again, individual taste will rule over everything.
And for some that will involve backgrounds of pale neutrals which will allow the colours to stand out and for others, the dark neutrals – not grey or black but rich plum, chocolate and forest, will provide the background. There will be no right or wrong. There will be, in essence, no trend, for if you’ve put it together well and it reflects your taste then it will be perfect for you and you can’t get more on trend than that.
So bring on the interior trends for 2020, embrace whatever you fancy and put it together your way. It’s your house and you live there. Dress it to suit your individual style.
And that, my friends, is my trend prediction for 2020.