Five interior design trends coming to SA in 2020

Scandinavian minimalism is out, here's what we can expect to replace it.


Living in South Africa we can guarantee that the clothes, furniture, designs and even alcohols in our stores are not on the cutting edge and we often find trends catch on here as much a season later than they do in the other parts of the world.

On the plus side, this makes it really easy to pick the upcoming trends as only the most impactful and beautiful things are going to make their way to our shores. So here then are five interior design trends that are guaranteed to be big in 2020.

Natural materials

Contrasting natural materials such as the rug and cabinet create a modern, but timeless look. Credit: Instagram

We have already seen how raw wood is making a huge come back over the past few years, but signs from Europe are that this trend will only be getting bigger, and will be expanding into other natural materials.

Concrete types like Beton or weathered steel offer a delightful contrast with the raw woods that are already finding a place in our homes. A greater degree of mimicry in engineered and Sintered Stone means that there is going to be greater scope for stone surfaces, which will contrast perfectly with a variety of high-shine mixed-metal furniture.

Picture a natural textile, or wool rug, next to a stone pot plant with a brass polished standing lamp.

Velvet upholstery

Red velvet upholstery on a modern curved design adds a sense of opulence. Credit: Instagram

With the world growing seemingly more difficult the trend in homes is to make things more nurturing particularly in places like the bedroom. Velvet is making an enormous comeback on headboards as its soft silky appeal gives the bedroom a gentler take than previous hard-edged or minimalist designs.

Velvet furniture in the rest of the house is here too, but not of the vintage kind. The trick is going to be using modern furniture shapes then giving them a dash of the vintage with velvet upholstery. As an additional bonus choose a bright, eye-catching colour to create an appealing centrepiece to a room.

Bold colour

Touches of bold colour add flare to a room. Credit: Instagram

The trend for the last few years has been to greys, but now the pendulum is swinging the other way with designers saying they are seeing more eye-catching colour in both furniture and interior design. Jewel tones, in particular, have become a hit for the past year.

Richly saturated hues like sapphire blue, ruby red, amethyst purple, citrine yellow, and emerald green are being used as counterpoints to bring a touch of opulence to design in furniture, curtains and wall paints.

This is now moving into even brighter spaces with a return to designer Ettore Sottsass Memphis Group designs where bright colours are purposefully put together to clash. While we may never see the total extremes witnessed in the 80s, having a seat that is both bright purple and orange will be very on-trend.

If you aren’t into bold colours then the space to be is in blush. This is the seasonal colour hot seat, and we can expect to find splashes of it everywhere from upholstery to drapery and rugs. Designers say it casts a flattering glow and encourages relaxation.

Handmade or custom furniture

Eye-catching and custom made table and chair. Credit: Instagram

We still live in a new age of the artisan and there is little more fashionable than a custom-designed and crafted piece of handmade furniture. If you can make that piece of our reclaimed wood then your sustainable piece of furniture is exactly what everyone will be looking for.

Reclaimed wood gives a home warmth and your new piece will already be imbued with a history that hints at it having a story to tell.

Having a piece designed to fit a specific space, or customising it directly for your needs make it instantly one of a kind and therefore noticeable. Don’t be afraid of playing around to create something that is clearly a reflection of who you are. It’s slightly more expensive, but it will stand out from the crowd.

Curved lines

Designer Nick Olsen showcases curved design. Credit: Instagram

Everything is moving toward a softer looked. Expect more curved lines in furniture design, with beds, in particular, starting to appear more all-encompassing. The four-poster bed is back with a vengeance.

Curves on couches, chairs, and headboards will encourage people to settle in and get comfortable while adding just a touch of the vintage. Along with the curves designers are looking to add a sense of luxury and a touch of opulence. And due to these two trends, Art deco is now back in a big way.