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A local designer shares her favorite home trends of 2020

When it comes to Susan Sutter’s interior design pet peeves, she’s over all-white kitchens and farmhouse signs. Instead, here’s what you need to know about what she’s looking forward to most in 2020.

room with ladder paint and no furniture getting redesigned
© peshkova / stock.adobe.com

With the arrival of 2020, you might be considering redesigning or renovating your home. It’s the perfect time to bring your freshened perspective into the new decade. 

To help you consider what to do (and not do) when painting, moving furniture or knocking down walls, we spoke with local interior designer Susan Sutter of Susan Sutter Interiors.

She discussed the importance of leaving some designs in the past and opening up your home to the colorful potential it can live up to. Highlights from our conversation are below. 

What are you looking forward to most about design this year and in the 2020s?
A fresh start with fun color palettes and patterns. This year’s Pantone color of the year is classic blue—my all-time favorite color for home decor. Classic blue has so many possibilities and goes with everything from Chinese import porcelain to hot pinks, reds, corals, oranges and greens. This color works in traditional to modern spaces, it’s so versatile. Also, I’m excited that bold colors and patterns in fabrics and wallpapers are still en vogue!  I love a bold wallpaper, especially in an unexpected place—like the inside of a traditional china cabinet! 

From 2010 to 2020, what designs did you find to be outdated or overused, and why?
Too many muted colors—think gray walls and all-white kitchens. I love gray, but am looking forward to seeing more color used throughout spaces to liven things up. There are lots of other neutral colors that deserve some attention beyond gray—navy and green can read very neutral. Also, rustic farmhouse design with word art signs is one of those designs that is so overused, especially if you are not living in a farmhouse or a ranch in Texas!

What are your biggest design pet peeves personally?
One of my biggest pet peeves in design is when the architecture of a home’s exterior is incongruent with the home’s interiors—think mid-century modern in a traditional colonial or chintz and skirted sofas in a Frank Lloyd Wright-style home. Ideally, the home should flow from one space to the next and a guest should not be accosted by a new style or color around every corner. In my designs, I work hard to make sure when you enter the home, you are pulled into the space where the colors flow from room to room and the style and function meet the home’s exterior so the eyes and brain can rest. 

What is your advice to readers who might be trying to redesign in 2020?
Seek professional help if you can—working with an interior designer can save you time and money. We are knowledgeable about products and fabrics, know how to determine appropriate size and scale, and can save you money in the long run. If you can’t or don’t want to work with a designer or have that DIY buzz, invest in classic elements for larger pieces and seek less-costly pillows and accessories to update your space with some of the new trends and colors. Also, don’t be afraid to make a statement—think a stunner of wallpaper in a powder room or fun cabinetry hardware.  

What should readers avoid doing when redesigning this year?
Avoid jumping into a design project without thinking or doing your homework. Get input from friends and neighbors who have recently completed a design project—understand the timelines, costs and what can and will go wrong. Do some research into how much furnishings, window treatments and other home items cost these days. Add up all of the items you think you will need in the space to help determine your budget. Don’t get budget numbers from HGTV. No, you can’t do a whole new living room for $5,000 in one week! Interview several interior designers to see if you are a good fit, find out how they work, ask questions about budgets, how long projects take, how they handle when things go wrong—because it’s not if, it’s when.  

Is there anything else readers should know about design in the new year and new decade?
Stick to classic, timeless design and decor. You can never go wrong with classic shapes and silhouettes. Splurge on the large upholstery pieces in performance fabrics and look for well-made, quality pieces that will endure overtime. When doing home remodel projects, the same principle applies, use soft and easily changeable pieces like drapery, accent pillows and smaller upholstery to bring in color trends, and keep your main elements classic and timeless.

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