Interior Design Colour Trends for 2020

The 2020 Pantone colour of the year is Classic Blue. We asked Resene colour consultant Brenda Ngatai how the latest colour trends influence interiors for Kiwi homes.

Since 2000, the Pantone Colour Institute has undertaken trend-forecasting research to choose a colour of the year, announced each December. The institute says it chooses the annual colour based on “what is taking place in our global culture at a moment in time”.

This year’s classic blue shade is described by Pantone as “a reassuring presence instilling calm, confidence, and connection”.

Brenda predicts that classic blue will appear as an accent colour rather than the main colour in New Zealand homes. She says soft off-white colours are still very popular in New Zealand homes, because of their versatility – “almost anything goes with whites,” she says.

“I think the classic blue colour will appear as a feature colour – for example, in a hallway – or in fabric choices,” Brenda says. “I don’t think it will used as a strong focus colour, as it is quite an intense and serious colour for an entire room.”

Last year, Coral was the colour of the year and it did get picked up in our interior design colour trends. That’s because coral goes so well with greens and reflects the laidback lifestyle we Kiwis love.

So, if a serious and intense blue is not predicted to be popular, what are the design colour trends for interior design in 2020?

Colour trends for Bathrooms

“Bathrooms are trending towards very light, off-white colours, with people preferring a streamlined, simple look,” says Brenda. “You can then bring in tiles or a darker timber veneer to add warmth and texture to the space.” Vinyl wallpaper is also making a comeback, with a more modern low-sheen finish. New wallpaper products are available that are capable of handling steam or water (provided it’s not continuous). Large, oversized patterns are increasingly popular for bathroom wallpaper. Botanical designs with a dark background colour in earthy green or brick orange are also trending. As Brenda explains: “If you weave a neutral colour scheme that’s simple, easy, and relaxed throughout the home, you can then create a feature wall in the bedroom or bathroom, for example, that immediately makes a statement as soon as you walk in.”

What’s trending for kitchens

The current kitchen trend is to paint your walls and ceiling one colour and paint the splashback in a darker colour such as mid-grey or charcoal to add an element of interest to the room.

Fresh, light, washed-out greens and blue undertones that create a subtle look are in high demand, with Resene Ottoman, Resene Half Carefree, or Resene White Linen all popular colour choices for 2020.

How to pick the right shade

“When choosing a colour scheme, it’s important to think about the light coming into the house, as this may affect the shade you choose,” says Brenda. “For example, if your new build is facing the sun, resulting in a warm interior, light off-white colours will help cool the rooms down. Alternatively, if the house is on the cooler side, use warmer tones to create a cosier ambience.”

A handy tip from Brenda is to get a test pot of the colour you like and paint two coats onto an A4 piece of cardboard, leaving a border around the edge to isolate the colour. That way you can move it around the room to see how different light alters the shade.

Colour trends are great for inspiration, but the most important thing is to find the colours you personally love. A colour consultant can help you with ideas and colour combinations, and help you bring a particular colour theme to life.

If you’re looking for more inspiration to design your dream home, check out some of our real-life home showcases here.