As Aida Sniraite, interior designer and blogger at Authentic Interior, a French and Lithuanian design company, notes, interior design trends in 2020 will continue to focus on wellbeing, comfort, and sustainability. At the same time, people are embracing modern technologies. The trends are therefore a blend of retro and modern – what Sniraite is calling a “warm comeback style”.

Interior mega-trends

Humble materials, particularly sustainable options, are trendy in 2020, from rattan to plywood, jute, sisal, hemp and terracotta.

Marble – in all colours and textures – is also back in a big way, as are carpeted floors and even carpets across other surfaces.

interior design trends for 2020

The natural trend continues to grow, with indoor plants and nature-themed décor abounding.

Interior Design trends

Metals in a range of shades and textures are also still popular and cane furnishings are making a comeback. Neon signage moves from shopfronts to home décor, and retro curves have been spotted across the major global design fairs in furniture and interior architecture alike.

Modern design trends 2020

Interior décor trends

Karin Cawthorne, owner of KARE South Africa, a furniture, lighting and décor accessory store in Kramerville, says 2020 will bring a focus on personality and uniqueness in interiors. “Consumers are keen to shift away from cookie-cutter interiors, avoiding the replication of what they see in furniture showrooms, and banishing the one-size-fits-all interior scheme,” she says. “This process requires introspection and deciding what works best for you and your lifestyle.”

2020 design trends for interiors

KARE combs the world in search of the best artisans and crafters offering quality and variety, and passing this onto their clients. Cawthorne says the trend towards individuality is driven by consumers’ need for more authenticity in their homes, which means they’re no longer content with mass produced furniture and accessories in their spaces. “One of the key trends that has resulted in this focus of individuality, is the mixing of materials such as wood, brass, metal, rattan and marble, to create pieces of furniture that tell a story of craft and artistry with a design-forward aesthetic,” she says. “This aesthetic also goes a long way in facilitating a sense of uniqueness and in creating a space that looks personal and considered.”

Colours for every taste

KARE is embracing several colour palettes for 2020. The first is a combination of curry powder tones of oranges, yellows and pale Thai curry green. “Used in combinations of dark to pale tones, this colour palette is easily combined with other natural tones and textures and works all year round, no matter the season,” says Cawthorne.

“The other colour palette KARE is welcoming is a monochromatic combination of blacks, whites and greys. This palette remains timeless and versatile. We are advocates of using texture and different materials when opting for this trend, to add interest and break any potential monotony. This texture could come from a wooden table top, a shaggy woollen rug or woven scatter cushions.”




For bold colour enthusiasts, Cawthorne suggests the trend of combining bright, and what might often seem like clashing, colours. “Nothing screams individuality more than the combination of bold colours – think mustard sofa on a multi-coloured rug, set against a bright yellow accent wall,” she says. “The key here, though, is to offset all the bold colour against simpler interior architecture, such as plain wooden floors and white wall panelling. By doing this, you create balance and sufficient breathing space so the interior is not overwhelming.”


On a local front, Cawthorne says tribal patterns, particularly those of the Ndebele people, are catching on globally. “These are presented in different ways, though, and interpreted differently, by supersizing them or making them more intimate, for example. Besides the obvious incorporation of these patterns on wallpaper and fabrics, we’re enjoying seeing them immerge onto book-matched door panels on sideboards, or into the metal frames of coffee tables and servers, for example.

“The influence of our surroundings on our sense of style cannot be underestimated. No one does texture like South Africa. Given the impact our environment and surroundings have on our lifestyle, it’s no surprise that we’ve become the masters of texture. Quintessential geographic locations, such as the Karoo and Highveld, the KZN coastline and the Cape’s West Coast, remain key tastemakers when it comes to South African interior design.”

5 top interior trend tips:

  1. Never underestimate the importance of texture,” says Cawthorne. “Texture satisfies many of the senses – visual and touch most obviously – whilst adding a powerful element to a space by adding visual weight and providing balance.”

  1. The emphasis when selecting materials should be on the craftsmanship it takes to combine them. “Imagine bone and metal inlays, book-matched timber tops and fronts, braided and woven fabrics or grasses, which all speak to the time taken to craft and create something,” says Cawthorne. “Pieces that are laboured over and considered will always be on trend.”
  2. The best patterns are those that are timeless. “Traditional patterns but in modern colour combinations are hugely popular,” suggests Cawthorne. “For example, a floral chinoiserie wallpaper done in pops of bold teal.” Monochrome pattern usually endures for years. Black and white doesn’t have to be limited to a single shade either, with hundreds of different shades in between offering contrast and interest. Geometric pattern also seems to outlive any fanciful trends. KARE is particularly excited about those that borrow from the tribal patterns of Southern Africa.

  1. To enjoy a trend without a big financial outlay, incorporate smaller decorative accessories, such as vases, bowls, rugs, scatter cushions and lamps. “This is a great place to start whilst keeping your existing bigger pieces of furniture,” says Cawthorne. Creating a feature wall is also a cost-effective way to express a current trend.
  2. For designers, Cawthorne’s advice is, “Use your expert knowledge of what the trends are, listen to your client’s wants and needs, then mould an aesthetic that combines your own expertise with their individuality and personality. The goal should be to create spaces that are unique to your clients, and not ones that reflect every latest trend that is out there.”

Board trends

Jason Wells, Brand and Marketing Manager at PG Bison, says that the mega-trend of individualisation is carried through into the selection of boards available, and the ability to mix and match different colours, textures and finishes.

“As always, our new range that will debut in 2020 is globally inspired, but locally adapted for relevance to the South African environment,” he says. “There are various trends that have affected our new product line, but the great thing about the direction design is heading is that there is something for everyone.”

From new, bold, solid colours to textured boards that reference natural materials – whether stone or even metal – there are more options available than ever before. “Rather than seeing an abrupt new direction in trends, we’re seeing an evolution of existing trends from 2019,” says Wells. “People are taking them deeper and building on what they’ve enjoyed and what works for them.”

He adds that PG Bison’s plan for 2020 is to leverage its investment in the latest technologies and processes to introduce new options in its range. “Innovation and advancement in the printing world have resulted in true-to-life colours and textures. For example, boards are no longer constrained to traditional wood-look finishes, although even these have been improved,” he says. “You can pick a board that has a marble design that will also look like real marble because of the gloss sheen, or a board that looks like washed cement or aged wood with a matte texture that complements that design specific palette.”

PG Bison will be on the road in the first half of 2020 to launch and demonstrate its exciting new additions to its comprehensive range. Sign up to the PG Bison ONtrend mailing list to ensure you have access to the latest events, news and inspiration.