Top 10 Interior Design Trends for 2020 by Designer Maxwell Alexander #Millennials
Just a few weeks ago I started working on 3 interior design projects exactly at the same time, they are still in their beginning stages and are to be brought to life sometime in 2020, so yes, as Designers we often have to predict the future or as we call it – set the trends. So here is the Top 10 Interior Design Trends that also happened to be Millennial-inspired and driven:
#10: Space-saving Interior Design
The era of spectacularly oversized mansions is officially gone along with the upper-middle-class that somehow thought it was here to stay. Well, opinions perish with the people who own them… Millennials, on the other hand, are more inclined to live within their means and it shows when they shop for real estate. Tiny House movement has paved the way and even mainstream real estate sales are skewed towards fewer and fewer square feet. There are many socio-economic reasons for this, including how property-taxes are calculated and the overall trend for healthier indoor-outdoor living concepts (that, fortunately, can not be taxed yet). Millennials are used to the smaller living spaces like apartments, lofts, and studios, so when they are departing to the new city-like trendy suburbs, they take their small-living + space-saving concepts with them.
#9: Reclaimed Furniture, Fixtures and Materials
Re-Cycle, Re-Use, Re-Purpose. The Planet is filled with stuff produced by previous generations of human beings and producing even more stuff doesn’t go well with Millennials. Why consume brand new products when used ones can serve their purpose just as well for the fraction of the cost? It’s not just saving the budget, but saving the Planet at the same time!
#8: Concrete Countertops
My grandma loves her granite and my mom is crazy about quartz, they both think that marble is marvelous, but what about Millennials? They prefer sustainable, environmentally friendly + cost/energy-efficient solutions like concrete and solid wood butcher block countertops. Why spend $10K for “blast from the past” granite kitchen countertops when you can watch a YouTube video and make your own DIY concrete countertops for under $500? Millennials are not just smart, but also handy, especially when it comes to living in style and have the money to invest in their world travel vlog enterprise.
#7: Colors… or rather no colors!
Millennials grew up surrounded by examples of Great Design, just because of Silicon Valley and its influence on the World’s art and culture. Millennials appreciate white space (meaning space that is not filled with stuff) and they prefer their environment to serve as a blank canvas for their self-expression. When it comes to interior design it means that actual interiors are expected to be least visually intrusive and let the flexible and easily movable decor shine. So, if your interior designer suggesting a brand new “trendy” shade of pink or beige to paint your bedroom – run for the hills and find one who actually speaks “Millennial” 🙂
#6: Local means Global
Millennials are a lot more globally cultured than previous generations, thanks to the Internet that made every remote village in Africa as connected to the rest of the world as any established art/cultural institution in London. Style and Trends are now global and local phenomenons at the same time whether you are in Tokyo or Hudson Valley, Shenzhen or Cornwall on Hudson, so Millennial interiors are becoming as universal as the World’s culture and values. This doesn’t mean that their homes would look like a patchwork of disjointed cultural cues from all over the World, but rather a uniform tendency to simplicity, sophistication and a little bit of class if you wish.
#5: Environmentally-conscious, Sustainable and Socially Responsible Design
Climate change is no joke, and Millennials are the first generation of humans that actually admitted the obvious fact that now defines many aspects of our lives, including interior design. Striving for Sustainability is Socially Responsible and allows us to feel like we are a part of the solution rather than a problem (created by our parents and grandparents). Plastics and polymers emit harmful VOCs while being made of crude oil imported from overseas, so it is clear that they have no place in a Millennial home. Sustainable materials like wood and recycled wood products actually serve as a repository for CO2 and emit deliciously fragrant organic essential oils instead. Energy-efficient design and energy-saving smart technology are a great help too when it comes to reducing the carbon footprint on personal and planetary levels. Plus thinking about the health of the Planet means thinking about our own health, so all that goes hand in hand when achieving health, wellness and even spiritual goals.
#4: Open Concept Floorplan
Living rooms are clearly a thing of the past and the open concept kitchen that looks more like a multi-purpose lounge is where life happens nowadays. Perhaps it is time to come up with a new term to describe the merger of kitchen, living, family and dining rooms into an all-inclusive type of a hangout spot with a lot of delicious food and a strong wi-fi connection. But this would be a topic for the next story.
#3: Organic is the new luxury
And it doesn’t mean “florals for spring”! Understanding of the natural world has moved far away from rosebud patterns plastered all over walls, furniture, and even clothing… Millennials naturally understand scientific concepts and without a Ph.D. in nanotechnology, they know that organic life is visually a lot more geometric than we ever thought before. If you zoom in or zoom out thousand times from a visual level that our eyes can see, you get a pretty good view of the geometric beauty of nature’s intelligence and here is where Millennial’s obsession with sophisticated Universe-inspired geometric patterns comes from. One of the best ways to see it in action is to watch the “Passengers” movie 100+ times (like I did 🙂 and notice all the sci-fi yet totally real and organic patterns that make up the environment of the movie set. Intelligence does look beautiful and that’s what Millennials expect in their home environments as well.
#2: Transparent technology
Good technology is a transparent technology, meaning that devices/appliances or technical solutions should either be discretely hidden or take a form that is pleasant to the eye and occupies the least possible space. Smart appliances and artificial intelligence companions are settling in our homes and they literally get smaller and smaller and transcend to the actual function they serve. Millennials are overwhelmed with the digital content on a daily basis, so they want to be able to have full control when they come back home to recharge and that often means that even smart TVs in their current form are no longer protected species.
#1: Bringing living nature indoors
That’s a big one! There could be a bit of a stigma about using actual living plants in interior design, especially in the western world of a few past centuries, but it all changed with the Millennial generation. Healthy, inspiring and cozy interiors created with live plants, is like a huge circle back (on the whole new level though) to the ancient times when we lived in peace with Nature, side by side with oxygen generating plants. What could be better than having a green companion that doesn’t talk back, but spits out fresh air at you?