Design trends 2020: Styles to watch for the year ahead

Experts reveal the new styles, themes, materials and products that will inspire people the world over in 2020.

  • Design trends 2020: Styles to watch for the year ahead

  • Design trends 2020: Styles to watch for the year ahead

  • Design trends 2020: Styles to watch for the year ahead

Text by Vanitha Pavapathi
Images courtesy of Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH

The start of a new year always sees people with renewed enthusiasm, and the desire to do better, achieve more, gain knowledge, etc. This also means that, as one year ends and another year begins yet again, we will be seeing some design trends (whether you love them or hate them) phase out, evolve or segue into entirely new movements. Regardless, this means fresh perspectives to experience design through, and new opportunities to tap into.

So what are the new styles, materials, themes and product mixes for 2020? What shapes, colours and materials will inspire people around the world? What’s in and what’s out? The answers can be found at Ambiente – the world’s leading consumer trade fair – from 7 to 11 February 2020. But, here’s a sneak peek of the three key design trends of 2020 identified by trend bureaueau Stilbüro bora.herke.palmisano, which will be demonstrated in a special exhibition at the fair using exhibitor products.

#1 Shaped + Softened
Ambiente design trends 2020 Shaped + Softened

Functional furniture achieves a sculptural quality through soft volumes and accentuated contours. The restrained use of colour – mostly neutral with white and grey nuances, both cool and warm – reinforces this powerful effect. Materials, shapes and colours are in perfect harmony. The surfaces are smooth, soft or textured. Glass, either satin or transparent, impeccable porcelain and rough ceramics inspire enthusiasm, both visually and with their tactile qualities. Textiles are natural and suitable for daily use, often exhibiting a lively and uneven fabric appearances. Particularly effective materials are translucent fibres and pleats, light wood, and wallpapers featuring a tone-in-tone painting technique.

#2 Precise + Architectural
Ambiente design trends 2020 Precise + Architectural

This style is pared down to the essentials. High-quality materials spots a touch of industrialism in this architecturally inspired range of colours, with tones of brick and cement as well as rusty burnished nuances and float glass green. They create a captivating ambience, enhanced by dusky dimness and the blue of the evening sky, set within otherwise starkly designed spaces that focus on essentials. These innovative combinations conjure up cosy clubs and a strong emphasis on material aesthetics. Terrazzo, polished or blackened wood, glass, steel, bronze and surfaces with a matte finish or a subdued gloss effect harmonise with leather, heavy textiles such as cord, tweed, bouclé and velour as well as with geometric designs and mottled patterns.

#3 Artistical + Diverse
Ambiente design trends 2020 Artistical + Diverse

This style turns a living space into a personal collage. With its artistic character, unusual colours and diverse combinations, it has a stimulating effect. The palette displays a refreshing mixture of bright orange, fruity raspberry, milky colours, strong honey and lively sky-blue. In this multidisciplinary and multi-local interaction between art, craft and digital technology, “controlled chance” plays a central role. The creative use of a variety of new materials, unusual manufacturing processes, unconventional motifs and distinctive styling give rise to objects with unique character.


We think you may also like 5 most popular decorating and design ideas of 2019


Like what you just read? Similar articles below