We’re not going to sugarcoat it for you: Change is a’coming. In a few short weeks (weeks!!), we’ll close the book on the 2010s and enter an entirely new decade: The mysterious 2020s. Sure, forging into the great unknown can be a little scary, but we’re so excited to see what pop culture moments, food fads, and, of course, design trends the new decade will bring.
But while it’ll take some time before we fully embrace the onslaught of design trends that surely await us in the new decade, we’re convinced the living room will be the first place we’ll spot the next big thing. After all, a living room is arguably one of the most-trafficked rooms in the entire house.
Curious to see how living rooms might change in the next ten years, we asked a handful of interior designers for their predictions. While their responses run the gamut from customization, to unapologetic maximalism, to the end of living rooms as we know it (really), one thing’s for sure: Change doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.
A Customized Crib
“We’re seeing brands lean into the idea of custom more and more and that will be no exception for the design industry. I think we will continue to see the notion of customization via shape, color, and pattern define how we shop in the '20s.” —Alessandra Wood, interior design expert and vice president of style at Modsy
"I think in the next ten years you are going to see custom furniture become more prevalent as consumers are going to want something that feels unique to them and their spaces. You’ve got millennials all thinking they are special snowflakes and this will be their decade to start investing in one-of-a-kind pieces." —Sara Malek Barney, owner and principal designer of Bandd Design
I think we will continue to see the notion of customization via shape, color, and pattern define how we shop in the '20s.
A Modern Marvel
“Over the next decade, interiors are going to be much sleeker and more modern. I think items like floor lamps will go cordless, and interiors as a whole will be more modular.” —Jade Joyner, co-founder and principal designer of Metal + Petal
“I think living rooms will continue to be morphed into the ultimate spaces to relax and lounge with family. Functionality and comfort will be the underlying current of these spaces, but they’ll be realized in modern and stylish way. Don’t expect to see your mom’s family room from the '90s!” —Alessandra Wood
Comfort Comes First
“In the next decade, I hope there will be a return to cozy, defined spaces. While open concept floor plans are wonderful, I love the thought of each space feeling individual. It provides the unique opportunity for every room to have a distinct color palette, statement making millwork, and fresh mix of texture and pattern.” —Maggie Griffin, founder and lead designer of Maggie Griffin Design
“As a design psychology expert, I have loved seeing the transition to creating spaces that promote well-being and emotional comfort. People seem to be asking for more from their spaces and striving to make it feel like a place of respite and relaxation. “—Amber Dunford, interior design expert and Overstock’s lead stylist
Back to the Basics
“With wellbeing and sustainability on the rise, the biggest trend I see is the use of natural materials and textures. These humble materials like hemp, rattan, cane, and jute can add a huge impact to a space without feeling trendy or overdone. They can also be paired with more luxurious pieces for a high-end look which gives them versatility.
More and more consumers want pieces that help them feel like they are saving the planet by being conscious of materials. Some designers call this new trend "Biophilia" since pieces are stylish, but are of natural materials. I predict that this trend will take the next decade by storm with its organic nature.” —Mikayla Keating, Elite Decorist Designer
These humble materials like hemp, rattan, cane, and jute can add a huge impact to a space without feeling trendy or overdone.
“In the next decade, I see consumer's interest growing towards more natural materials as homeowners attempt to move away from plastic. I'm predicting living rooms will be outfitted in rattan, wicker, caned, grasscloth, and naturally woven furniture. No longer just for boho beach homes but also for brownstones and city living too.”—Roxy Te, founder and CEO of Society Social
“My prediction is that the 2020s will unfold with increased momentum in maximalism as a response to the clean-lined, neutral minimalism of the 2010s. More and more, I'm seeing clients who have a real, inspired interest in working with gifted and specialized craftsmen—clients who want to see that level of artistry celebrated in their home.
To me, this signals that interior design is going to become more widely bespoke, self-expressive, detailed, and personal. This is a huge shift from the mass-market, consumerism-focused interior design of the past number of years. It's an exciting, inventive change in perspective.” —Caitlin Murray, founder and interior designer of Black Lacquer Designs
“Color and pattern have had a recent resurgence with more maximalist design, as seen in gorgeous hues of painted millwork paired with lots of pattern play in fabrics. Even fringe is back!” —Lauren Nelson, Celebrity Decorist Designer
The End of an Era
"My theory is that more and more families will decide to forgo living rooms altogether, whether they have the space for it or not. Traditionally, these spaces are used as entertainment rooms with finer furniture. With families leaning more towards the trend of open floor layouts, there is a need for functional, efficient living spaces which means more open areas, fewer hallways, etc. With that being said, there doesn't seem to be as much of a need for them." —Lauren Buxbaum Gordon, partner of Nate Berkus Associates