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2020 Color + Design Trend Updates in the Time of COVID-19: Fresh & Free

Design Trends

As we reported the past two months, recent events prompted us to pause and re-examine our 2020 Trends report. Following further research, we verified and revised our report — starting with the continued strength of our Playtime trends story. Last month, we highlighted the continued strengths of Co-Habitants trend story. This month, we look to Fresh & Free, our next 2020 color + design trends story.


Consumer Sentiments and Post-COVID-19 Trends: Fresh & Free
Our trends story Fresh & Free highlights the need for clarity and transparency. Choosing to control what is within our power among the chaos, while also seeking positive community interaction to keep us strong and healthy among the chaos. These sentiments still hold value.

  • Mindfulness — Reverence in slowing down in the current burnout culture and being open to sharing your vulnerability. Introspective ideals are key — from nature-centric pleasures such as morning walks, to relationships, to authentic comforts like reading — offering calm and joy in the present moment.
  • Choosing to control the elements in our lives that are within our power — Learning that much of what’s happening is out of our control, we search for ways to create comfort in the midst of chaos. Self-careand health and wellness are at the forefront of this sentiment. Time to refuel and refocus.


  • Rethinking connections and convictions as we focus inward — Learning that we are no longer in harmony with Mother Nature and discovering how to reconnect and protect. Home- and wellness-centric, as well as prioritizing physical and interactive touch.
  • We seek community threads — Valuing relationships that make us feel comfortable and put us in a calmer state of mind. Prioritizing time for family, friends and neighbors (while honoring safe-distancing practices) are vital to fostering peace during self-isolation.


  • Immersive experiences are fundamental to finding personal time, balance and privacy in a chaotic time.
  • In a fast-paced world, we look to grounding elements that provide clarity.

Fresh & Free

Calm, clarity, mindfulness and optimism. With these ideals in mind, we look to Fresh & Free, which highlights the need for contentment, human interaction and familiar comforts. Recognizing the importance of authenticity, we crave wholesome content and take satisfaction in the small pleasures of everyday life.

  • Focus on arts and crafts that purposefully slow you down and help you concentrate on the present moment. Drawing, painting, embroidery, gardening — creating from the heart. Less about spreadsheets, more about what really lights us up on the inside.


  • Visual therapy, spiritual practices and mindful meditation optimize your wellbeing as you clean the slate, restart and find the pure essence of creation. Materials and textures add comfort and recovery, ultra-light strength, and restorative aspects such as temperature regulation and therapeutic tactility.


A model walks the runway during the Lacoste Ready to Wear fashion show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2019/2020 on March 05, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

  • Comfort-driven lifestyles lead to spaces that provide restorative benefits. Maximum comfort and cozy, soft-touch fabrics are essential.


  • Questioning what is truly necessary to your lifestyle. Simplicity is luxury and, as our home is our sanctuary, we keep only what brings us joy.
  • At-home office spaces that embrace an encouraging, calming aesthetic are fundamental as this space is may become the new work-life normal.
  • Open floorplans become less significant, while a sense of privacy and personal time, as well as a desire for cleanliness, turn into indispensable.



We view the Fresh & Free color palette through a transparent lens. These nature-sourced, soft hues are soothing, playful and transparent, representing clarity, calm and inner reflection.

  • A subtle, introspective, renewing palette with visions of Nordic landscapes in light grays; frosty whites; and soft, cleansing blues.
  • Tangy brightness and watercolor effects, grounded greens and watery blues represent quiet moments of reflection with an undercurrent of resolve.
  • Soft, soothing and contemplative neutrals, evoking serenity and a welcome reprieve from a complicated world.


A model walks the runway during the Ten Pieces show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Resort 20 Collections at Bondi Icebergs on May 16, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by James Gourley/Getty Images)

  • Soft greens, transparent like glass, representing clarity in emotions. Minty Fresh, our 2020 Color of the Year, exemplifies this simplicity and freshness.
  • Blues represent ocean and sky — calm, quiet and reflective.
  • Light grays and frosty whites inspire new beginnings, subtlety, spirituality — a monastic lifestyle.