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Interior Trends 2020: What Will Stay and What Will Go?

We asked you and IDs to weigh-in on the interior trends for 2020, and here's the official year-end roundup!

From seamless shelving solutions and integrated sinks to dashes of dark hues plus glass rooms, 2019 has given us plenty of design inspiration. Granted, not everything will float everyone’s boat – that’s why we are here to suss out the longer-lasting trends from the short-lived fads.

Yung Kuang Road by Apex Design
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To do just that, we sat down with some interior designers to uncover what’s hot and what’s not for 2020, so give this a read before you start revamping your home!

Go: Graphic tile

“Graphic tiles disrupt the fluidity, or rather how you move and interact with things in your home.

There are certain motifs like flowers that end up looking really artificial – since it doesn’t look natural, it can come off a little tacky and loud when it's used to tile a large surface and that can really take away from the space.”

– Diana from Dyel Design

And a quick poll on our Instagram revealed that you guys echoed the sentiment, with close to 68% of you saying that the trend should go.

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“If they are done right, graphic tiles can still look good. But I think people are starting to realise that they can get the same visual impact with simpler designs and monochromatic colour schemes.

Park Infinia by Hall Interiors
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Terracotta and geometric tiles are some examples – both are ‘cleaner’ (in look) than graphic tiles while still offering a splash of colour.”

– Randoll from Hall Interiors

What’s on-the-fence: Terrazzo

530 of you think that terrazzo is the new ‘it’ thing, but designers warn that as much as interest has grown, it’s not really the most wallet-friendly or the most timeless option.

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“Terrazzo is kind of nostalgic – it has a very retro feel to it and can be used in Nordic-Scandi homes, the most popular interior style in 2019.

But the original makers of these tiles have long since retired, so what we have now is really just ready-made imitations. And these slabs aren’t exactly the most cost-effective or the easiest to match when you’re tiling a large surface.”

– Wayne from Icon Interior Design

What's on-the-fence: Scandinavian, or some aspects of it

“I’d say that Scandinavian interiors are likely to stay for a while as the colour and theme generally makes smaller homes (like your TOP condominiums and BTO flats) look larger.

Then there’s also the flexible aspect: if carpentry is too expensive, they can choose to buy loose furniture off the shelf in place of installing built-ins.”

– Wayne, Icon Interior Design

Sunset Way by Icon Interior Design
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“Scandinavian and MUJI styles have been all the rage, and the trend is likely to continue. It’s basically an extension of the minimalist trend; it’s simple, and easy on the eyes.

To be frank, the economy probably influenced the decision-making process (when it came to interior style) too – homeowners are cutting down on fixtures, opting for ready-made furniture instead, which again calls back to minimalism. And since it’s easier to find Scandi-style accessories now, it’s a chicken and egg concept: furniture sets the trend for popular styles and vice versa.

But, that’s not to say that the trend will stay the same. In fact, some mixing and matching has already taken place.”

– Diana, Dyel Design

Sol Acres by Colourbox Interior
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Stay: Dark hues

“Minimalism is at the core of all designs. So, your dark homes are on the same spectrum as your typical white and wood ones – it’s just as simple, sleek and functional. The only real difference are the colours.

We’re only seeing this shift as homeowners are becoming more accepting of these shades. And I think that as designs get simpler, people just want to add an element of quirkiness to enliven things.”

– Diana, Dyel Design

D'Nest by Dyel Design
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Aside from white, navy and dark greens are amongst some of the more popular colours that Singaporeans gravitate towards (check out the number of reno projects that use these hues)! And with Pantone unveiling the colour of 2020: classic blue, it’s likely that this trend will take off in 2020.

Stay: Farmhouse

“The white and wood base is still extremely popular, which is why you still see it being used in many homes. However, the approach now is slightly different: homeowners have started including more natural elements like rattan, terrazzo and wood trimmings.

It leans away from the original intent (a Scandinavian-style home), going towards a more farmhouse feel that’s a great match for tropical Singapore.”

– Randoll, Hall Interiors

SkyPeak @ Bukit Batok by Hall Interiors
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Stay: Paneling

While you guys were pretty split on paneling, these designers felt that the feature is here to stay for now as it’s a versatile solution to dress up blank surfaces.

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“I don’t see the paneling trend dying down any time soon. It has a lot more design potential compared to terrazzo and graphic tiles as it’s a lot more versatile; you can install them in several spaces like your living room or dining area.”

– Randoll, Hall Interiors

Aspen Heights by Hall Interiors
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“They can level up wall surfaces and make them prettier, if done well. Though I’d advise staying away from the trendier styles – no hexagons!

Aside from picking a nice woodgrain, try keeping these additions sleek and simple to make it last longer (design-wise).”

– Diana, Dyel Design

Joo Chiat Walk by Dyel Design
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Stay: Smart homes

And there’s good news for those who wish to make daily living easier!

“Singaporeans are becoming more adept with smart devices, so they’re more inclined to make the switch to automate their home.

It’s also less of an investment now compared to before – the market has more affordable mini gadgets. So, I think it’s up to local interior designers to ease them into this new age of living.”

– Diana, Dyel Design

Explore: A (Smart) Home For All Generations

1. Biophilic living

For the uninitiated, ‘biophilic’ design integrates nature in homes as a way to reduce stress and enhance health.

Sengkang West Way by Urban Habitat Design
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Here natural and healthier elements such as wood, water, plants, low VOC paint (i.e. paints that produce less air pollutants) take the spotlight. These elements are incorporated into your home to make it feel less like a concrete box, as well as to improve air quality and your way of life!

Punggol East by Arche Interior
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2. The ‘no feature wall’ look

There was a time where Singaporean homeowners went all out to make the feature wall the focal point of their home, but not anymore! As designs become minimalist in nature, more homeowners opt for a more fuss-free option of pairing a TV console with a mono-coloured wall, usually white.

Haig Court by LS2 Design & Construction
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Explore: Is the Writing on the Wall for the TV Feature Wall Trend?

Of course, this change brings several perks to the table too! As the TV console is usually standalone, you can shift things around or bring it along if you decide to move. Having a painted wall is definitely more cost-effective in general – less work means less money spent on the makeover for an immobile feature.

3. Archways and curved furniture

To match the streamlined aesthetic, our furniture and doorways normally feature straight lines. However, there are some homes that are subverting the abovementioned with curved lines – think archways and round-edged furniture.

Telok Blangah Drive by Starry Homestead
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This new approach makes the home feel less formal and adds a touch of softness, one that elevates the space.

Cantonment Close by The Scientist
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4. Open-concept bathrooms

When space is a premium, homeowners will explore all methods of ‘expanding’ the look of a room. Yes, even private sanctuaries like bathrooms are fair game.

While it is a visual illusion, demolishing the walls separating the en-suite from the master bedroom gives it a more open look. Do you dare to bare it all? We suggest reading this article before you take the plunge.

Punggol Drive by Mr Shopper Studio
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