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A new decade: A look at what will be on trend — and what's on its way out — in 2020

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

Well, hello, 2020.

In the blink of an eye — OK, maybe a tad longer than that — we’ve whipped through another decade.

And what a decade it’s been. It’s fair to say we certainly saw our share of ups and downs, not just as a region or state but as a nation. In just 10 years, we went through a massive recession, a government bailout of two of Detroit’s automakers and the city’s bankruptcy. 

But from that wreckage, we’ve clawed our way back and here we are. Detroit, now solvent, continues to open new businesses, restaurants, and hotels (and more will open next year; see the “In” list) what seems like every day. And construction is now underway on the first auto assembly plant to be built in the city in three decades. 

And what’s ahead? More change, growth and technology.

That applies to our homes too. Customization — such as custom-made cabinets to conceal appliances — will likely continue to evolve and get more advanced in home design.

And if you’re feeling the blues as 2020, you’re not alone. Deep blues, like Sherwin-Williams’ Naval and Pantone’s Classic Blue — both named a Color of the Year for 2020 — will be big in the new year.

“Navy is going to be a new neutral,” says interior designer Terry Ellis of Room Service Interior Design.

Troy interior designer Linda Shears of Linda Shears Designs says given the chaotic nature of the world today, biophilic design will permeate our homes in 2020. Biophilic describes the human tendency to interact or be closely associated with nature, she said.

But you don’t have to turn your home into a greenhouse, says Shears. Try using a mossy green hue on your walls or try hanging up botanical prints.

“Overscaled flora and fauna motifs are becoming more and more popular for accent walls or smaller spaces such as Powder Rooms,” said Shears. 

Secret Meadow, an almost 70s avocado hue, is part of Behr's 2020 Color Trends Palette.

And look for dedicated rooms with dedicated functions in 2020. Susan Todebush, general manager of the Michigan Design Center in Troy, says people are moving away from the open-concept floor plans that have been so popular over the last decade.

“People want quiet spaces,” said Todebush. “I’ve heard the terminology ‘zen den.’” 

What most of us want in the year ahead in this busy world — especially with another presidential election ahead of us — is a refuge. And that’s our homes.

So as Detroit continues to bubble with promise and new beginnings (even with its challenges), let’s embrace the new year, new decade and the power of possibility. You never know what’s ahead. 


1. Curved sofas 

2. Slab tile 

3. Concealed appliances

4. Sherwin-Williams’ Naval

5. ’70s colors

6. Clever cabinets and storage

7. Black and white chic 

8. Colorful kitchens

9. Art deco

10. Rooms with a dedicated function

11. Pantone’s Classic Blue

12. Panel headboards

13. Double floating bathroom vanities

14. Large standalone showers

15. Patchwork rawhide rugs

16. Houseplants

17. Vintage art and accents

18. Behr’s Back to Nature

19. Organic furniture

20. Colorful laundry rooms

21. Zen dens

22. Textured rugs

23. Butcher Block countertops

24. Floral and fauna motifs

25. The Magnolia Network

26. The Property Brothers’ new magazine

27. Detroit Football Club Women’s Team

28. Highlands Steakhouse atop the Ren Cen 

29. Temple Detroit

30. Cambria Detroit

31. Detroit’s Oak and Reel restaurant

32. Oudolf Garden Detroit

33. 2020 Ford Bronco

34. Foldable Smartphones

35. The new “Party of Five”

36. “Wonder Woman 1984”

37. Live action “Mulan”

38. Baby Yoda

39. 2020 Summer Olympics in Toyko

40. “Legally Blonde 3” 


1. Oversized furniture

2. Subway tile 

3. Energy inefficient appliances

4. Sherwin-Williams’ Oceanside

5. Beige

6. Open storage

7. Gray on gray

8. All white kitchens

9. Industrial decor

10. Open concept everything

11. Pantone’s Coral

12. Vessel sinks

13. Dysfunctional bathrooms

14. Mosaic tile 

15. Wall-to-wall carpeting

16. Fake plants

17. Mass produced accents

18. Behr’s Blueprint

19. Disposable furniture

20. Barn doors

21. Clutter

22. Undersized rugs

23. Granite counters

24. Popcorn ceilings

25. HGTV’s “Fixer Upper”

26. Netflix’s “Anne with an E”

27. The Palace of Auburn Hills

28. Coach Insignia

29. Russell Street Deli

30. Bd’s Mongolian Grill in Royal Oak

31. Clawson’s Da Nang

32. Joe Louis Arena

33. Chevrolet Impala

34. Land lines

35. The original “Party of Five”

36. “Wonder Woman”

37. The animated “Mulan”

38. The Star Wars Sequel Trilogy

39. Winter Olympics in PyeongChang

40. “Legally Blonde 2”