Interior design ideas: 24 trends to bring into your home

Here is our roundup of interior design ideas that will last way past 2020

Interior design ideas
(Image credit: John Lewis )

The interior design ideas and trends that we saw in 2020 brought us nothing but joy. What was a prediction at the start of the year, did in fact turn into a beautiful reality, so if you're planning to revamp your home interior design anytime soon, you're in the right place for inspiration because these trends are going to last. 

We've all the key themes and schemes listed below that have consistently dominated our Insta feeds, and our homes. From Pinterest perfection to what our favorite design forecasters, paint manufacturers, fabric designers and more experts in the world of interiors are saying, we've got it all in this interior design trends roundup.  

We've also added tips and tricks to help you design and decorate with the trends you love, no matter the size of your rooms or your budget (because unfortunately not all of us can remodel our bathroom in terrazzo just because Instagram says it’s cool)... So whether it's living room ideas or looks for the bedroom you want, these are our favorite decor trends to copy. And, if you want the freshest interior design trends for 2021 then we can help too.

1. Embrace the cottagecore trend

wooden chair by the fireplace

(Image credit: Brent Darby)

So what exactly is cottagecore? In short, it would seem cottagecore is an aesthetic that started life on social media. It's all very wholesome, pastoral and based around rural life. Type in #cottagecore on Instagram and your page will be filled with soft pastel colours, floaty dresses, quaint cottage interiors and a bit of Animal Crossing thrown in there too. 

A  really cheap way to bring this design trend into your home is to scour eBay (opens in new tab) and Etsy (opens in new tab) for some really unique bargain buys. The quirky the better when it comes to cottagecore. 

2. Blue is the new grey 

Laura and Ed Gray’s three-storey home has adapted to every phase of their lives

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Yep, we said it, we never thought it would happen but our love for grey has been pushed out by blue! And if you don't believe us, believe Pantone. Not to boast or anything, but we did have a sneaky suspicion that the Pantone Colour of the Year 2020 was going to be blue. It felt like it was time for a blue. The 2020 colour is called Classic Blue, and it's just that: a classic blue. It's clean and elegant but also really uplifting so works perfectly in a living room and (in comparison to the last few years) it's a really easy colour to incorporate into most parts of your home. 

For loads of blue room ideas to get you inspired, check out our feature. 

3. Pink, and not just millennial pink

Pink bedroom by Furniture Village

(Image credit: Furniture Village)

Bet you the last time you wanted to redecorate a room pink you were probably about 11. But after a decade or two of being associated with tweens' bedrooms, pink is most definitely back!

There are, however, a few rules for mastering this candy colour. First one being, avoid anything that vaguely reminds you of a colour Barbie would wear; blush-toned, muted pinks are the way to go. And keep finishes matt – anything shiny and pink, and you are entering six-year-old's bedroom territory again. 

So, with those little gems of wisdom in mind, go and check out our pink room ideas

4. Pick out tranquil hues 

Dulux Colour of the Year 2020

(Image credit: Dulux)

A big player in the world of interior trends, let’s take a look at Dulux Colour of the Year 2020 (opens in new tab): Tranquil Dawn. It's green! Well, it's as soft and neutral as green can get, but still, we like and it's perfect for small living room ideas and other tiny spaces. It’s a really versatile shade that seems to completely change when you combine it with different palettes. Bring out its cooler side by mixing it with steely greys or soften it up creams and even light pinks. 

5. Texture, texture, texture 

Grey living room

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

2020 trends aren't all about colour either, we are seeing texture increasingly being used to add interest to rooms too. A look that we are loving is layering up different textures in the same, or very similar colours. It's perfect if you are big on neutrals so need to find different ways to decorate your rooms without using too many colours. 

In a living room, cushions and blankets are an obvious way of doing this but in other rooms, try bringing in textures with plants (dried flowers are everywhere going into 2020) prints and well curated knick knacks. 

6. Bring the outside in with dried flowers

Maison du Monde dried flowers

(Image credit: Maison du Monde)

Dried flowers are all over Instagram at moment, and they are a great way to bring some natural, delicate textures into your home. You can dry flowers yourself just by tying them together and hanging them up for a couple of weeks but we have our eye on all the gorgeous affordable buys over on Maisons du Monde (opens in new tab).

7. Traditional prints in modern spaces (Chintz is back) 

Wallpaper in dining room by Little Greene

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Look, we don’t make the trends, we just report on them, so apologies if this offends anyone – but chintz is back. Not familiar? It's essentially a traditional pattern on a light background. And you know what? We like it A LOT, especially if it's matched with contemporary pieces. 

8. Become a Grandmillennial

John Lewis a/w trends

(Image credit: John Lewis )

This is basically a new name for granny chic. It's all about floral prints, lace table cloths, embroidered curtains, but it's not twee, oh no, it's timeless and we love it. There is a way to do it though to prevent your home from actually looking like your nan's bedsit. You'll see that these Grandmillennials do go big on the old fashioned prints and designs, but give spaces a modern twist by adding in some more contemporary pieces, say a Mid-century style velvet sofa. Sure, the spaces are nostalgic but they don't feel dated or stuffy. 

9. Concealed kitchens

Hub Kitchens concealed cabinets

(Image credit: Hub Kitchens)

You may have already had the ingenious idea to disguise a pantry behind an integrated cabinet door or integrate your fridge into a kitchen unit, but have you considered concealing your entire kitchen?  Yep, that’s a thing now, and it’s become a huge design trend in the world of kitchen ideas this year. 

With living spaces getting smaller and storage getting smarter, clean, minimalist kitchens are getting increasingly popular. Items that once cluttered worktops – kettles, plug sockets, knife blocks, even taps and sinks – can now disappear into flush cabinets and uninterrupted surfaces to make the most of all space available. Nifty no? Perfect for open plan kitchen diners or for small kitchen design, they are great for creating a streamlined look in a contemporary kitchen, too.

Kitchen above (concealed) and below (doors open) by  Hub Kitchens (opens in new tab)

10. The home bar

Lily Pickard house: wooden drinks trolley

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies ©Future)

We've been enjoying drinks indoors for quite some time now, pre and post-pandemic. And although lockdown restrictions have eased up a little, a home bar is still a must in every home this year and beyond. Indoors, this is a practical and very Gatsby-like addition, – depending on which you go for – think bar carts, cocktails chairs and plenty of neon signs...While if you want something that feels more like a beach club, this is a great garden idea and one of the coolest ways to unwind. 

Check out our pick of the best bar carts if you are feeling inspired to embrace this trend. 

11. Sustainable home interior design

Scandi rooms by Lapuan Kankurit

(Image credit: Lapuan Kankurit)

Fast fashion is hot topic. People are starting to think more about where all our bags full of clothes actually come from and what they are made of. And, the same goes for what we buy for our homes. The hunt for sustainable furniture and the want to create an eco friendly house or living space, is on, as many of us are trying to shop more sustainably, and the great news is that more and more retailers are offering a selection of eco home interiors too. 

Top tips to nod to this (forever) trend is to choosing furniture made from natural materials that have been sustainably sourced. Timber, bamboo and the likes all have a low environmental footprint, look out for the FSC logo. And to reduce yours further, keep an eye out for furniture that has been made locally, and for products made from recycled materials – think rugs made from plastic bottles. 

And as we create more eco friendly homes, we have become more aware about reducing waste by upcycling or recycling our homewares. There are so many great sites where you can buy and sell second hand furniture, places like Gumtree (opens in new tab) and Freecycle (opens in new tab). You can even buy complete kitchens second hand (but good as new). Try The Used Kitchen Company (opens in new tab)and The Kitchen Exchange (opens in new tab). And of course, you can count on yours truly for many a new DIY hack. Check out our DIY hub for the latest inspo on how to work with what you already have.

12. Incorporate the trend for cane furniture 

John Lewis bedroom

(Image credit: John Lewis )

The trend for rattan and cane furniture is still going strong into autumn and winter – sideboards, chairs and beds are all really easy ways to bring this stylish material into your home. We have also seen (and tested out for ourselves) loads of upcycling projects using rattan webbing (opens in new tab) if you are after a cheap way to add some of this trendy texture into your home. 

13. Animal prints 

Yep, our favourite animal prints in fashion are still going strong in the home, too in 2020. But how do your style leopard print throw or your zebra print rug without creating a room that resembles a cross between a dodgy themed B&B and the Playboy Mansion? We say: start small, adding accents in the form of soft furnishings and a few, small accessories; then, if you love it you can go further with rugs and curtains. 

For our best rug roundup be sure to check out our guide.

14. Two toned kitchen cabinets

open plan kitchen diner with industrial feel by fritz fryer

(Image credit: Fritz Fryer)

Say goodbye to stark white kitchens, colour is definitely creeping in (again). And not just one colour, oh no, we've been seeing a huge trend in painting kitchen cabinets in two different colours. Crazy stuff we know. A frequent iteration of the look includes using a darker colour for the lower cabinets and a lighter shade for shelves and cabinets that sit higher up. Think creamy, neutral coloured cabinets above and a darker, dramatic colour for the lower cabinets.

And if a bold paint colour isn’t quite your vibe you can also get those look using contrasting materials. What we love about this trend is you can make it work for pretty much any style kitchen, from super modern to a traditional Shaker. 

You can easily DIY this kitchen trend yourself, just check out our guide to painting kitchen cupboards

15. Maximalism

Gemma Medden and Gareth Fisher's extended cottage in Hornby, North Yorkshire. Hero house for September

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

It feels like the world of interiors has been dominated by minimalist Scandi design for, well, forever. We're not complaining, but there has been a shift away from clean, bare interiors towards more flamboyant decor. We are talking plenty of pattern, all the bold colours and mismatched pieces of furniture. It’s a tricky look to get right so make sure you check out our guide to working the maximalist trend.

16. Crittall style windows and doors

Metal framed windows used as an interior and exterior wall

(Image credit: Crittal)

Crittall-style windows have been staging a comeback and those dreamy black frames have been filling up our Pinterest pages for the last few months. But we are now seeing them used not just as windows and doors, but for extensions, room dividers and even shower screens. We can easily see why everyone is obsessed with them in the home interior design world – the graphic look definitely taps into the industrial trend that’s still going strong, plus they are great way to bring a ton of light into a space. 

Have a read through our buyer's guide to metal doors and windows to get this look spot on. 

17. Concrete bathrooms

Black shower by Meir

(Image credit: Meir )

Last year it was all about creating a spa-like bathroom at home, but in 2020 it’s all about bathrooms ideas that are tough and functional – and of course super stylish. The easiest way to get the look is by using micro concrete which allows you to create the effect of a full-depth concrete finish on top of existing walls and concrete floors (think tough skim coat). Applying it is not a DIY job but there are lots of willing people out there to take away your money in exchange for making your bathroom look like it’s not quite finished (this is a good thing btw). 

18. Curved sofas 

Living room by DFS

(Image credit: DFS)

A super popular Mid-century design, we’ve seen a major comeback of curved, sculptural furniture, especially when it comes to upholstery. Curved sofas and high-back armchairs in gorgeous rich velvets give an instant glamorous vibe and can make a statement even in the most simple of spaces. 

As much as we love drooling over these kinds of vintage pieces in antique shops, the reality is they are often pretty pricey. But fear not, shops like West Elm (opens in new tab), (opens in new tab) and Habitat (opens in new tab) all do dupes for the vintage sofas of our dreams. The sofas above are in fact from DFS (opens in new tab)! You could also of course take the time to scour Ebay (opens in new tab) if you want something more unique.  

If this 2020 interior trend is for you, then make sure you go and check these Mid-century modern decorating ideas. And for the best sofas about right now, we can help there too.

19. Scalloped edges

black kitchen cupboards with marble worktops

(Image credit: Aleksa Studio)

Speaking of curves, they are creeping into other parts of our homes too, mostly in the form of fish scale tiles, but also on kitchen cabinetry (find similar kitchen tiles to those above at Superfront (opens in new tab)). Whereas in fashion and beauty the whole mermaid trend was all about candy hues and pastels, the interior world seems to have gone down a bit of a more grown up route and we love it. 

20. Terrazzo

Kitchen by Nest

(Image credit: Nest)

Cool in the '70s, tacky in the '90s and back with a bang in 2020. We have opened our arms to terrazzo once more and we aren’t just limiting this finish to the floors (sooo 2019), but are starting to take terrazzo to the walls, splashbacks and even entire bathroom suites. 

If maybe redoing your whole bedroom or kitchen in terrazzo isn’t very realistic (or if you are a renter, not very landlord friendly), terrazzo accents come in all forms. Check out Very rugs (opens in new tab) and this lush B&Q lamp (opens in new tab) while you can even find terrazzo tooth brush holders (opens in new tab) (thanks John Lewis), so it's really easy to incorporate this trend in more subtle ways…

21. Back to the '70s

statement black sideboard in a modern living room with geometric wallpaper

(Image credit: Swoon Editions)

So we can see that warmer colours, like oranges, yellows, and even rusty reds are rising up between the greige, plus house plants, terrazzo, leopard print, FRINGING, it is all getting a bit '70s. This retro feel is starting to feel a bit cooler and dare we say starting to replace Mid-century modern and maybe even Boho style interiors? 

Personally, we can’t see ourselves wallpapering our bathrooms in orange and brown floral wallpaper anytime soon but there are still a few hints of nostalgia in the colours, shapes and textures that we can definitely get on board with. Check out our favourite retro geometric walls and wallpaper design ideas for inspiration.

22. A darker take on Scandi-style 

Living room by DFS

(Image credit: DFS)

Will our love of Nordic interiors ever end? We are going with a resounding 'no'. But like all trends that hang around for years (hygge is the prime example) we do, every now and then, come up with a new name for what is basically the same style just with a slight twist – case in point: new Nordic, which can be restrained.

It’s a slightly darker, moodier take on the classic Scandi-style, still using all the textures and pared back light wooden furniture, just with a more gothic feel. Sounds like your kind of combination? Check out our New Nordic ideas for inspiration. 

23. Statement ceilings 

Bold and bright dining room with a turquoise painted ceiling and animal print wallpaper

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Forget about statement walls, in 2020 we are going to be looking to the ceiling. Next time you have a repaint, rather than just the magnolia-blah you are used to, try painting the ceiling in a colour that contrasts your walls. You could go even bolder and wallpaper your fourth wall. If you are working with a smaller room, trying painting your ceiling the same colour, despite what they say about light, this actually really works. 

For all the top tips on how to paint a ceiling check out our guide. 

24. Velvet, velvet and more velvet

Dark orange velvet sofa in a living room with dark red walls

Velvet is simply beaut and it's been huge throughout 2020. Our favourite find? A velvet sofa... pure luxury. Find our pick of the most gorgeous statement velvet sofas to step straight into the trend, but honestly, immerse yourself and double up with cushions, accessories and more, because you will not look back!

Want more decorating inspiration?

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.