As 2020 begins to roll out its vivid red carpet, we’re taking our first steps toward a year that aims to be a tour de force. We’re already anticipating fun adventures, positive change and loads of inspiration. And what better way to be inspired than to spruce up our personal space? If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to renovate or redecorate, you’re in the right place for some creative motivation. To jumpstart our makeover-loving hearts, we’ve asked some of our favorite local building and design experts to offer their forecast for 2020’s emerging design trends. Whether a fledgling trend or one that has been steadily gaining popularity, we’ve got the scoop on what to look forward to this year. (Spoiler alert: Be prepared to continue stretching the bounds of your color and pattern comfort zones in the most beautiful ways!)

Vibrant Colors and Patterns

Color, color and more color! With the 2019 upswing in revitalizing your space with brazen hues, the infusion of color is still poised to be all the rage in 2020. It appears, more than ever, that this year is bringing about the opportunity for broadening our horizons and experimenting with bold colors, patterns and textures.

From shades of terra cotta to rich jewel tones to nature-inspired greens, we’re stepping into a colorful new decade. “For the past decade, neutral tones of grey and beige have reigned, so it is very exciting to see vibrant color and bold patterns returning to our interiors,” relays Beth Haley of Beth Haley Design. “Colors once only used for accent pieces are now celebrated on cabinetry in both the kitchen and the bathroom, and proudly daring patterns are displayed as wall coverings.”

Thrilled for the return of bold design, Beth says that its addition to your decor “highlights your personality, adds warmth to the space and feels inviting.”

Beth Haley's 2020 design trend - blue kitchen cabinets

Soft blue cabinets with grey undertones make this kitchen by Beth Haley Design a stunner. Image: Nick McGinn

Purple bathroom wall by Beth Haley Design

Shades of purple can take your bathroom to the next level! Image: Reed Brown Photography

Beth Haley's pink bathroom cabinet

Even rosy hues are making waves. This soft pink cabinet is highlighted by hardware and fixtures that bring added personality. Image: Reed Brown Photography

Color in the Kitchen

Color integration is prevalent in every room of the house, which means kitchens can expect some bright upgrades to their design aesthetic in the new year. Derek Van Mol, president of Van Mol Restoration, tells us, “While the look has been around for a few years, it is safe to say that many kitchen designs will include color. Whether the look involves color differences in the upper and lower cabinets or by introducing a pop of color on the island, look for more than just white kitchens in 2020. Bringing this look into your home is easy and works in traditional or modern designs.” With the ability to transcend interior design styles from classic to contemporary, we think this trend is a keeper!

Van Mol Restoration's 2020 Design trend

A richly painted island and exposed brick offer unique focal points in this kitchen by Van Mol Restoration. Image: Shannon Fontaine

White kitchen with brick accent

Accented by pops of color from the thoughtfully placed objets d’art, the rustic brick wall lends depth to the kitchen. Image: Shannon Fontaine

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The Bold Bathroom

Bold color isn’t the only prevailing trend prediction for 2020. Outside-the-box statements can be made throughout your home design, including in the oft-forgotten restroom. “Bold bathrooms focus on creating a unique and often unexpected experience, filled with one-of-a-kind moments throughout the design. You’ll find your average powder rooms or secondary baths will start to make their own statement within the home, rather than feeling forgotten,” offers Merrill Construction Group Lead Designer Morgan Brubaker. Merrill’s Architectural Designer Alex Morgan adds, “This rising trend is sure to push you out of your comfort zone and encourage you to experiment with your space. Exactly what we need for 2020!”

Bold bathroom in gold and marble- 2020 design trend from Merrill Construction

Gold and marble join forces to bring a touch of fancy to this powder room. Image: Reeves Smith

Bathroom with subway tile and black flooring from Merrill Construction

The stark contrast of white subway tile and black hexagonal flooring has a dramatic effect in this bathroom by Merrill Construction Group. Image: Reeves Smith

While an all-white space can be a time-honored, conservative option, the Merrill Construction Group experts tell us that bypassing white subway tile for an interesting tile pattern or trading in your go-to grey paint for a striking color is a fun and easy way to elevate even the smallest room. They also recommend taking chances when it comes to hardware and accessories, suggesting a timeless brass finish or unique framed mirror for character. Lighting is also a simple way to set the tone, and our experts advise you to be conscious of the “effectiveness and ‘feel’ the light creates.” Morgan tells us, “Ultimately, the bold bathroom trend challenges us to take what’s usually a secondary space and turn it into a highlight feature in your home.” Their advice? “Do not be afraid to experiment with selections that break the norm … Most importantly, have fun with the design,” Alex adds. “A bathroom doesn’t have to be boring!”

Bathroom with fancy wallpaper with gold accents

Fun, geometrically patterned wallpaper turns an ordinary bathroom into a work of modern art. Add in some gold features, and you have yourself a bathroom that stands out! Image: Ruby & Peach

Bold Bedding and Ornate Window Treatments

“One of the main projected design trends that I am excited about for 2020 is bold bedding and more ornate window treatments,” says Jessica Jennings of Jessica Jennings Design. “Both of these can be a place to safely take some risks and really let your creative juices flow.” In recent projects, she has favored luxury linens such as D. Porthault and Biscuit Bedding, drawn to their timeless Southern style.

While Jessica is a fan of incorporating a mixture of old and new pieces to achieve a classic design aesthetic, she also feels it’s essential to think outside of the box. “When someone hires a designer, I personally feel like they are hoping for them to offer something special and unique,” she tells us. Elements such as the detailed cornice and headboard in her recent design project, pictured here, offer a more personalized touch.

Jessica Jennings 2020 design trend - pink headboard on bed

Jessica’s combination of solid fabrics and intricate trim makes for a memorable bedroom. She feels strongly about incorporating “pieces that are one of a kind while keeping things clean and classic.” Image: Kristen Mayfield Photography

Blue accented living room

Strategically placed touches of blue, especially in the design of the window treatments, create a beautiful aesthetic in this living room by Jessica Jennings Design. Image: Kristen Mayfield Photography

Creative Flooring

Ridley Wills, of The Wills Company, says a prominent 2020 design trend is having fun with your flooring. “Because every home has flooring, every homeowner has the opportunity to be creative,” he tells us. “Be it spectacular terrazzo, intricate tiles, patterned vinyl, rich hardwoods, polished concrete or painted — the possibilities are endless.”

Whether you do-it-yourself or bring someone in, installing an artistically inspired floor can be just what your home needs to create the right impression. If you’re feeling adventurous, you may opt for covering a larger surface, embracing the trend in all its eye-catching glory. If you do, Ridley suggests letting it shine by making subtle design choices for the rest of your room. Accenting with calm, thoughtfully chosen pieces better accentuates the floor and keeps the space from becoming too overwhelming. Alternately, you can try out your fancy flooring on a smaller area, for that dynamic focal point that wows. As Ridley puts it, “One pop may be just enough to make your home sing!” He also adds, “One room with ‘pop’ may be better than an entire house of flooring that overpowers.”

Vinyl flooring options demonstrate the Wills Company's 2020 design trend

The Wills Company is all about creative flooring, and these are a few of the selections they love. This array of vinyl flooring demonstrates some of the compelling options available in the design world. Image: Megan Dufresne MC Design Shop

Contemporary Design Features

For Epiphany Design Studio, 2020 means a resurgence of the modern design aesthetic they love. “Our favorite home design is more contemporary in style with a mixture of good rugs, several well-placed antiques, contemporary lighting and white slip-covered, soft, cozy upholstery,” says the team from Epiphany. With the ongoing Nashville building boom giving way to so many stock housing developments, they say, “It really inspires you when you get to work on a space that is unique and special … not cookie cutter.” They gravitate toward accenting contemporary features with lighter woods, another trend they love to employ. “White oak floors are absolutely breathtaking. The mixture of light wood, contemporary lighting, and white draperies and furniture are some of our favorite details!”

A contemporary living room design marks Epiphany Design Studio's 2020 design trend

Epiphany Design Studio ups the ante with this gorgeous contemporary design. Lighter woods merge natural elements with more modern pendant lighting. Image: Carey Buell of Studio Buell Photography

The Epiphany team says it has been a long time since contemporary design made its mark in Nashville. “It’s exciting to see clients eager to lighten up …. People are realizing that contemporary doesn’t have to be cold.” They encourage those who pursue the trend to keep wood grains on the lighter and more casual side to give the space a softer quality, adding, “Antique Turkish rugs are soft, casual, and inviting. Try layering them!”

Contemporary black-and-white home features with brightly colored orchids

Colorful orchids offer contrast to the light wood finish of the dining table. Image: Carey Buell of Studio Buell Photography

Contemporary design for dining room

Black trim against an otherwise white room creates an impressive and effective look for this incredible space. Image: Carey Buell of Studio Buell Photography

Muted Tones and Organic Materials

In our ever-growing effort to lead a more eco-conscious lifestyle, sustainability is moving beyond our dinner table and into our living rooms. Increasingly making its presence known in interior design, the use of natural materials is bringing an ethical component to our everyday living and grounding our home design in earthy nuances. Blair Parkes, co-founder of Parkes & Lamb Interiors, tells us, “A design trend of 2020 that we saw some of in 2019 and are hoping to continue to implement in 2020 is incorporating organic and natural materials that are environmentally friendly and sustainable. We are seeing more of ‘bringing the outside in,’ with organic materials threaded into designed spaces that are ethically created — like rattan, natural wood species and bamboo.” In keeping with the nature-inspired trend, Susan Lamb, who is also a co-founder of Parkes & Lamb Interiors, predicts a 2020 trend in neutral and muted earth tones. “I think we’ll be seeing the use of warmer, muted colors in 2020. I’m particularly inspired by complex, muddy shades of green and blue that have multiple undertones. These complex blues and greens look great on cabinetry and millwork, even better when mixed with natural wood tones and aged brass details. For fabrics and upholstery, we love toasty neutrals like camel, deep bronze tones, mustard-tinted ochre, and shades of rust and mauve, and hope to see more of these colors in 2020!”

RELATED: Local Builders’ & Designers’ Favorite Projects of the Year

Natural Wood Elements

Mark Holliday, president of Trace Ventures, wholeheartedly agrees with the significance of wood elements in interior design. He brings to light the shift away from all-white kitchens, adding that for an accent option, “Wood adds a fresh, sophisticated element that is not entirely expected. If you introduce natural wood grain on some of the cabinets, like a kitchen island or pantry wall, for instance, while you keep the rest of the surfaces white, you end up with a unique, rich-looking kitchen. Or maybe it’s as simple as natural wood accents, such as edging on a range hood or open wood shelving, with wood stools at the counter. Whatever the case, the high contrast of white to wood is, in our opinion, a perfect showcase for expertly executed work.”

Trace Ventures 2020 Design Trend

Mark Holliday of Trace Ventures explains this stunning space best, telling us, “High gloss-fumed eucalyptus wood covers this kitchen utility wall in an otherwise white kitchen, offering sleek built-in ovens, coffee station and pantry. Here, the use of wood warms a contemporary white kitchen. But wood works its amazing magic on traditional schemes as well.” Image: Michael Robinson Photography

“Toe-Recess” Accenting

“We have the best job in the world because we’re able to work with many of Nashville’s most cutting edge, established designers and architects,” shares Paul Hammond of Hammond & Brandt Builders. “We get to see these amazing creatives in motion and help bring their visions to life. We don’t profess to be designers ourselves, but we have noticed a few new trends that are sure to make it big in 2020.” Like some of our other experts, the folks at Hammond & Brandt Builders foresee a trend in bold cabinetry colors and daring tiles that make a statement. They also take note of a trend that may not be quite as obvious but can be no less effective to the overall design of your home: “Toe-recess” accenting. “The cabinet toe recess is typically not highlighted, but when it is, with mirrors or lighting, it’s really a dynamic addition to a kitchen or bathroom,” says Paul.

Hammond & Brandt's 2020 design trend

This to-die-for kitchen island with bronze toe recess leaves us inspired for 2020! Builder: Hammond & Brandt, Architect: Michael Ward, Interior Designer/Kitchen Designer: Jillian Richey (Chicago) | Image: Reed Brown Photography

Hammond & Brandt's kitchen design with lighted toe recess

This expansive kitchen island is made even more functional with the addition of a lighted toe recess. Builder Hammond & Brandt, Architect: Steve Durden, Interior Designer: Lori Paranjape | Image: Kristin Mayfield

Cheers to a bold, colorful, inspired year of design!


Check out our home and interior design archives for more inspiration!