Home took on a new meaning this year. With sheltering in place, our homes became a hybrid sanctuary—a family headquarters but also an office, school, restaurant, daycare, sometimes-spa and all the other spaces that we consider special. And with this much time to soak in our surroundings, there was a thrill to redecorate, tackle long-waitlisted home projects and switch up spaces to make them feel new again.
Whether you were fashioning a WFH situation or redoing your entire living room, you might’ve noticed certain styles, silhouettes and colors pop up again and again. Here, we rounded up the top 10 home decor trends that reigned supreme in 2020. And spoiler alert: Many of them will continue to stay strong into the new year.
Made from yarn of curled fibers, bouclé has a soft, lived-in feel while offering visual texture. You might remember the nubby fabric from the classic Chanel jacket created decades ago, but bouclé has seen a massive resurgence this year with fans like Kelly Wearstler and Architectural Digest taking note. Typically used in upholstery for sofas and chairs as well as throws, bouclé is loved for its durability and forgiving finish, but in a year when a lot of us just wanted to curl up in comfort, its soft touch is what made it tops.
Cane has taken on a lot of iterations over the years, from use in ancient Egyptian civilizations to the chairs in your grandmother’s beach cottage. But the cane style that’s had staying power in 2020 feels more modern—think clean lines and nods to midcentury silhouettes popularized by iconic designers like Pierre Jeanneret. Made from the rattan palm tree, this fresh take on the natural, lightweight material can be equal parts laidback and sophisticated. We love it for dining chairs and accent seating, but you can also spot cane in bed frames, sideboards and armoires. To keep it contemporary, try pairing your cane pieces with rich jewel tones that give the material beautiful depth.
Organic midcentury modern
Say “midcentury modern” and you might think of primary colors and funky furniture. But 2020 was all about a softer, more organic take on MCM filled with natural woods, earth tones and monochromatic palettes draping those classic shapes. Together these elements make for a minimalist vibe that’s still warm and approachable—so we can see why it was big in 2020. In a time when it feels like so much is going on, being able to rest our heads in a place that feels both soothing and streamlined is everything.
Athena Calderone, Jake Arnold and so many other designers gravitated to rounded edges this year, particularly in sofas and accent chairs inspired by the work of 1960s and 1970s interior design icons such as Mario Bellini. Much like bouclé gives us that oh-so-cozy feel, curvy pieces help soften spaces and add an elegant contrast to rectangular coffee tables, rugs and sideboards. They also make a statement and can be the star of your living room, especially when you opt for colorful upholstery or a sumptuous velvet fabric.
Barn doors, shiplap and reclaimed wood—but make it stylish. That’s the idea behind farmhouse modern that combines contemporary edge (neutrals, clean lines) with the rustic warmth of country living (natural woods, antiques). The trend has been gaining momentum the last few years, thanks in part to design stars like Joanna Gaines, but it skyrocketed in 2020. In particular, this year it’s been all about the modern farmhouse in a sleek palette of black, white and oak. It’s high design meets high comfort.
Monochromatic isn’t necessarily new, but this year we saw so many designers streamline their color palettes to create a sense of calm. It’s a pared-down look but far from boring. By contrasting textures and incorporating different hues of the same color—like neutral nudes in white, beige, camel and dusty rose or going bold with reds in fuschia, merlot and burgundy—you can cultivate a room that’s layered and dynamic without pulling from the full color wheel.
Whether you consider yourself Julia Child or you’re a cooking newbie, it’s safe to say we’ve all spent a lot of time in our kitchens this year. And since it’s one of the most vibrant, energetic spots in our homes, it makes sense that there’s been a wave of technicolor-splashed kitchens popping up this year—purples, greens and even teal with silver. But even if you don’t have a full kitchen reno on the docket, you can add a splash of color in more subtle but still impactful ways, like with a bright Dutch oven, dish towels, a fruit bowl, counter stools or statement-making pendant lights.
When it came to treating ourselves to a little extra TLC this year, we turned our bathrooms into self-care sanctuaries, not to mention a place to get a little playful with design. That meant bathrooms decked out in intricate tilework, Instagrammable wallpaper, deep soaking tubs, super-luxe towels and gilded decor. Even if it was a humble powder room, our bathrooms were a surprising spot to turn up the drama for face mask-ing, bubble bath-ing and beyond.
When so many of us had to pivot to working remotely, we had to make sure that our WFH spaces are as fashionable as they are functional. That meant considering the best type of lighting, adding greenery to clean the air, selecting a rug that can give the illusion of more space and grounding the room with a sturdy, yet stylish desk. It’s about creating a space that inspires and energizes you when you’re on the clock.
dining in table settings
Just because you’re not dining out doesn’t mean you can’t create that cozy restaurant vibe at home. Chic glassware, patterned napkins and mood-setting candles are just a few of the ways we transformed our dining areas from everyday to elevated this year. Keeping a variety of options for flatware, servingware and other pieces will make it easy to create themed tablescapes, whether it’s pizza night with the family, date night with your partner or New Year’s Eve at home. Cheers to that!