Decorating trends that are out in 2020 | an opinion piece

Marian ParsonsAll Things Home, Decorating72 Comments

When I was searching for something related to decorating a few days ago, I noticed one of the top searches suggested by Google was “Decorating trends that are out.”  I didn’t give it much thought initially, but it stuck with me for a few minutes and I gave it a little bit more of my attention.  Why is that one of the top searches suggested by Google in relation to decorating?

Behind each internet search, there is a need…  We’re looking for information, something we want to purchase, a place we want to visit.  We want to satisfy our curiosity or be in the know.  So, what is the need behind a search on decorating trends that are out?  What is at the heart of that search?

decorating trends 2020 | miss mustard seed

I’m sure some people are searching it out of pure curiosity or maybe they are looking for some snarky, entertaining article bashing chevron and jute-wrapped bottles.  But I think there are many people who are looking for validation.  They are really asking, “Are my decorating choices okay?  Does my house meet the approval of experts?”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t look around my house wondering if something is in or out, like it’s a contestant on Project Runway.  I don’t ask if it’s trendy or popular or if the collective culture likes it.  What motivates me to leave something or change it is if I like it.

decorating trends 2020 | blue and white | living room | decorating ideas | miss mustard seed

In looking around for what’s out in 2020, here are just a few of the decorating trends that are deemed out of style by experts…

  • conventional kitchen islands (the cantilever design is in)
  • geometric prints (does that mean checks, too?)
  • cool tones (all of them?)
  • open shelving (never?)
  • subway tile (no way)
  • real marble (they clearly haven’t been to Europe)
  • archways (same as above)
  • white kitchens (is that even possible?)

Given that I love cool tones, have a white kitchen with some open shelving, subway tile, a conventional island, just used real marble in my entire bathroom makeover, love buffalo check, and have a couple of archways in my living room, my entire house is “out” in some form or fashion.

white kitchen | marble backsplash | green kitchen island | decorating ideas | trends | miss mustard seed

Rubbish.

Whether something in your home hits all of the latest decorating trends is really irrelevant.  You can live in a perfectly trendy home, outfitted with all of the latest it things, and absolutely hate it.  On the flip side, some of your favorite decorating moments in your home, the ones that make you pause and smile, the ones that make it really feel like your home, can be on the out list and it doesn’t make you love or enjoy them any less.

So, let’s not worry about trends.

Let’s focus on a more valuable question…  “What do I love and what feels like home?”

And you can’t find the answer to that question in an internet search.

Decorating trends that are out in 2020 | an opinion piece

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72 Comments on “Decorating trends that are out in 2020 | an opinion piece”

  1. I have been enjoying your blog for just a few days and am trying to get caught up on your previous posts. I must say I really enjoy everything about your blog. Your design sense is wonderful and I truly appreciate the budget-conscious ideas you share. This post gave me pause because I am in total agreement with you on decorating trends and the famous “do” and “don’t” lists. I am an interior designer specializing in kitchen and bath designs and people are constantly asking me what is trending and what will not look dated in a few years. If I had the answer to that question, I’d have it made! My suggestion, same as yours, is to design your house to reflect your tastes, wishes, dreams, and budget and not worry about what “experts” dream up to sell more products. Trends have to constantly change in order to keep the industry moving. Keep the skeleton of your home…those things that are expensive, difficult, and disruptive… neutral and put color, texture, and pattern where it is easy and inexpensive to change as your taste and interests change. Thanks for letting me put my two cents in on that.

  2. Your home (s) are lovely. I love everything about them. I can’t wait to log on and get a glimpse every day! When I am have a particular trying day at school, and let’s face it, that is daily at the present time, I race home and peruse your blog and I feel the stress melt away. I agree with you…our homes should be what makes us happy! Happy decorating!

  3. I believe some people who look for those lists are anticipating selling their homes, and want to do what may please potential buyers. That, I can understand. But for the most part, I think we should make our homes comfortable, appealing, and functional for us. If that includes open shelving and marble tile, who cares what other people think?

    Honestly, the whole concept of what is “in” or “out” of fashion frustrates the living daylights out of me. I once actually had a salesperson tell me that the reason I could not find a navy blue suit was, and I quote, “They’re not showing navy this season.” And don’t get me started on the whole strapless wedding gown era, when you couldn’t find a sleeve unless you hired a seamstress to design and sew a custom dress.

    Your home is beautiful, both in how it looks, and how you and your family live in it. I love seeing Sebastian and your kitties making themselves at home, and your attitude when you scratched the freshly refinished floor. Home is more than four walls and a roof – it’s where you are most comfortable, and feel most safe.

  4. Totally, totally agree with you. I’ve never been one to decorate or buy just to keep up with trends. Having followed your blog for years now, you have shown us over and over again how style/decorating is personal, and whatever you do has to work for you and your family.
    Of course, you do have talents and time management skills that some us of envy! Just keep on doing you!

  5. I always feel that the people who need to know if something is “in” or “out” don’t really know who THEY are. They haven’t developed their own personal style…whether that is fashion or in their home. There are certain things I’m just NOT going to wear because they aren’t “me” no matter who thinks they are trendy. Same in my home. Homes that are bought in one or two major shopping trips to a furniture or craft store look like that. A showroom…not a home. I love your home. It’s you.

  6. I agree with you 100% ! Someone commented that perhaps people are searching because they want to sell their home. Recently, more and more people are choosing colors, tile and many other household finishes, not because they like them but because they might someday sell their home. I’ve always felt that they were not enjoying their home to it’s fullest extent. That they were living with someone else’s choices. When I’m finished with my home, someone else can decide what to choose. Anyway, thats my two cents worth! Have a great day!

  7. I agree 100% that your home should reflect your taste and that your house should work hard for you – not the other way around. I do think there is a bit of value in looking at trends when you are making big, long-term changes to your home. For example, 10 years ago when we were building our house, if I had referenced a few articles about trends, I would have made slightly different tile layout choices. Even nearly a decade later I really like the tile I chose in our house and it is a timeless style, but a different layout would have made it “evergreen”. While in/out articles shouldn’t be the driver of decisions, they can play a small role from time to time.
    I really like your blog and gather great ideas from you. I tend to have a casual, traditional style and I’m not the type to be constantly moving things from here to there in my house. This post is a light and easy way to consider the role of trends!

  8. Trends are set by retailers so they ensure having customers in the future. Live with what YOU love.

  9. I always loved this quote by William Morris:

    “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

    Enough said.

  10. This is such an important message to be shared in this world of social media! I think you are an inspiration when it comes to finding out own way. I love to recommend your Home Design Doodle Book for this reason.

  11. What I like about your style is that it is YOU, and not cookie cutter farmhouse-on-TV. I love your china, your stoneware, your cow pictures. I might not pick it for myself, but I love the way your house is so warm and cozy and relaxed. Your old stuff is actually old, not just fake old. It matters. And, I **just** this week finished a marble-look bathroom reno, because marble is classic (hello, Europe!) I like plain and simple fixed elements so I can change things up with art and accessories inexpensively. I did pick a marble-look with a warmer undertone, because that’s the way the trend wind is blowing, but no regrets.

  12. Amen! – that’s all I really wanted to say but I got an error when trying to post! Anyway, great article – I agree with everything you said! Amen!

  13. I could not agree more. An eye on the trends is fine, but don’t let someone tell you what you like or makes you feel comfortably at home. As we say in the south, “ Preach on, Sister”

  14. Trends have to change (as I understand!) to keep people buying but most people cannot afford to keep up with that or don’t want to in any case. As long as your home is warm & appealing to yourself and your family, then I would say you are “trendy”. Love your painting & decorating & hope you keep it up!!

  15. I am trying to identify what is consistently beautiful and somewhat timeless in style and not what goes in and out. I feel like it is just waste in the long run. I want to be more thoughtful about the process and but also aware that my aesthetic is being influenced on many levels by someone else’s opinion. I do like to incorporate some trends but ask myself, can I live with this in 5 years? Would I have liked this 5 years ago? Marble, white kitchens and open shelving are never out of style but they can become dated if combined with a whole trendy look. I like you being you, Marian. I have gotten many ideas from projects you did like the office paneling and your bathroom remodel, even though we have different styles that appeal to each of us and work in our homes.

  16. Totally agree with you!! Love that you use a lot of what looks like Lakeland fabric in your home. I just love it. Thanks for the input. Really enjoy your blog.

  17. We are about to build our retirement home and I’m planning on: white kitchen, cool colors, subway tile. Whoops. 😉😂

  18. I love this post and completely agree is all you have said!
    My house has lots of “out of style” features too apparently. Haha
    And yet as I cozy it up for fall and add more of the simple things I love, things that have age and interest, I live it more and more and if feels like a real loved in home to me.

    – and I disagree with some of the “out” trends. Cool tons are still everywhere, the warmer tones I’m seeing are truest still cool.
    And white kitchens will never go out of style, at least mine 😉 I hope in always have a white kitchen just like both my grandmas did.

  19. Thank you for this post. As a 73 year old homeowner I am proud of the fact that I have always made my own home decorating choices with regard only to what I like and enjoy. Without fail , people entering my home remark that it looks just like me! I take that as a compliment for it reflects my personality, for better or worse!

  20. I loved this posting. I have a funny story. Two friends came for lunch a few weeks ago. We got into a decorating discussion. We were sitting in my kitchen and one of the gals went on about how much she hated white kitchen cabinets ( my cabinets are white and my husband made them himself in his wood shop). She went on about marble counter tops and white subway tile ( we have them both in our kitchen). Yes……I still fed her lunch. : )

  21. I love your style. I think we should decorate our homes with the things that we love. If toile is your thing and ‘they’ say it’s out of style, who cares. Some things are timeless.
    It’s impossible to keep up with trends and it’s expensive to be constantly remodeling.

  22. I agree with your comments about decorating trends My decorating choices reflect what I like and I feel that is the way one should approach decorating. Why have something in one’s home that isn’t liked or enjoyed? That would make no sense to me.

  23. Timely topic! It has been tugging at me for some time. I love following beautiful spaces but what speaks to me the most is typically the more classic style sprinkled with a touch of whimsy, or modern, eclectic touches. A well loved and lived-in home to provide comfort and happy memories for your family. Trends are fun for sure and many are beautiful and some may stay along for awhile, but a comfortable and cozy traditional space warms my heart!

  24. My home does not have a white kitchen, subway tile, a farm house vibe, ship lap or shelves of iron stone, but I would be a liar if I said I haven’t been influenced by trends featured in magazines, HGTV shows and by bloggers . I hope I am smart enough to not spend my money chasing the latest decorating rage. However, I do enjoy seeing how other people fill and use their space. I get inspired by their ideas, and I pick and choose what aspects to incorporate into my home.

  25. That has always been my way of thinking I like what I like I don’t care what the trend is if it’s in or out if I liked it it stays if I don’t it goes. And I never listen to designers especially the ones who think they know it all because they do the trendy stuff and then six months later it’s out of Style LOL

  26. This was enjoyable and I loved your Instagram story on the same. Like you, I know what I like and what works for me. Warm colors? I have never NOT had warm colors! So girl…I be in style for a bit and you be outta style for a bit! We will be fine!

  27. You are spot on. If you love it, live with it! I painted furniture in the 1990’s when painting “good wood” was frowned upon. I also decorated in toiles and Chinoiserie before anyone knew what it was. I’ve always happily followed my own path.

  28. I have never been on trend partly because of financial constraints in the past but mostly because I’ve always bought what I loved. I’ve bought second hand and antiques for 30 plus years and I can honestly say that I love my home. My things have never dated because they’ve never been in fashion so I guess they’re more timeless. Even if they were ‘dated’ or off trend I wouldn’t care because I love my choices and It feels like home. I think ‘on trend‘ could be the decor version of ‘cookie cutter’ it’s nice for some but not everyone wants their home to look the same.

  29. Oh boy, we just finished the marble backsplash and the painter is due next month to spray our cabinets white. In 2015 my husband did a marble backsplash in our home that we sold a year later. I’ve been moaning about it ever since, along with the dingy, dirty looking off white cabinets I now have. Guess what? I think the off white look is supposed to be “in” but nothing anyone says would make me alter my plan. I loved the marble then and I love it now.
    Marble is classic and so is white no matter where you put it. Some of the recent before and after features I’ve seen lately are showing rooms where the ‘before’ is more appealing. I had the quintessential cherry kitchen with brass hardware and loved it for 20 years until brass became so taboo and everyone jumped on the satin finish nickel bandwagon. My new champagne bronze hardware and faucet arrived today so I imagine that they too will make the list of what’s out. At the end of the day, living with what we like is a privilege no matter if it’s on the in or out list. We should all be so lucky.

  30. Amen-finally, some sanity. It’s always best to settle your soul into “your surroundings” and make your home about the people in it. Trends are just that…trends. Here today, gone tomorrow.
    Your home is beautiful and inspiring. If I walked into your home, not knowing anything about you or your business, I would immediately know that an artist lives in there, who cherishes unique vintage finds.
    Your blog approach is to teach and share advice about your success. I did see you that you are now considered an influencer. I consider you more of an inspirer. I thought rich celebrities (Kardashians) are influencers. What is an influencer? I don’t understand? Hope your shoulder is in tip top shape.

  31. Amen, sistah!!! And to ME the ultimate question isn’t even if I love my home or not – it is how does family, how do friends old and new FEEL when they are here. Do they feel comfortable? Special? Loved? Happy? Calm? Well fed and entertained? To me that is the most important thing of all. That they love being here in our home in our company, in our lives.

    Those kinds of articles I loathe for so many reasons, mainly due to the fact that it is all based on negativity.

    I think I read that same article and just can’t believe that this kind of dribble is even out there. Who CARES what a negative Nancy thinks is in or not? Good post, Marian. I truly could not agree with you more. Thank you for that.

  32. We are living in a temporary house while we remodel
    our retirement home. It was redecorated in the early 90’s and has white painted wood cabinets, white 4″4″ backsplash tiles, and a charcoal grey vinyl floor. The wallpaper is a floral on a black ground. I rather like it! White kitchens and cool colors are never “out” in my book. Love your blog, Marian!

  33. IMO, too many people follow Pinterest and store catalog “design” without recognizing that they are being manipulated by sales-driven marketing. It’s all fad-based: here today and passé tomorrow…and disposable. I wish that more people would learn about the elements of good interior design, like proportion, scale, lighting, function, color and texture balance, and good quality furniture made to last (like antiques!). With the basics in place, then it’s all about adding the details that reflect what you love and makes your home unique to you. I keep waiting for the pendulum to swing back to this way of thinking. This is why your blog is one of my favorites, not because I want my home to look exactly like yours, but because you show how to be true to your own aesthetic! You inspire me with all of your artistic endeavors. And like you, I am a sucker for an antique shop that has affordable finds.

  34. Your home style is just like fashion….ever changing. Of course, this agenda is what they promote. Gotta keep the sales coming. Only nutty people would rip out perfectly good subway title, a kitchen island or beautiful arches to keep up with treads. I say do what YOU want. What YOU enjoy living with. It will just drive you crazy keeping up with it all.
    I love the 1930’s-1940’s….and I am keeping it!!!!!

  35. Girl if you are “out” the I’m “in” with you. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from you (and there are SO many) it’s that you follow your heart and your gut and you make your home YOUR home.

  36. My “decorating” philosophy is to surround myself with beauty. That can come in many forms. My dads old repaired with wire rosary, something from a thrift store, or my new marble surround fireplace. Be true to yourself folks!

  37. I have always wanted my home (whether a dorm room, apartment, or house) to be attractive and cozy, but trendy? Only if the current trend speaks to me. I don’t have the money to be constantly changing things out, and I don’t have your love for upcycling furniture, but I DO love keeping things tidy and attractive and making sure my family is eating tasty and (mostly) healthy food. So I will keep cooking in my white kitchen with faux white marble countertops and I’ll be happy while I do it. (BTW–white kitchens WERE trending when we put in our kitchen, and I was disappointed by that–I had wanted a white kitchen for forever and I dislike doing what “everyone” is doing–but I still went with white and love my choice).

  38. Amen sister! Home trends come and home trends go- and it can be fun to see what is in and what is out (remember the geese and country blue themes from the 80’s??) But we should never feel guilty about our home choices. What brings us joy and comfort is what really counts. A clean and well lit room with a comfortable spot to sit, read and enjoy our families. Really- what else counts? Love your blog and love your choices- I never feel jealous that my apartment does not look like your beautiful home. I just enjoy what you have to share and I feel happy when I read your blog. Thanks for sharing your home. God Bless!

  39. I SOOOO agree! Who’s to say if something is ‘out’? If you like it, it speaks to you, makes it feel like home…then it’s ‘in’ for you! Don’t listen to some ‘expert’ to tell you how to make your house/dwelling feel like “home” to you! I don’t follow trends or the current ‘craze’. Dress/decorate your home for what suits you and revel in it. Be your own style-maker 🙂

  40. Actually i feel that one cannot life for someone elses taste. No matter what a new owner will change things around to suit themselves. So live well yourself and have only things that you love.

  41. I read this post with amusement. Decades ago, we newly married wives were gifted with second-hand items from our families, new purchases rare. I have rarely been able to keep up with decorating trends. And I don’t want to! To me, finding a home style is like figuring out fashion for yourself. It’s a process and trends come and go. You eventually arrive at what pleases you. Your home is so beautiful and classic. And classics NEVER go out of style!

  42. I am right there with all y’all!! I want my house to have what I love in it, those things that make me smile and reflect my interests and humor. But, I also don’t want it to look like the old maiden aunt who never changed their style to reflect modernity. It makes me cringe when I look at old Country Living magazines from the 80’s and realized, I loved that style–I certainly wouldn’t want my house to look like that now. So while yes, I want to have my own style and tastes I also don’t want a terribly dated house. So it is a balancing act to ignore “Trends” and adopting those trends that bring your house more up to date but I just installed a LOT of white subway tile in the kitchen and bathrooms (but I put in encaustic colorful highly patterned tile too) in a WHITE kitchen, with a blue conventional island. Love it, love it, love it.

  43. well said Marian , I am often frustrated by trends as a designer, I always feel a home should reflect the personality and loves of the people in it and definitely not be driven by what’s’ in’ and what’s ‘out ‘ . there’s a reason why half of the things on the google list are design classics!! happy weekend xx

  44. Great post Marian~

    I tend to go the opposite of trends and I haven’t quite figured that out. I love things that have been loved, I love things that others don’t love, and I rarely look at what’s new or “trending.” I feel much of that is about marketing, and trends seems to come around cyclically anyway. I like feeling like my home is a warm blanket~ safe and secure, as well as visually appealing to my heart and mind.

    I was the last person I knew to wear black .. and when I did, I loved it~ the same with browns..

    All that being said.. I just finished a bathroom with white 4×8 subway tile..I read subway tile was on it’s was “on it’s way out” and it’s beautiful. I painted my laundry room SW Tinsmith~ a gray with blue undertones…even though gray’s are “on the way out” too. I love that too ~ it’s soft and looks beautiful with my white cabinets.

    My home is a statement of who I am~ ever changing, open, and home.

    Wonderful post, thank you~
    Cynthia

  45. Amen. You decorate with what you love and what makes you happy. My 100-year old house came with pink walls, archways and vinyl floors and carpeting throughout the house. Let’s just say it now has beautiful subway tile in the kitchen, bathroom, and the whole house is painted white. So my cute little house is so not trendy, but who cares. I live there and I am extremely happy with it

  46. Your home is timeless. That’s what’s so lovely and comfortable about it. I see trends on home design shows and think how “fun” that looks, but in 5 to 10 years it will be very dated. The average person can’t afford to redo his or her home every 5 years. Love, love, love all your content, especially your fur babies!!!!

  47. The decorating industry is on obsessive change with the “ins” and “outs”. Please yourself, I say. And when what pleases you changes, go ahead and change according to your own whims. I know people hated my all (and I do mean ALL) cranberry red kitchen. But I loved it for 20 years. And then I changed (and inherited some money) so changed the whole house interior to something entirely different. And I love it. Who else matters? It is nice that others admire the beauty but what I like it that it is exactly the way I like it. Ha ha–for now.

  48. First thing, big ticket items, choose classic, marble tile is classic, I personally don’t think it will ever be out of style. Trends, choose items that can be changed out easily, pillow covers, paint. If you love something, it speaks to you, it’s your style. I adore seashells, I have large collections, they stay out all the time, not just summer. But my house doesn’t scream beach theme. Your collections, your house should be your style, not someone else’s.

  49. I grew up in a 100 year-old farmhouse and I am now living in a different 106-year-old farmhouse, neither of which have ever had a “farmhouse sink”. None of the farms I ever visited during my rural Wisconsin childhood had a “farmhouse sink”. I see “farmhouse sinks” in almost every new build in the city in which I now live; interesting, hmmm? My brother lives in Manhattan and I love visiting him and seeing the sights there, where subway tiles do, indeed, line the very very old subway stops and platforms. My brother’s 90+ year old apartment also has a kitchen lined in those same old subway tiles.

    Much of what is hyped as current may or may not be rooted in history and a person may or may not like it. When I was married in the 80’s I could not find any furniture or carpets in the color blue, anywhere. It just wasn’t done. Now, a gray dirge has swept the country and I swear I am entering a penal colony every time I enter a new house…gray gray everywhere and not a color for miles. I couldn’t live in a place painted with “warm” colors; they would rev me up to an unmanageable degree, while I have friends who could never live with my blues and greens and creams. We are all different and that is good. If you don’t judge my place, I won’t judge yours (unless it is all gray…)

  50. Thanks for posting! As you say “…decorating trends that are deemed out of style by experts,” = truly irrelevant. It’s purely marketing.

  51. My house is filled with family heirlooms, hand me down pieces from friends and family, sewing projects made by me, a wall color that I love which is not on trend but works with my more traditional style. We live in North Carolina where it is still easy to find sturdy furniture pieces made with solid wood back when NC dominated furniture making. My favorite buffet with hutch is solid maple, I love the china that belonged to my Great Grandmother (Limoges from the early 1900s), the linens I have found in Goodwill, and the pictures I bought in thrift stores for a dollar, the wonderful hand-me-downs from family members who redecorated and offered me their unwanted items. My favorite is the antique clock that has been in my family since the 1860s. It has been passed down, repaired, and used through generations. And yes, as my husband once told me “Our house looks like grandparents live here.” He is absolutely correct, but my grandparents were a haven of love and safety in my childhood so our house makes me happy.

  52. I love this blog post. And all of the comments! We are real women with real families. Our homes should refect our own sense of style. The most important part of home is that it is where we live. Our home as young parents with 4 little children looked a bit different than when had 4 teenagers. Now we are empty nesters with adult children, so our needs have changed. Someday we may have grandchildren, and I expect our home to reflect that part of our lives as well.

  53. I would be in big trouble then. All the things I like seem to be out of style. I have what I like and use and change them when I no longer want them. Most things stay with me for a long time.
    Your home is fabulous and cozy.

  54. You sure hit a HOT topic!
    I agree, with the above!
    Love making my home suit me and making those that visit feel comfortable.
    I will say this…you have inspired me to collet Ironstone and boy do I love it!!! !♥️

  55. Well said, our homes and “our” homes, so why should we fill them with trends that are dreamed up from designers who have never met us or our homes! Some trends are beautiful and possible, but most wouldn’t fit into any of our “real” homes. Our homes should reflect who we are and not what some random stranger thinks we are or what we need. I’m so happy you wrote about this in your blog!!!!! Thank you for your insight, thank you for letting us see into your beautiful home, thank you for your inspiration, and beautiful talent.

  56. Love this!! I saw the first comment left by a designer and could t agree with what she said more, so much of it is industry driven to sell more (and because creative get bored creating the same thing over and over, which I understand because I am one). I painted my last kitchen white in CO 6 years ago and you k ow what? I just painted my new kitchen white, because I live in WA state now and it’s so cloudy all the time that anything else looks like a cave and I’m depressed to be in it. Same with my walls, cool tones to reflect light. The designer who helped me wanted me to go moodier in some rooms, and they were pretty, but too dark for us sun loving peeps. People here love out house, and it feels good to hear it. But I’ve learned so much about decorating, and what makes a house a home isn’t trends and decor, it’s memories made and a sense of family and belonging. (A comfortable seat and good food help too)

  57. Bravo! I could care less what the latest trends are. I decorate with what I like and what makes me happy. I’m glad you do too.

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