Interior experts explore the most popular design trends of summer 2020. Think all things colourful, upcycling tricks, statement pieces and more.

With launches of brand new paint hues, cutting-edge kitchen ranges, must-have sofa styles and home accessories, this year presents a variety of design trends.

But by picking just one or two that truly resonate with you, you can bring your home up-to-date and fall in love with it all over again. 

For those hoping to sell in a tough market, updating your home interiors is one way to add instant appeal. 

We’ve spoken to some of the UK’s leading tastemakers for their hottest tips for 2020, but be prepared to kiss goodbye to grey and all things bling.

Go bold with colour

The potency of colour to affect our mood and motivation is a key interior design theme for 2020. 

“Paint colours are like flowers in the garden. They pop up in the sunshine, and we love them because they lift our spirits and make our homes much happier spaces,” says Marianne Shillingford, the creative director of Dulux. 

“The greyed colours that we find comforting in cooler months can suddenly feel a bit too cosy, especially when we are throwing the windows open to let the fresh air and birdsong in. 

Pinks are still big news in decorating, but in full sunshine cooler variants such as sugared almond and lilac-hinted pinks look amazing.” 

To achieve the bold colour look, try Dulux’s Dusted Fondant Matt Emulsion or the Isle of Skye Paint Company’s Pride of the Summer.

Chloe Bullock, who runs the award-winning, sustainable Brighton-based Materialise Interiors (a member of the British Institute of Interior Design), warns us not to follow fashion too blindly.

“Colours of the year can be a lovely inspiration, but don’t use it at home just because it’s a ‘trend’. It’s all about choosing the colours that make you feel good - and don’t be afraid to try those that clash.”

Reusing and upcycling

This year upcycling is being favoured over buying brand new furniture.

British interior design guru Kelly Hoppen, who counts the Beckhams and Gwyneth Paltrow among her clients, tells us:

“We are taking more and more time to find one-off vintage pieces that will last a lifetime.

“Hunting out amazing one-off items to repurpose, or even rediscovering what’s stored in the shed.”

 
 
 
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Hoppen recommends going for a neutral colour when painting a large piece of furniture and lacquer for a sleek and modern finish.

“For smaller changes,” she says, “you can instantly transform the look of your living room and add pops of colour just by changing up the fabric of the cushions.”  

“I believe every room needs at least one vintage item in order to ground it,” agrees Bullock. 

“A home with collected items from travels, family and friends and with so many stories to tell, keeps it original and gives it a soul.” 

The kitchen takes centre stage

The kitchen’s transformation from utilitarian cooking space to multifunctional living and entertaining zone is complete, but it’s also now the key place to show off the latest home trends. 

For those that have space, it’s all about the power of two. The double island, double dishwasher and double sink, as well as the show-off shelving displaying artworks and ceramics. 

But don’t despair if you don’t have much room. There are plenty of other ways to make your kitchen worth its salt. 

Colour, again, can bring you up to date. 

Upmarket kitchen designer Tom Howley has identified the trend for dark green, midnight and periwinkle-blue kitchens, with matt black and brass fittings reserved for the most cutting-edge.

 
 
 
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Tom Howley kitchens start at about £20,000, but Magnet, B&Q and Howdens have stylish yet affordable options in similar colourways.

“Freestanding elements allow the room to feel more spacious, and to breathe,” says Petworth-based British Institute of Interior Design member Victoria Caldwell. 

Most aspirational of all is a larder, now as important as your wardrobe, (whether built-in, walk-in or freestanding).

For ideas, check out affordable freestanding larders and rustic wall-hung pantry cupboards cotswoldco.com.

The statement piece

If you are going to make one big purchase for a statement piece this year, make it a green velvet sofa. 

“Green is certainly having a moment, with jewel-toned shades increasing in popularity,” says Megan Holloway, the marketing manager at Sofa Workshop. 

“We are seeing a particular growth in enquiries for moss and emerald hues, loved by those looking to complement a more contemporary aesthetic.” 

 
 
 
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Traditionalists with country-style homes are plumping for subtle olive and mint shades.

Get the natural look

This year is all about embracing the pared-down influence of the natural world. 

“Responsibly sourced natural materials and biophilic design are both big trends for 2020 and beyond,” says Jane Rockett, co-founder of edgy online homeware store Rockett St George. 

“With society stresses bigger than ever, nature provides a welcome respite. 

A new approach to natural textures reveals everything from coloured marble and matt limestone to dried flowers and pampas grass.”

 
 
 
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But turning our backs on bling doesn’t mean eschewing indulgence. Mix up rich wood textures and laid-back linens with vintage leather, gold trim and other more luxuriously eclectic pieces.

The ultimate home office

One of the hottest topics among buyers, sellers and developers right now is working effectively from home. 

“The majority of buyers expect a workspace of some kind,” says Marc Schneiderman, director of northwest London-based estate agency Arlington Residential. 

“Whether it’s a small study located in a quiet part of the house, a separate annexe or even a self-contained floor with additional desks for an assistant or colleague.” 

If you can only spare a corner of your living room or bedroom, be sure to balance beauty with functionality. 

“Home offices need to have crisp, clear lines, comfort and creative inspiration by way of artwork or patterned wallpaper,” advises award-winning interiors guru Martin Waller, the founder of Andrew Martin. 

 
 
 
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Take it outside

Those of us lucky enough to have a garden are set to max out its potential this year.

For those wanting to give their gardens a contemporary new look, Christopher Ray, head of outdoor at B&Q, suggests mixing up monochrome with natural lushness. 

“Pairing striking black and white patterns with vibrant greenery and natural tones of wooden fencing and decking can add extra intrigue to your outside space,” he says. 

 
 
 
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“Pick shades that complement one another and group them together. For extra impact all year round, use outdoor paint to give exteriors walls a pop of colours. But in 2020, it’s a case of your garden, your rules.”

The indoor jungle

No outside space, let alone a tree? 

Then hang that swing chair inside from a ceiling and use it as the centrepiece for a mini indoor jungle. 

No matter how small your home, this year is about keeping a constant connection with nature, a trend fuelled by millennials’ lust for something to nurture something in an urban space. 

Though indoor, air-purifying plants never go out of vogue, think peace lilies, rubber plants and dwarf date palms.

 
 
 
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This year the passion is for coloured and particularly pink-tinged, leaves. 

Try pretty mosaic plants and stromanthe. 

With nearly 380,000 worldwide members, Facebook group House Plant Hobbyists is a great place to look for tips, or visit Jamie’s Jungle for some truly avant-garde home plant styling.

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