Jul 23, 2019

INTERIOR DESIGN TRENDS | 4 Macro Trends shaping Interior and Design in 2020-21 

Stay up-to date with the 2020 design trends and the 4 top macro trends to impact interiors and design also in 2021


While many of us wonder what the future holds, some are already in it.

When we observe and research global trends, we are able to glimpse at the future and learn how society is evolving, from living to working habits, from travel to consumption behaviours, from human to technological interactions. 

We have identified the top 4 macro trends that are and will continue to shape interior and design in 2020 and 2021. These are Playful Living, Becoming Human, Designing Well-Being and The Future is Circular. Are you ready to walk into the future and be inspired? Let us walk you through. 


2020 DESIGN TRENDS | Top macro trends to impact design in 2021


2020 DESIGN TRENDS | Top macro trends #1

Playful Living 

More is More

Our lives are becoming more informal, hybrid, nomadic and entertaining. People, especially millennials, either at home or at work, want to be entertained and express their personalities. Brands and designers are working to meet all these needs with a more experimental, interactive and playful design

Furniture and accessories should bring us joy, stimulate our creativity and give us the possibility to express ourselves. Maximalism is on the rise with its “more is more” mood, inviting us to mix and match bold colors, patterns, textures and unconventional shapes. 

|| Be inspired: How to embrace the maximalist trend in your home

Think about the Italian brand Seletti and its original and artistic approach to design with their animal lamps, oversized patterns, a mix of pop art and Memphis influences. Or the Swiss brand Vitra and its outspoken design pieces, with strong use of primary colors and bold use of materials and geometric shapes. Everything goes beyond functionality and invite us to experiment and play. 




80s and 90s pop

Social media, especially Instagram, is changing our perception of spaces and interior design. There is as a result an explosion of Instagramable pop-up spaces, especially in the retail sector. Brands have realised that the future of retail is playful, colourful and carefully crafted to be shared on social media. 

During the Milan Design Week, the Italian design studio DESIGNBYGEMINI created a pop-up space inspired by Miami in the 90s pop, featuring fluorescent colors and a tropical vibe. Visitors were invited to engage, to take pictures in a pool and to share it on social media.

We can also notice a nostalgic comeback to the 80s and 90s pop bringing back bright colours and neon. The Versace Home collection and its outdoor pieces, such as the Versace Pop Medusa chair, is a great example of this revival. 

|| Be sintered : The latest color trends from Milan Design Week to last in 2020



2020 DESIGN TRENDS | Top macro trends #2

Becoming Human 

Artificial Intelligence

The rise and rapid evolution of disruptive technologies such as A.I. (Artificial Intelligence), augmented reality, biotechnology and 3D printing are challenging us with important issues. For example: is technology changing design? Will A.I. replace designers? How will robotics affect our way of living?

As far as designers and companies are concerned, the future seems to be more about a creative collaboration between designers and algorithms, rather than a replacement of designers with A.I. 

The Italian brand Kartell, French designer Philippe Starck and 3D software company Autodesk have collaborated for the launch of the first chair that will be created by A.I. in collaboration with human beings. The team has used an algorithm to conceive a chair with as minimal material as possible, while still matching the comfort and aesthetic standards required.

Amazon instead is showing how A.I. can take the ever growing area of smart homes to a higher level of functionality where homes can proactively help their inhabitants. The introduction of voice based services, such as Alexa, can let us control a wide range of devices just with the use of our voice.





Biotechnology is also pushing the boundaries towards products that are a true expression of our bodies and needs. Puma, in collaboration with MIT and Fraunhofer Institute, has designed the Breathing Shoe with microorganisms including bacteria (the good ones), fungi and micro algae that can sense sweat or heat. During physical activity our feet sweat and produce heat with more intensity in some areas. These microorganisms remove the material on the shoe in a selective way in the most crucial areas creating unique ventilation patterns. 

All these new technologies are impacting the visual side of design, and as a result new colors, shapes and textures are emerging.  According to the Korean company Noroo, leader in the paint sector, the colors of the future will be fluid, nuanced, undefined, metaphysical and lunar like the tides. 



2020 DESIGN TRENDS | Top macro trends #3

Designing Well-being


Designing for well-being is becoming a major goal within the design field. Brands and designers are exploring how the environments can affect our well-being, how technology together with interior and furniture design can be used to improve our wellness. Research on this matter is encompassing different fields, from home design to workspaces and hotels. 

Google has partnered with scientists on the “A Space for Being” exhibition to show how different aesthetic experiences can impact our health and wellbeing. The exhibition featured three rooms designed using the principles of neuroaesthetics – a branch of science the explores how visual aesthetics can impact our brains and physiology. With varying lighting, sounds, scents and textures, the rooms were meant to stimulate in different ways the visitors’ senses.

Soft and tactile materials meanwhile are becoming as important as colors and are helping the integration of technology in our homes in a more natural and human way. IKEA, in collaboration with SONOS, is bringing together sound systems with furnishing products. Their SYMFONISK table lamp combines light and sound into one product in order to de-clutter the home with less devices and cords.  

|| Be inspired : The New Nordic interior trend



Biophilia and New Nomadic

Biophilia, instead, is bringing  nature inside our homes and workplaces. The “Elle Décor at Work” exhibition featured co-working spaces where the atmosphere was impregnated with a sense of visual comfort. Plenty of greenery were placed above working stations thanks to the work of landscape architect Marco Bay, who added flourishing vegetation to improve the microclimate and thus the overall wellness. 

The new nomadic way of living is helping us to focus on the essential, to live and travel lighter, thus improving our mobility and giving us more freedom. Panter & Tourron‘s Tense collection, for example, includes five pieces of easily-assembled flat-pack furniture. All the pieces – table, chair, pendant light, wall light and screens – are imagined as the essential furniture for global nomads. Each of the five items are easy to transport either flat or in a tube, and can be assembled without the need for parts or tools, allowing with few steps to recreate and rebuild a home everywhere.


Elle Décor
Elle Décor
Panter & Tourron
Panter & Tourron

2020 DESIGN TRENDS | Top macro trends #4

The Future is Circular

Circular Design

A circular approach to economy is becoming mainstream and as a result circular design is nowadays a priority for many brands and designers. Waste is no longer seen as unwanted materials or a threat to the environment. Designers instead are repurposing waste into valuable resources for the creation of sustainable and circular design products.

German designer Alexander Schul has created the Substantial Furniture with a series of design pieces – lamp, chair and side table – entirely made from recycled plastic, which can be easily produced on a large scale. 

Italian designer Pietro Algranti makes bespoke furniture and objects using ruined and wasted materials. He creates tables, kitchens, beds, lamps, chairs and other objects from recycled wood, iron, aluminium, copper and brass. The amazing thing is that the designer leaves the materials very close to the way he finds them: the irregularity of the surfaces, instead of being a problem, make the pieces unique and original. 


Alexander Schul
Alexander Schul
Pietro Algranti



Biomaterials, such as manure, hemp, vegetables, fungus, plants, are also being repurposed and turned into beautiful and biodegradable design.

|| Discover more : Biomaterials in design

German designer Phillip Hainke developed his Organic Project to research traditional and renewable resources for developing innovative materials. He has created a chair made from hemp fibre and casein which is then coloured with natural pigments. 

Pensiero Materia, created by Luca Alessandrini and HENRY & Co design studio, brings to life objects made from natural resources. They designed a set of kitchen homeware made out of bio-plastic and tomato peel waste coming from Sicily. The set was 3D printed and it’s 100% recyclable. They also designed the “Arco” table lamp made with coffee waste from the food chain Autogrill and the kite tiles made from residual biomass, which are 100% natural sound absorber and fire retardant. 

Phillip Hainke
Phillip Hainke


|| Discover more: The most innovative sustainable designs from Interzum 2019 fair

We believe this macro trend cannot be completely understood without mentioning a key word: collaboration. Global online platforms are creating new possibilities for more sustainable collaborations. Consumers, designers, brands, industries and universities are encouraged to connect to each other and to turn waste into valuable resources and products. Trash2treasure, a platform that connects designers to industry, provides designers with wasted materials that can be reused to create sustainable products. 

We’ve reached the end of this article and we hope you are feeling inspired and curious.

If you want to learn more about the latest trends in interior and design, go ahead and join our trend membership


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