Styled, Staged & Sold

Bringing you the latest home design and staging trends. From REALTOR® Magazine.

5 Design Trends to Watch in 2020

Design will be all about simple, comfortable living in the new year. Consumers are looking to refresh their living spaces in a way that will both inspire and delight in 2020.

Some traditional spaces are being re-imagined. In my market of Atlanta, for example, many formal living rooms and dining rooms are being transformed into office spaces and sitting rooms. The family room is becoming the central living room, and kitchen islands are where families gather for dining and socializing.

And homeowners aren't skimping on the exterior either. Outdoor spaces are becoming just as important—or almost equal to—indoor spaces as well.

Here are a few design trends to watch in 2020.

1. Simplistic lifestyle

In interior design, the "less is more" mantra continues to gain popularity—which fits perfectly with the home staging mantra of "less is best." Clean lines in furniture and natural elements—like in oak, ash, and bamboo—along with natural fiber rugs and greenery with a contemporary edge are all offering easy living and comfort.  We are even seeing layers of old and new accessories to decorate spaces. Millennials are purchasing local souvenirs that tell a story.

Living room with simplistic metal framed table

Photo credit: No Vacancy Inc.

2. Balanced earth tones

As consumers look for balance and calm in their lives, we will see a shift from cool to more warm, neutral, and earth tones.  Don't be afraid to coat your walls, trim, and ceiling in all the same color to make a room feel chic and enveloping. We will see shades of chocolate brown, yellow Ochre, wine, and olive green appearing as pops of color in decor against neutral walls and furnishings.

A bedroom with earth tone colored rug and pillows against white walls and bed comforter

Photo credit: No Vacancy Inc.

3. Unique lighting

Lighting in geometric shapes—from chandeliers to pendant lighting in the kitchen—is a rising trend to bring central focus to a space.  Natural cut crystal and recycled glass, along with silver leaf and metals in freeform shapes, are taking us toward a more modern view in lighting. 

Living room with overhead pendant lighting inside open metal frames

Photo credit: No Vacancy Inc.

Aside from the various shapes and materials that we are seeing, the most common feature in the new year will be lighting that is bigger, bolder, and commands attention.

Living room with white orb pendant lighting

Photo credit: No Vacancy Inc.

4. Mixed metals

From brushed brass to rose gold to silver and copper, mixed metals will be trending throughout interiors, including furniture accents, hardware, and kitchen backsplashes.  Don't overdo it and mix too many variations in one space. Remember,

the latest design trends are encouraging us to find balance.

Mixed metal fixtures shown in an open kitchen with light blue island

Photo credit: No Vacancy Inc.

Mixed metal fixtures and furniture in a hardwood floor kitchen

Photo credit: No Vacancy Inc.

5. Conversational spaces

We tend to be more distracted and disconnected these days, but "togetherness" is a keyword for 2020. Expect to see more spacious seating and lounging areas everywhere, from the modern-designed residential home to commercial spaces like community work campuses, restaurants, hotels, airports, and even senior living communities. These spaces will have furnishings arranged to encourage conversation and help drive interaction by placing people comfortably together.

Large open living room with floor-ceiling length windows and several chairs and couches centralized around a rug

Photo credit: No Vacancy Inc.

As we head into the new year, let us be one with nature and bold as we look toward 2020's design trends.

Krisztina Bell


Professional Atlanta home stager and known as a pioneer of "virtual staging," Krisztina Bell provides her clients with more than 15 years of experience in the real estate marketing and the home staging industry. She has founded two Atlanta-based companies, No Vacancy Inc. and Virtually Staging Properties Inc. Bell has been recognized as a Who's Who in Atlanta Real Estate and one of the Top 75 Most Influential People in Real Estate Staging.


Meet Our Bloggers

Styled, Staged & Sold, created by NAR and REALTOR® Magazine, is produced by professional home staging and style experts around the country.

All Past Issues

Historical issues archive from the official magazine of the National Association of REALTORS®: the business tool for real estate professionals.


Email icon

Sign up to receive blog posts via email or via RSS