Whether you have a significant home project planned for the coming year, you’re looking to refresh your home with some design tweaks, or you’re updating your house to sell, selecting paint colors, decor styles, and new pieces can be overwhelming. Updating your home is important aesthetically, and also impacts the overall feel and function of the atmosphere. Get inspired to refresh your home for a new decade by incorporating 2020 design trends throughout the space.
Paint Color Trends
Invoking feelings of relaxation
Every year, the major paint retailers announce their colors of the year — the colors they anticipate will be prevalent throughout home design choices. The 2020 color choices share the same theme: tones that will make you feel relaxed, grounded, and restored at home.
Soft rose – Benjamin Moore’s Color Trends 2020 palette “delivers modern paint color pairings that combine optimism with understatement, a timeless way to lighten up.” Their color of the year is First Light, a soft rose hue that “reflects a new definition of the home – a shift in mindset from the material to satisfying the core needs in life: community, comfort, security, self-expression, authenticity and ultimately, optimism,” according to the retailer.
Rich navy — Sherwin-Williams’ 2020 Color of the Year is Naval, a rich navy hue that strikes a balance between calm and confident. As a versatile neutral, Naval creates a grounded space that ushers restfulness and tranquility into the home, according to the company.
“The use of color in interior design is changing. It’s not just about what a space looks like anymore, but how it makes you feel,” said Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. “People want to feel grounded and inspired to pursue their mental, physical and emotional well-being. Naval is reminiscent of the night sky, which people have looked to for centuries for guidance, as a muse and as a reminder to live more mindfully.”
Organic green — Behr’s 2020 Color of the Year is Back to Nature, an organic shade of green meant to purify and promote balance at home. “Back to Nature is a restorative and revitalizing green hue that engages the senses and pairs well with other colors both inside and outside your home,” according to the company.
Home Decor Trends
Investing in quality and bringing back the past
Invest in quality pieces — With a rise in direct to consumer companies, investing in quality furniture pieces at a lower price point is easier than ever. As the Marie Kondo effect continues to infiltrate our lives, buying fewer items of higher quality remains a theme that will carry into the new decade. Companies like Interior Define or Maiden Home sell beautiful, high-quality, custom furniture, at reasonable price points.
Ditch the accent wall — Whether it’s a single painted or wallpapered wall, 2020 is the time to expand the color or pattern to the remaining three walls. Leave the single accent wall in the previous decade and create a more cohesive and finished space by unifying the four walls. To boost the impact, extend color or pattern to the fifth wall, aka the ceiling. Painting or wallpapering the ceiling creates a jewel-box like effect and will make the space extra special.
Consider dark hues a new neutral — As Sherwin-Williams selected Naval as their 2020 Color of the Year, dark, rich colors will be used as a neutral in the year ahead. Pale grays and whites will step aside in favor of darker, cozier tones.
Home Technology Trends
Controlling your home from your smartphone
Home automation — Automating your home isn’t going anywhere, and 2020 will see an increased prevalence of homes turning into smart homes. Whether you want to make sure your garage door is closed after you’re several miles away, preheat the oven on your commute home from work, or adjust the lighting based on when you plan on arriving home, the ability to control these tasks on a smartphone will become more mainstream.
Home Wellness Trends
Creating an atmosphere of wellness
Sparking joy through self-care — Self-care will continue to play an important role in the coming year. Home is the best place to put this into effect. Whether that is lighting candles, eliminating clutter, displaying fresh flowers, or investing in hygge-inspired throw blankets, the small details throughout the house are what can make the most significant impact on how you feel in your home.
The kitchen is undoubtedly one of the busiest areas in the home during the holiday season. Between being the site of delicious meal preparations to hosting your family and friends, it is sure to see a fair amount of foot traffic over the next few months. As you begin mentally preparing for the busyness of the holidays, make sure to give your kitchen a little love. Quick and easy fixes to get your kitchen ready for the holidays include swapping out old linens for new ones, clearing off unnecessary counter clutter and adding stylish and functional pieces throughout the room.
Here are some of our favorite items for sprucing up your kitchen for the holidays:
Place small appetizers or the main course on a platter that will wow your guests and complement your food. Look for unique colors and textures to add more interest to the dish’s overall presentation.
- Crate & Barrel – Marin Matte Black Oval Serving Platter
- Macy’s – Matisse Blue 15.85” Serving Platter
- Birch Lane – Jepsen Oval Platter
Salt and Pepper Sets
Salt and pepper sets make it easy to add that pinch of salt or dash of pepper. They are also a small but simple way to accessorize your countertops without adding too much clutter.
- Target – Thirstystone Marble Salt and Pepper Pinch Set
- Crate & Barrel – Hayes Marble and Wood Salt and Pepper Set
- Williams Sonoma – Marble & Copper Salt Keeper
Wood Cutting Board
Whether you use it to prepare food or as a rustic charcuterie board, a wood cutting board is a subtle and durable accent piece. Be sure to look up proper care techniques, as some woods may require maintenance for lasting function.
- Crate & Barrel – Teardrop Acacia Wood Serving Board
- West Elm – Marble + Wood Cutting Board
- Sur La Table – Mango Wood Board
Protect your countertops and dining room table with a trivet suitable for the hottest of dishes. Marble is a versatile material and has alternative uses as a cheese board or as a stylish place to organize cooking oils, seasonings or a vase of flowers on your countertop.
- Target – Thirstystone Marble Trivet
- Crate & Barrel – French Kitchen Marble/Graphite Trivet
- Food52 – Marble & Metal Trivet
Swapping out your kitchen linens is an inexpensive and quick way to refine your space. Opt for neutral linens with stripes to add an understated accent to your kitchen.
- World Market – Black Villa Stripe Kitchen Towel
- Crate & Barrel – Farmhouse Grey Stripe Dish Towels
- Magnolia – Camille Cotton Striped Kitchen Towels
Written by Deanna Kane
For city dwellers, having outdoor space is the ultimate goal. If your urban home is equipped with a tiny yard, balcony, or rooftop, maximize every inch to create your own metropolitan oasis. A few tweaks can turn the tiniest outdoor space into a livable, beautiful retreat.
1. Add foliage
Just because you have limited space does not mean you have to sacrifice greenery. Fill your outdoor space with potted plants and vibrant hanging flowers to add color to the area. Small outdoor spaces are also perfect for growing a vertical garden, by securing small flower pots to a lattice screen, or even by planting vines to crawl up the screen. If your thumb is not that green, artificial potted boxwoods lend a polished look to any space. Artificial boxwood hedges also create a clean look, while providing privacy.
2. Accessorize the space
Amp up accessories to maximize the cozy factor. Begin with an outdoor accent rug to anchor the area. Add colorful outdoor pillows and cushions to the seating options, and display a small outdoor bar cart to create an extension of your indoor living room. When the lakefront breeze picks up, have a basket of cotton blankets by the door to stay warm, allowing you to continue to enjoy the fleeting summer evenings.
Garden stools are also a small, outdoor space staple. They are multi-functional and can be used as extra seating, a food rest or to set a beverage. For privacy, outdoor curtains or privacy screens add visual appeal while helping to block out city noise, or too-close neighbors.
3. Plant an herb garden
There is something about growing your own herbs that makes cooking feel more special. Herbs are a low maintenance edible plant that are easy to grow, take up minimal space, and can lend a delicious aroma to the area.
4. Create a dining space
If your outdoor space doesn’t allow for a full table, rely on bistro tables to do the job. Whether you space them out or group them together, having several bistro tables provides a place to serve a meal for a small group. For more informal seating, a bench with outdoor cushions and pillows, surrounded by garden stools and several outdoor ottomans is a perfect place to curl up with a book or to enjoy cocktails and apps, al fresco.
5. Add lighting
Lighting is the finishing touch to creating a cozy outdoor living space. As you sit outside taking in the skyline, watching the traffic below, or catching a glimpse of Lake Michigan in the distance, string lights or lanterns complete the scene when creating your own private urban outdoor oasis.
When preparing to sell your home, it’s important to consider every step that will increase its appeal to potential buyers. While the existing color scheme made it feel like home to you, pressing the reset button to neutral will help potential buyers envision themselves living in the house. Skip the paint research-induced headaches by using these no-fail staging paint selections, and watch the sold sign go up in no time.
All-Over Neutral: Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter
This greige hue is a go-to choice to create a neutral backdrop in open areas. The grey-beige color can appear both warm and cool, depending on lighting. Pair Revere Pewter with white trim for a polished, neutral look.
Suggested rooms: Open spaces, such as family rooms or open concept layouts.
Go-To Gray: Sherwin Williams Crushed Ice
This pale gray option blends in with virtually every design style. Whether your home is traditional, transitional or modern, Crushed Ice will seamlessly blend in the background, letting your home’s selling features shine.
Suggested rooms: This chameleon color can be used throughout the house.
Calming Blue: Benjamin Moore Blue Veil
Help your home evoke vibes of peacefulness and calm, from the minute potential buyers walk through the door. This cool pale blue has enough color to subtly stand out, but not enough to dominate the space.
Suggested rooms: The entryway, gathering spaces or bedrooms.
All-Over White: Benjamin Moore Simply White
With countless white paint options to choose from, it can be the most difficult color to select. This clean white has both warm and cool hues, making it work with a variety of decor styles and appeal to many different tastes.
Suggested rooms: This crisp shade can help entryways or sun-drenched spaces shine.
Create Space: Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace
This bright white can make any space appear larger. Crisp, yet soft, this hue creates a fresh, while cozy vibe. Use this color in rooms you want to create the illusion of additional space.
Suggested rooms: To brighten — and enlarge — a kitchen or master bathroom.
Distract from Poor Lighting: Benjamin Moore White Dove
White Dove works wonders in rooms with poor lighting. Use this shade in rooms without overhead lighting, or in rooms with limited natural light. The soft white hues stay true to color, regardless of the level of light.
Suggested rooms: In the basement, office or bedrooms without sunlight.
Dramatic Neutral: Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal
When you think of neutrals, light hues typically come to mind. However, a dark neutral adds intrigue and style, while making a space memorable to buyers. A dark paint selection also has the ability to make a small space appear larger.
Suggested rooms: This cool, sophisticated color is perfect for an office, dining room or powder room.
Classic Navy: Benjamin Moore Stunning
Another dark neutral, navy paint coordinates with most decor styles and adds an instant level of classic appeal, while not taking itself too seriously.
Suggested rooms: Similar to a charcoal, this timeless hue adds extra richness to an office or den, dining room or guest bathrooms.
Once you have selected your paint selections, getting the right finish can elevate your home’s appearance, as well as hide any flaws on the walls. As a general guide, the higher the sheen the more durable the paint will be.
Rooms prone to moisture (kitchens, bathrooms): Semi-gloss or high gloss finish.
High-traffic areas (family room, play room, living areas): Satin finish, for easy cleaning.
Low-traffic areas (dining room, bedrooms): Eggshell or matte finish.
According to NAR, 77% of buyers’ agents indicated staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home. Before you list your home, follow this list of staging preparations to highlight a home that sells.
Many buyers are looking to move to gain more space, so help the house appear as spacious as possible. Eliminate excess or oversized furniture so potential buyers have the most accurate idea of the room size, as well as space to walk through. If you question if the piece is too large, remove it. Throughout the home, pull the furniture several inches from the walls to allow the corners to be visible.
Closet contents should also be drastically reduced. The amount of belongings in the closet should be sparse, and the floors should be clear. A jam-packed closet appears significantly smaller than it really is.
Lastly, remove clutter from all surfaces. Create four categories — throw out, donate, move to storage and keep. This will show the home is free of visual clutter, and you will also have an easier move out. If your home is filled with an abundance of furniture and decor pieces you don’t want to part with, rent a storage unit for the duration the home is on the market.
Evaluate the amount of personal items throughout the house, including photographs, art, religious symbols, knick-knacks and books. If you think all of the personal items have been edited down, go through and edit one more time. The goal is to allow potential buyers to envision themselves living in the home. A styling trick is to create neutral vignettes — a grouping of accessories often in threes — throughout the home. These accessories could include wall art, candle sticks, vases, all varying in shape, color and texture.
Maintain an immaculate environment
While living in a listed house can be difficult, especially with children or pets, take careful steps to make sure the house stays sparkling clean and odor-free. A house that smells odd to a potential buyer can prevent them from wanting to look through the rest of the house. Rather than masking smells with candles or potpourri, open windows. Run a humidifier and use an air purifier to neutralize the air.
Invest in a professional cleaning service to deep-clean the house, including the baseboards, windows, floors, walls and carpets, to remove both surface stains, as well as odors.
Set one focal point per area
Creating one central focus point can make a room look more cohesive, and can help potential buyers better visualize themselves and their belongings in the space. Once you identify the focal point, style the furniture and decor around it. As a reference, the living room’s focal point can be the fireplace, window or TV; the bedroom is often the headboard and the bathroom is the vanity area.
Select a continual color theme
A fresh coat of paint throughout the home can go a long way. Select a neutral paint palette that seamlessly transitions throughout the house. This color flow makes the house feel more open and larger, and offers a blank canvas that many buyers crave.
Let in the light
Allow as much light to come in as possible. Open draperies and shades, remove unnecessary blinds and move any items that may obstruct windows or other light sources. A bright, airy home is one of the first features a potential buyer will notice.
Don’t forget the exterior
The front door is the first impression — make it count. Make sure the landscaping is manicured, the front door is in good condition, the exterior lighting is functional and there are seasonal arrangements on the front porch. Pressure washing the siding and deck can also make a big impact.