By Rachel Stults | Dec 31, 2019
As the hours count down to a brand-new decade, there's a good chance you're reflecting on your choices over the past 10 years. Maybe you're patting yourself on the back for taking that job across the country. Perhaps you wish you could undo that three-year relationship that sucked the life out of you. Or maybe—just maybe—you're surveying your home, and you have the sudden urge to get rid of everything in it.
After all, as we head into 2020, now is the perfect time to reevaluate your decor choices. But you don't have to do it alone. To help, we've consulted with the pros about which looks are going by the wayside in 2020—and why. (Disclaimer: If it makes you happy, keep it! Who are we to tell you what to do?)
Photo by Cantoni Let us be clear: We're definitely not kicking bold looks to the curb (more on that in a minute). Instead, we just want more, more, more of them. That means one measly little accent wall won't cut it anymore.
"It's time to boldly enter the new decade by fearlessly experimenting with paint. Washing all the walls in a bold color—including millwork and trim—is much more powerful and sophisticated," says Amanda Amato-Scotto, CEO and principal designer at AMA Designs & Interiors. "If you love a color enough to paint one wall, go the extra mile by painting the entire room. It's a design risk worth taking!"
Stephanie Purcell, designer and owner of Redesigned Classics, agrees: "With the rise in popularity of wallpaper—and the huge strides it's made in ease of use, such as peel-and-stick—we're starting to see whole rooms in vibrant colors or covered in fun wallpaper. Why should one wall have all the fun?"
Photo by John Maniscalco Architecture If you can't tell already, the "less is more" mantra is so 2019. That's right—2020 will be all about ditching your tiny, sleek furniture and going big—everywhere.
"Gone are the days of spaces with as little as possible. Say hello to visual overload," says Justin Riordan, interior designer, architect, and founder of home staging company Spade and Archer Design Agency. "The darling of the design world is maximalism—try solids mixed with stripes, mixed with plaids, mixed with polka dots. Take all you’ve learned about midcentury modern clean design, and throw it to the wind."
We've spent so much time with monochromatic palettes and neutral interiors, Amato-Scotto says, that we're ready to take more risks.
"In true roaring '20s fashion, we are entering a new decade with visible boldness," she says.
Photo by Ceramictec Faux, no! If you've been relying on faking expensive decor, we've got bad news: Look-alike materials such as wood-look porcelain plank tile and faux stone will be out in 2020, Amato-Scotto says.
"Of course, there is a time and a place for faux alternatives," she says, noting that basements and wet areas are prime spots for these products. "However, we live in a time where people desire more authenticity—whether that be on social media, real life, or in the home. Say no to faux, and opt for the real deal, which adds character to your home."
Photo by DS Interior Design We'll continue to see mixed metals in the coming year (and beyond). But one such metal might not make it to the 2020 party.
Rose gold "has seemed to reach its expiration date," Purcell says. "Soft pinks and blushed hues are starting to see a decline, as this millennial trend is no longer considered a fresh idea."
"[Millennial] pink is starting to feel a little too soft and is starting to remind me of my grandmothers house," adds Brett Elron, owner and lead designer at BarterDesign.co.
This doesn't mean that pinks will disappear entirely from favor, they both note, but you can expect to see bolder shades of the rosy hue—think magentas and corals—as we transition into the new year.
Photo by Crescent Homes Sorry, Chip and Jo Gaines—the pros are ready to put this one out to pasture. With the meteoric rise of farmhouse design, every retailer big and small has jumped on the bandwagon, producing home goods in the quintessential "Fixer Upper" aesthetic. It was cool for a minute, but designers predict the villagers are getting restless with this ubiquitous look.
"These put-together trends lack unique personality. Mass-produced furniture feels impersonal, and many are opting for more unique, one-of-a-kind pieces, meaning you will likely see more eclectic style mixes, with heirlooms and vintage items making a comeback," Purcell says. "This is great, because it makes for an easy transition—you can still include some of your favorite farmhouse decor; just try mixing it with some more one-of-a kind finds to create a space that is truly your own."
Photo by KahrsLast year, we predicted the end of an era for gray, which had become design's go-to neutral. And indeed, warmer tones—light browns, toasty beiges, and creamy whites—have begun to beat out those icier hues. Expect more of that in 2020, but here's a twist: The truly hot 2020 neutral will be saturated and bold. (Are you sensing a theme here?)
"It's becoming quite popular to see more vibrant colors take the place of standard neutrals, like navy and emerald green," Purcell says.
"In 2020, there will be a resurgence of warm earth-tone hues, including champagne, mushroom, ochre, amber, and jade," Amato-Scotto adds.
Photo by Niche reDesign The dawn of a new decade is likely to bring a growing awareness of global warming and sustainability. (We've already seen a bit of backlash against fast fashion, and the waste it produces.) So you can expect that home furnishings that are not so eco-friendly are decidedly out.
"Let's be honest, home furnishings that are detrimental to the Earth were never trending," Amato-Scotto says. "But budget-friendly and short-life-span furniture has been popularized, which in turn end up in our landfills. As consumers are becoming more aware of their carbon footprint and reducing waste, products that are eco-friendly will be trending."
Photo by Javier Bravo Ah, the neon sign trend. We're not talking about the flickering Budweiser homage your husband has in the basement. We're talking about the catchy neon phrases showcased on Instagram by celebrities such as the Kardashians, Justin Bieber, and Bethenny Frankel, just to name a few.
But in 2020, we're flipping the switch on this trend—Instagram and Pinterest be damned.
"While neon signs look cool when illuminated at night or in a moody photo, during the day their effect lacks luster," Amato-Scotto says.
Don't unplug from this look entirely, though. Instead, Amato-Scotto predicts backlit art—with a twist—will gain popularity in 2020. In particular, she favors the work of Alan Strack, who creates backlit cinematic art with movie film.
"His pieces capture your attention and are truly a conversation piece"—and that's the kind of energy she says we'll be seeking in 2020.
Photo by Roger Oates Design Every one of us is probably guilty of buying bedding in a bag at some point. And why not? It's so easy! You get designerlike bedding in a kit, typically a comforter, two shams, and a couple of matching accent pillows. Voila! New bed.
But the problem with these effortless bedding packages is that, well, they scream "no effort," Amato-Scotto says.
"We are entering an age of authenticity, boldness, and personal expression," she says. "A bedding set doesn't allow for creative expression like custom bedding does."
That doesn't mean you have to break the bank with hand-sewn linens, but try seeking out individual items, adding layers, and mixing patterns and textures for an effect that's unique to you.
"We spend nearly half of our life in bed, so why not invest in these items?" Amato-Scotto says.
Photo by Skyring Architects Say what now? We know, it sounds like blasphemy. For years we haven't wavered from the idea of being able to see everybody in the kitchen while in the living room or even the dining room. But some of us have begun to tire of all the openness—and we're craving a little more privacy. That's especially true for millennials—who will be the single largest demographic of home buyers in 2020 and are eager to put back up some walls.
"The biggest revolt with millennials will be the desire for well-defined spaces for living, working, eating, and cooking," Riordan says.
October 11, 2019
The 30-year fixed-mortgage fell 8 basis points this week, averaging 3.57%, Freddie Mac reports. The lower rates are drawing out more home buyers in the fall market.
“Despite the economic slowdown due to weakening manufacturing and corporate investment, the consumer side of the economy remains on solid ground,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “The 50-year low in the unemployment rate combined with low mortgage rates has led to increased home buyer demand this year. Much of this strength is coming from entry-level buyers—the first-time home buyer share of the loans Freddie Mac purchased in 2019 is 46%, a two-decade high.”
Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Oct. 10:
September 16, 2019
Fewer new homes are being built with a fireplace, a sign the cold-weather amenity is falling out of favor with home buyers. A record low percentage of newly constructed single-family homes—41%—last year included a fireplace, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data from the National Association of Home Builders. The share of single-family homes with fireplaces has been declining since 2015, the NAHB reports.
“An obvious explanation for the declining trend is that builders are foregoing fireplaces in some of their homes so they can bring them in at prices their customers can afford,” the NAHB reports on its Eye on Housing blog. “Keeping new homes affordable has become a considerable challenge lately.”
Fireplaces are usually considered a desirable amenity but not a must-have, the NAHB notes. Fifty-five percent of buyers rate gas-burning fireplaces as desirable, while 48% say the same of wood-burning fireplaces as desirable, according to the survey. That places such features in the middle of the list of decorative features most sought-after in terms of desirability, according to the NAHB’s “What Home Buyers Really Want” survey. However, only 16% of buyers say either type of fireplace is essential in a home purchase.
Fireplaces are the most uncommon home feature in the lower price points of the market. For example, just 7% of new single-family homes started in 2018 that were priced under $150,000 had fireplaces. On the other hand, more than 60% of homes priced at $500,000 or above had a fireplace.
© National Association of Home Builders
“Share of New Homes With Fireplaces Drop to Record Low,” National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing blog (Sept. 16, 2019)
August 20, 2019
Debt can be stressful, and stress can be bad for your health. But some debt may actually be good for your health and even prolong your life, a new study from LendingTree suggests.
Researchers evaluated 797 U.S. counties on how various forms of debt—from mortgages to student loans—can possibly influence a person’s health and even life expectancy.
Notably, researchers found that a higher mortgage debt relative to income is linked with a higher life expectancy.
“That trend reaffirms the idea that homeownership is ultimately a good thing. This is despite the fact that a mortgage is one of the biggest financial decisions and burdens a person will take on in their lifetime,” researchers note.
Other forms of debt—like auto debt and personal loan debt—did not have the same link and actually generally corresponded with lower life expectancies, according to the study.
Counties with the highest life expectancy and their financial characteristics