The Best Residential Interior Design Trends for 2020

Elissa Morgante, AIA

Elissa Morgante, AIA
Founding Partner at Award Winning Chicago Architects, Morgante Wilson

Dec 19, 2019 - 5 min read


The Best Residential Interior Design Trends for 2020

It’s time to take stock of the interior design trends we’re seeing gain importance in 2020. This is by no means a complete list, but it does reflect the things our clients are asking for, the things we’re seeing in the interior design industry, and the things we’re spending more time thinking about these days. Read on to find out what’ll be big in 2020!


Wallpaper is enjoying a huge resurgence. Not since your grandmother decorated her house have we seen so many people embracing wall paper – not only bigger, bolder patterns, but grass cloth, too. Our clients are especially willing to do bold things in powder rooms, which have become the jewel boxes of every home we design. The armchair psychologist in me thinks people have had enough of gray, beige, and white. It’s been a long decade of neutrals, and now’s the time for some excitement! Wallpaper is a wonderful way to deliver it.


Color is trending strong for 2020; especially jewel tones such as emerald green and sapphire blue, like you see in this kitchen, above. People seem to be less afraid right now of bold, saturated color, and I think that’s because, like so many of our clients, they’re tired of the neutrals and they’re ready to spice things up. I also think it’s because people today have near-constant exposure to interior design ideas through social media channels such as Pinterest and Instagram, and they’re watching a lot of HGTV – all of which open them up to a wide range of intriguing new ideas. Color certainly falls into that category. Think you’d like green kitchen cabinets? You can find plenty of photos online to help you decide.


What do I mean by happiness? I’ll tell you: It’s the very simple idea we should all love our homes, and they should bring us pleasure. That’s reason enough to hang some wallpaper, or lacquer your dining room walls. It’s no longer about following rules, or doing what’s right, or worrying about making a commitment to something you may tire of in five years. It’s about doing what’s right for you, right now, to ensure you fall in love with your house all over again every time you walk through the door. That’s a new way of looking at interior design, which is why it made this list. (It’s also why neutrals will never go out of style – there are plenty of people, myself included, who will always gravitate toward monochromatic because it makes us happy!)


Yes, color is enjoying a resurgence. But so is black. Black painted windows, black stair balustrades, black fabrics, and black furnishings – we’re seeing more black than ever before, and we love it. Black provides a crisp, soothing counterbalance to color – it manages to ground color and elevate it at the same time, which is the reason a touch of black is becoming a must in almost every room we design.

Woven Window Shades

I’m not talking about your mother’s woven shades from the 1970s. Those featured big, thick fibers and screamed Mother Earth – a good look if you were into it, but most of us were not. Today’s woven shades are marvels of textural subtlety and nuance. They have an appealing organic feel, yet are incredibly refined. They’re so delicate, you almost wonder if they’re silk. Some have metallics woven in; others feature exceptionally thin grass. Think Conrads or Hartmann & Forbes , rather than Pier 1.

Lighting as Art

This is not a new idea, but it’s gaining steam right now. More than simply functional or even just beautiful, lighting is starting to be viewed similarly to art – it’s playing a much greater role than just providing illumination. (Take note that many of today’s particularly artful lighting options are being produced in China, where quality can be uneven. We recommend buying from trusted sources that stand behind their products, such as Aqua Creations, Remains, Urban Electric, and Cataloni and Smith.)

Relaxing about Art

People are beginning to understand that “good” art is whatever speaks to you. It does not have to be a Picasso to deserve space on your wall. There are many local artists creating incredibly beautiful and interesting things that are truly affordable in nearly every city in the country. Art makes a huge difference in a house, but doesn’t have to cost a huge amount of money.

Want more good ideas for your home in the year ahead? Check back with us twice each month – or go to our website right now!

Elissa Morgante, AIA

Elissa Morgante, AIA

Founding Partner at Award Winning Chicago Architects, Morgante Wilson