Throughout her work as a Sydney-based interior designer, property stylist and media presenter, Jane Thomson is exposed to more trends than most. And after 30 years in the business, she has an intimate perspective on the Aussie interior design scene.
“Australians are far more selective than we give ourselves credit for. We don’t just slavishly follow the latest overseas design trends and I don’t see this as a bad thing at all. Ultimately, Australians love a style that will stand the test of time,” says Jane who shares her top five interior design trends to watch out for in 2020.
1. Personal expression: Repurposing and sustainability
This 2020 prediction is a favourite of mine and it’s driven by our universal need for sustainability. How many times have we seen furniture sitting forlornly on the roadside edge waiting for the council clean up?
The question is; ‘Could it be repurposed?’ Possibly. Buying an item brand new is cheaper and easier (and keeps the Harvey Norman or Freedom furniture cash registers ticking over) but think of those weekends, and time wasted trudging through retail establishments to find a piece that resonates.
Repurposing in my book is pretty simple. Repurposing an old piece of furniture is not only sustainable, but allows us as individuals to make a statement about ourselves. It saves money and resources but it does take time, and requires some imagination. At home you may have a piece that can be refurbed and you can really personalise the piece. Gumtree is a goldmine for old pieces just screaming to be repurposed.
To ‘zhoosh’ a discarded piece of furniture is an opportunity for you to say something about how you feel. Take an old battered timber buffet for example – a lick of paint, sand, apply some milk paint/lime wash, some new sexy handles and hey presto! Here’s your new bespoke designer item! Curate your new piece with your favourite piece of artwork and you will have a personalised and sustainable space that screams ‘you’!
Incorporating a mish mash of different design styles isn’t new, but sadly it has gone to the Gods over the last few years. For 2020, I do hope this design style takes off. Eclectic interiors are far more interesting, and just like the previous trend, allow you to speak about yourself through your living space.
3. Wall paneling
This fabulous trend is something of a time-honoured tradition (Interiors Addict has been espousing its virtues for some time!), after all it has been around a while. I am hoping this is a trend that people will really run with in 2020. Paneling is a relatively inexpensive way of imparting architectural detail and depth to a space. There are a plethora of materials and styles out there. Whether it’s 1920’s style battening (love!) to a coastal feel using V joint paneling (available inexpensively through well-known hardware suppliers), it delivers a million dollar feel.
In addition to this, with so many new apartment builds, and many people having to turn to apartment living, developers don’t have the budgets to create inspiring interiors. Paneling over white uninspiring plaster board brings greater architectural merit to the space for little outlay.
If you feel like a more elegant vibe take a look at bolection moulding. Its origins are French (Parisian actually) and the trend has been around for a while. It takes a little more time to design, but the results will make you smile. It really is a classic look that’ll stand the test of time.
For years we seem to have forgotten curves but nature doesn’t have many straight lines or angles, so it is refreshing to see the return of something that resonates with everyone.
Given that more people are living alone and at least half of these are women, a curved interior, in my opinion, resonates with the feminine psyche. Men also seem to like it. Curves deliver a calm, soothing environment which is something we all need regardless of our gender.
The curves that we find in spaces such as hallways (archways) now pay homage to curves past, but in a cleaner less obvious way. Lines can be sharp, but the design integrates rather than shouting ‘Look at me, I’m a curve!’
5. Large scale art = YAY!!
This is a 2020 design trend prediction that is close to my heart. My design idiom has always been ‘go big or go home.” Never have I been an art exponent of the small and piddling, unless of course it’s a Drysdale or Nolan! Large art ALWAYS works, no matter the size of the space. Teeny tiny rooms sing with a large-scale artwork. It acts more like a mural and can almost be a window to another imaginary world. Repeat with me: ‘Go big or go home.’
For more on Jane Thomson | 2020 planners: The best looking diaries for next year