How Practical Is It to Design According to “Trends?”

When we talk about color and style trends in interior design, it’s not quite the same as when one might discuss wearable fashion trends. Afterall, you might swap out your wardrobe with the changing seasons, but you probably won’t be updating your living room furniture four times a year.

  • So what do we really mean when we talk about interior design trends?

  • And is it even a fair or practical way to discuss home design and decor?

  • Should we just stick to timeless pieces?

When discussing interior design trends, we’re talking about a longer, slower evolution — Minor updates or tweaks to the existing that enhance a space and make its inhabitants feel good. Those updates can come in the form of technology, sustainability initiatives, natural availability, and yes, of course, sometimes still aesthetics. This year, we embarked a trend-hunting adventure through High Point Market on the Design Bloggers Tour with a group of fabulous design influencers. Here are some of the color and style trends that stood out to us from our favorite showrooms that we see incredible practical application for. So should we design according to trends? As a rule of thumb, we recommend major purchases be classic staples. Add decorative elements that are trending, like a side chair, accent table, pillows, bedding, art and accessories.

should we follow design trends?

What Has CoronaVirus Taught Us About Designing According to Throwaway Trends?

  • Minimalism & Sustainability is not just a fad, it is necessary. Reducing consumerism and excess waste is necessary. (We’re in awe of anyone who lives that zero-waste lifestyle!) Use what you have and if you do purchase new, purchase high-quality items that are made to last rather than trendy items that you might throw away in a year or so.
  • Organization. Make your home function in an effective way. Talk about making do with what you have, we’re thinking a lot about how to make your space work for you, especially while working from home. Check out our work-from-home tips here and more home office productivity tips here.
  •  Creature Comforts –  Back to adopting the Marie Kondo trademarked Kondo Mari method — do these things spark joy, make you feel good. Don’t know where to start? Check out this post all about the most efficient way to clear out those closets.

It’s going to be interesting to see the way aesthetics and art evolve through the COVID-19 pandemic. Inevitably, there will be an economic and spiritual boom right after, as people will be able to emerge from their home, host guests, go shopping again, etc. So let’s chat about predictions, some of the things you can expect to see…

What are the Design Trends for 2020?

Twists on Traditional Glamour

Crypton Performance Fabrics 

Crypton performance fabrics are taking over! The company started producing low-maintenance fabrics for assisted living centers that you really didn’t even need soap or cleaning products to wipe up spills and they’ve expanded their reach 10 fold with bright bold patterns and prints utilizing the same performance technology. Their new Nomad collection speaks to the maximalism trend we’re seeing emerge all over the place. It’s all about color, print, and chintz! On the other end of the spectrum, we got a sneak peek at their unreleased Reverie collection full of pretty blush neutral tones.

Crypton is leading the way in two color and style trends with their performance fabric technology: Bright, bold maximalist and pretty blush, feminine. Speaking of Color Trends…

What are the Color Trends of 2020?

Is Grey Going Out of Style?

If you’ve noticed a burst of color in your Instagram or Pinterest feed, you are not along. Their algorithms would have us believing the grey fad is long gone. Trends and fads tend to change about every 5 to 10 years. We are definitely seeing a move toward warmer colors and brown, taupe, beige are coming in hot. Finding ways to introduce a trend into the current design is one way to keep a space fresh and up to date without totally having to revamp your whole style.

Are White Kitchens Going Out of Style?

White kitchens are classic, so while they might not be as popular with EVERYONE on Insta right now, there will always be a place for them that won’t ever look dated.
However we are seeing more people move toward darker kitchens, and play around with more color, wood islands, blue cabinets, etc.

Aidan Gray

Skylights allow the natural sunlight to wash over the Aidan Gray showroom: It’s a bit industrial, a bit romantic. The stand out collection from this year was Toma Haines Clark aka The Antiques Diva’s collection. These pieces were awe-inspiring. They’re designed to essentially give you a history lesson about the making and wearing of the antiques she sources all over Europe for her clients. With lucite and animal print details, these pieces are not your grandma’s antiqued furniture.

Aidan Gray is leading the way in color and design trends with their updates on tradition and glamorous and versatile design details.


Dorel was a new brand for us. They specialize in small-space affordability and are incredibly on-trend. So many of their pieces are multi-functional, pulling out into trundles, including underbed or side storage. These pieces are perfect for a starter apartment or dorm. Two collections that were beautiful and on trend included their partnership with Cosmopolitan magazine, which was Barbie-blush, glamorous, and pieces came with all sorts of fun features like built in charging stations. The other is the Novogratz whose designs are super fun and certainly lean into the maximalism trend.

Dorel is leading the way in two color & style trends with their affordable small space furniture: Blush & Velvets, and Multi-functionality/Versatility

The Bohemian Underground: Lush Velvets and Boho Decor


Surya has expanded beyond rugs and their newest lines include exquisite lighting and home accessories. They continue to go strong with their sophisticated boho aesthetic and coordinating poufs to match the rugs. Everyone swooned over the Amelie rug in the teal and orange colorway. Definitely a crowd favorite! We also loved the additions to their earthy New Traditionals collection. We noticed a number of animal and hyde prints and in combination with their fringe-full hygge collection they pair heavy with cozy beautifully! Their lighting included some beautiful brutalist, masculine, mixed metals which we can see utilizing in many of our upcoming projects!

Surya is leading the way with two color & style trends with their cost-friendly rugs, lighting, and decor: the teal & orange combo, and pretty fancy neutrals


Cisco is a family-owned Los Angeles-based furniture company with the coziest, loungiest furniture and impressive sustainability initiatives. They make some of the most beautiful and creative sectionals and chaise lounges you’ll ever see! They produce bohemian furniture with a sturdier feel to it than most and all over the showroom was covered in lush velvets and leathers.

Cisco’s furniture is leading the way in two color & style trends with their sustainability efforts: green & denim velvets and sophisticated boho.


This was another brand that was new to us. We had the best time in their showroom getting to know the Norwalk family. Every single person we came into contact with who works for the company was enthusiastic about the product and made us want to spend all day with them! This translates directly to the product. Their pieces are not only on-trend, but prioritize sustainability and function. Kim Samela’s collection at the front of the showroom spoke to two different trends: Right at the front were bohemian inspired, brightly-colored couches (Another green velvet sofa!) with great detail to the legs and arms, and on the other end of the spectrum were the cool coastal blues inspired by her Los Angeles home, and everything was covered in performance fabrics so her dog, Casanova, can cuddle up on the white couch too!

Norwalk is leading the way in style and color trends with their sustainably designed furniture with their jewel-tone palettes, coastal home-friendly pieces, and their attention to detail.

Pastels by The Sea: The Coastal Motif Reimagined

Modern History & Sommerset

Modern History and Sommerset share a showroom where the walls are adorned in incredible period-original art sourced by the owner that you could just as easily expect to find in The Met. The furnishings and art were a beautiful combination of old and new and their coastal collections had a softness to them, in palette and with their use of natural materials. They invoked a sense of modern Miami glamour.

Modern History and Sommerset are leading the way in style and color trends with their excellent craftsmanship, their smart, elevated combination of old and new, and their soft, pastel palettes.

Universal Home

You could get lost for hours in the Universal Home showroom, with something exciting around every corner. Their new collaboration with Coastal Living Magazine brings us beachy pieces made with natural materials with an air of adventure and playfulness. Not to mention you’ll never beat the price point for the quality of furniture you’re getting!

universal coastal living collab

Universal Home is leading the way in color and style trends with their rich coastal palette and pieces that are functional and family-friendly.

Mixed Tones

Lloyd Flanders

Picture the most beautiful, luxurious outdoor wicker furniture: That is Lloyd FLanders. Their wicker pieces come in every finish imaginable. And they’ve updated and elevated outdoor wicker with a wonderful new partnership with Sunbrella outdoor performance fabrics, so that your outdoor furniture can look and feel as fabulous as your interior furnishings! We couldn’t take our eyes off their Catalina collection and their exquisite use of tone on tone.

Lloyd Flanders is leading the way in color and style trends with their use of mixed tones to update their outdoor wicker furnishings.

Four Hands

Four Hands furniture is always a favorite of ours and they were also showcasing a lot of mixed tones this market, particularly cane with heavy metals. One of our favorite pieces are this gorgeous cabinet:

tone on tone cabinet from Four Hands at High Point Market

tone on tone cabinet from Four Hands at High Point Market

Four Hands is leaving the way in color and style trends with their use of monochromatic mixed tones, perfect for a study or industrial chic apartment.

tone on tone trend from four hands furniture at high point market

These pieces from Four Hands weren’t new this market, but are some of our favorites. We love how they were styled this market! You may recognize the bookcase from one of our modern farmhouse projects.

This industrial farmhouse trend has been going strong for quite some time now. We recently completed a couple projects with a farmhouse bend to the decor and used a lot of products from Four Hands. Check those projects out here and here. 

When people do inevitably decide to buy new (we all have to buy SOME new at some point), our wish is that they do it more mindfully and sustainably. The 2nd edition of Green Interior Design authored by Courtney Porter and Lori Dennis couldn’t come at a more useful time. It’s available for pre-order here.

Green Interior Design by Courtney Porter and Lori Dennis