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YIR: 2020's top home design trends

Gretchen Ferrao-Walker
·3-min read
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In a year when people spent the most time indoors, it seems logical that energies were channelled towards optimising home interiors. While individuals varied in their approach to this, one thing emerged common: “[There is] a keener sense towards creating homes that are as functional and comfortable as aesthetically pleasing,” says Vinithra Amarnathan, interior designer and founder of Weespaces.

We flashback to some of the trend-shaping moments for home interior design in 2020.

01. Blue – a refuge in colour

Image: Weespaces
Image: Weespaces

Soon after global colour institutions announced blue as the Colour of the Year 2020, the world declared a medical emergency. As we grappled with this state of uncertainty, shades of blue offered refuge and reassurance. Designers and décor enthusiasts, alike, turned to dependable deep blues via accent walls, cosy throws, ceramicware and more.

02. Work from home

Image: Ira Ghosalia/Photographix for Annkur Khosla Design Studio
Image: Ira Ghosalia/Photographix for Annkur Khosla Design Studio

As our homes morphed into the workplace by day, – often rolling into the night – it was evident that a pile of pillows cannot double as a desk for too long. “We've seen home offices become an integral part of the home interior brief,” says Vinithra. “Clients are open to taking risks and going bold or experimenting in these spaces.” The work-from-home set-up also led to some ingenious designs like the flat-pack, easy-to-assemble Compact Desk by DESKTalk.

03. Kitchens that serve it all

Left to fend for ourselves, many realised that a well-designed, functional kitchen (and househelp, of course!) is priceless. Kitchen planning and organising was amongst the most popular topics on interior design and space management handles. Organizing consultant Rohini Rajgopalan of Organise With Ease conducted a workshop on the subject.

“Clients are a lot more open to looking at the kitchen as an investment; people are seeing value in good quality hardware and materials,” says Vinithra. Earlier this year, she hosted a detailed Kitchen Design video, replete with diagram refs, for Weespaces’ Instagram fam.

04. The great ‘plantdemic’

#MyHomeMyStyle (L-R): Raina (@theshalomhome), Gaya Gopal (@gopalgaya) & Archana Shivanandan (@plantstylistmumbai)
#MyHomeMyStyle (L-R): Raina (@theshalomhome), Gaya Gopal (@gopalgaya) & Archana Shivanandan (@plantstylistmumbai)

Starved of nature, more people than ever are embraced gardening in 2020. Plants are occupying significant square-footage space in home interiors, observes Angud Bhalla, co-founder of botanical design studio Plant People. The company saw a surge in first-time gardeners via its online platform. Preferences changed with the seasons from edible gardens and air-purifying greens to statement plants like the fiddle leaf fig and monstera deliciosa. Several repeat clients claimed they were out of space but wanted more plants, says Angud.

05. The dawn of DIY

With more time, our hands were put to creative use. While first-time DIYers got busy with 30-minute crafty décor ideas, the more daring amongst us committed to large-scale home makeovers. In some ways, these ideas synced with the grandmillenial style, which blends a warm, traditional aesthetic with whacky elements. The DIY trend also spurred a series of workshops on social handles as well as a range of products. Examples include: ezyCR8 by Asian Paints and iPaint by Berger; both, DIY decor and repair kits.

06. Buy local, buy Indian

Image: Mianzi
Image: Mianzi

India’s handicraft sector was amongst the most severely impacted in lockdown. This year, NGOs, crafts cooperatives, designers, merchandisers, entrepreneurs and artisan families banded together through movements like #CreativeDignity to rehabilitate and revitalise Indian craft communities.

"We need to go back to that golden age when every handcrafted object was functional as well as decorative,” says Laila Tyabji, founder member of traditional crafts NGO Dastkar. She also urged Indians to ‘Buy Local, Buy Indian’ as international brands become less easily available.

07. Comfort is the new luxury

Image: Radhika Shenoi Sethi (@the.whimsicallife)
Image: Radhika Shenoi Sethi (@the.whimsicallife)

Readjusting ourselves for the nth time in that statement chair, many saw the necessity for practical furniture. “People want warm, comfortable pieces over showy ones,” observes Vinithra. A certain sensory deprivation sparked by the iso-life has also left everyone craving tactile, nature-inspired materials. This, coupled with the resurgence of earth tones and organic textures are all a move towards cosier, hygge spaces, says the designer. An element of home interior design that we’re likely to take with us into the new year.