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5 Color + Design Trends Confirmations for 2020

Design Trends

As we steadily move forward through this New Year and re-examine our 2020 color + design trends forecast, here are five color and design styles that are most certainly leading the way.

A Return to the Classics and the Grandmillennial
As reported in our 2020 trends story, “Neu Traditions,” there is a return to traditional design highlighted
by softened edges. The designs are subtle, yet sculptural. There is a new balance of understated contemporary marked by overtones of conventionality. Glamorous and modern, shapes are abstract and chiseled, while proportion is highlighted in Regency shapes and Chesterfield silhouettes, along with modern
damasks and botanical florals. Refashioned applications of Dutch masters infuse oversized florals, still lifes and portraits. Materials are wispy soft and ultra-rich in earthy shades and vintage tones.


BOBBIN SIX-DRESSER DRAWER by Anthropologie. Photo Credit: Anthropologie.


A note on the youthful return to classics is the rise of grandmillennial style. The term was first coined by House Beautiful magazine, “…Let’s call her grandmillennial. Ranging in age from mid-20s to late 30s, grandmillennials have an affinity for design trends considered by mainstream culture to be ‘stuffy’ or ‘outdated’ – Laura Ashley prints, ruffles, embroidered linens.”


Photo Credit: Bethany Nauert Photography

Warm Neutrals
The past couple years have seen the pendulum swing from the grays of the 2010s to the browns and warm neutrals that will be key for the 2020s. According to Steele Mercoux of Veranda magazine, “Most notable is the return of toastier neutrals, such as camel and parchment, which tend to better complement increasingly popular saturated shades like ochre, burgundy and emerald that have blanketed Instagram feeds in recent months. The temperature is even rising for traditionally cool blues as more designers opt to pair shades of the refreshing hue with colors on the warmer side of the wheel.”


WALDEN BUFFET by Anthropologie. Photo Credit: Anthropologie.





Colorful Brights
“Playtime,” one of our 2020 trends stories, highlighted the beautiful array of vivid hues permeating
fashion, interior and architectural design. Rules of form, function and color are tossed aside. More is more — a rejection of conventions leads to “anything goes” — and paired-back sophistication is abandoned in favor of difference, fun and individuality. Rebelling against minimalism, youthful designers embrace a maximalist aesthetic, piling color on color, texture on texture, pattern on pattern.


CLAIRE DESJARDINS BRUSHSTROKE TAMSIN DINING CHAIR by Anthropologie. Photo Credit: Anthropologie.

As Generation Z continues to increase its buying power, there will be a rise in the use of brighter colors.
This age group grew up around bold, vivid colors. According to, “This generation is almost ready to start furnishing their own homes as they are moving out of their teen-age bedrooms. Their views on interior design are dissimilar to their predecessors — the Millennials. Their styling sense, their preferences and tastes are pretty unique and make a self-confident statement regarding their individuality.


Image used with permission of ARTIK

Now is the era of greens, blues and yellows. Searches for mustard yellow and jewel tones are on the rise as people seek out a color scheme that will make their decor pop out. The young generation is on the lookout for gender-neutral colors. Gen Z Yellow is this demographic’s uncompromising demand for inclusiveness — bright, positive, attention-demanding yellow is their brand.”


ORLY Labs. Photo Credit: Dunn-Edwards

Surrealism is embraced among joyful juxtapositions of clashing influences and aesthetics. The past and
present collide to create fantastical mash-ups of styles that represent pick-and-mix identities. Color is fanciful and playful, like a rainbow sky. Upbeat multi-colors express the charm of the summer. Combinations infuse super-synthetics with sugary pastels — such as fluoride pink and peroxide yellows, as well as sweet pink and glam red. The sizzling vivid hues are for the young at heart, full of passion and life.

Sustainable Design
Nature-centric with a craft attitude. Color portrays sophisticated earthiness and global traditions. Our 2020 trends story, “Co-Habitants,” focuses on technological innovations paired with natural resources.


Cloth can be coated with beeswax to create sustainable food wrap in all sizes, including a baguette wrapper made from a shirtsleeve, bottom-left. (Staff photo by Ben McCanna/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Tribal prints and deconstructed design is essential — while utilitarianism is embraced with exaggerated, over-the-top functional features with materials combining high engineering and low-grade synthetics. Color harmonies feature rays of light in radiant gradients of pink, yellow, peach and orange. At the same time, earth tones ground the highlights. A muted luminosity — radiant yellow nuanced by overexposed tones, creams shaded by ochre tones, soft and intense tonal shades, and beiges and browns highlighted by cool reflections of blue.


VELVET SCULPTURAL CHAIR by Anthropologie. Photo Credit: Anthropologie

As mentioned earlier, Gen Z’s increased purchasing power leads the way with many design trends, including its demand for sustainable design. According to, “This environmentally conscious generation prefers handmade and eco-friendly decor objects… People are looking to express their individuality by moving away from the mass-produced objects and seeking out for the recycled furniture and other decor items. This generation is adopting sustainable decor trends, utilizing home spaces to use materials like jute and rope — it’s all about recycling and reuse.”


Living wall in East Conservatory of Longwood Gardens. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Mint Green
As noted with our 2020 Color of the Year, Minty Fresh (DE5687), cool, subtle greens — along with an array of verdant hues — highlight the infusion of this key color for the 2020s. Be on the lookout for a range of
greens to emerge throughout the decade, as well as nature-centric influences along with science, technology and health and wellbeing.


PHoto Credit: Bethany Nauert PHotography

Confirmed by internationally renowned Dutch trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort, “With the ecological green also comes an aesthetic green, since brown is symbolic for the Earth — it is only natural that green will start to grow from that current. The need for green is so powerful that it will turn around fashion and design without any doubt, sprouting from different political, humanistic and survivalist sources it is impossible to ignore.”


Charlotte Groeneveld attends the Valentino Haute Couture Spring Summer 2019 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 23, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)


Gigi Hadid walks the runway during the Berluti Menswear Spring Summer 2020 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on June 21, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)


A model walks the runway during the Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2019 2020 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 03, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)


Chrissy Teigen attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/WireImage)