Read this before you settle on a home redecorating plan! Anita Bloom, Creative Director for Decorex Africa, unpacks some of the trends of 2020 and reveals how we can transform our living spaces this year.

1. Get back to nature with Contemporary Organic style

A major trend coming to our shores is the Contemporary Organic style, which uses natural materials alongside contemporary lines. We’ll opt for cosy, tactile spaces that reference natural elements – think wooden floors, burnt timber cladding, textured stone, feathers, indoor plants, even dried branches. “We’re moving away from sleek materials and sharp architectural lines as ultra-modern design adopts softer, more texturally rich touches: furniture with sensual forms or timber with an irregular grain,” says Bloom.

Get the look: Furniture made of unrefined natural materials will be popular – think rustic stools and seating sculptures – along with handcrafted rugs and fabrics. “Fireplaces are back and they bring flickering light and undeniable cosiness to living rooms, as do table lamps, candles and lanterns,” says Bloom.

2. Make multifunctional furniture a focal point

With the world ever more chaotic, many of us are living, working and playing in the cosy space in which we feel safest. Our homes will reflect this new, fluid lifestyle, where repurposed rooms mean a whole new approach to furnishings. An open-floor living arrangement between kitchen and lounge means we can socialise where we cook, as well as work or study at the kitchen table. Along with this trend comes multifunctional furniture design, which also suits if you’re considering downsizing your home.

Get the look: “Look for furniture items that provide you with options in a variety of spaces – like sofas with several accessories as part of their structure, which you can configure according to whether you want to work, relax, study, store objects or recharge electronic devices,” says Bloom.

3. Revel in texture and tactility

In a digital age, we’re crying out for more contact with the physically tangible. We loved Scandi design, but we’re ready to embrace a softer, more homely look. We’ll be celebrating form and texture in abundance, along with luxuriant forms of self-expression. When it comes to furniture, this means chubby, elephantine pieces that evoke a sense of comfort.

Get the look: “Opt for rounder, organic shapes with a slightly retro look, like velvet armchairs or ottomans,” says Bloom. “Maximalist statements are in, along with charmingly awkward shapes, so don’t be afraid of bold statement items that express your personality.”


4. Look to the East for inspiration

A mash-up of Scandinavian and Asian trends will be huge this year, like Japandi (a blend of Scandi and traditional Japanese details) and Wabi Sabi (the Japanese notion that imperfection is beautiful and life is impermanent). This hybrid design trend allows us to create uncluttered, function-driven spaces that are elegant and beautifully patterned, with rich tones adding warmth to a more neutral palette. Chinoiserie (a Western interpretation of Chinese motifs and techniques) is also making a comeback.

Get the look: “Look out for lacquered cabinets, oversized paper lamps and Chinoiserie wallpaper, along with items that celebrate good craftsmanship, a hallmark of the Japandi style and an antidote to throwaway culture,” advises Bloom.


5. Celebrate everything handmade

Handcrafted items and textile arts are making a comeback – in part as a reaction against the ubiquity of technology, but also because they’re so homely and charming. Accompanying this trend is the move towards artisanal design – look out for bold abstracts and linear art on fabric, ceramics and stationery, as well as artworks featuring hand-painted lines, visible brushstrokes and energetic doodles. Making your mark is in!

Get the look: “Opt for pieces that show evidence of traditional woodworking methods, Vienna straw – a classic pattern for woven furniture that’s re-emerging this year – and handcrafted ceramics,” says Bloom. “Textile arts are likely to loom large in 2020. Look out for big, beautiful, tactile statement pieces for walls – they’ll make our living spaces that much warmer and more welcoming.”

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