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Welcome to a New Decade in Interior Design Trends

If we can encapsulate in a sentence what the biggest trend in interior design for the new decade would be, it is: change and adapt or become irrelevant. So, say goodbye to Hygge and Ikigai and say hello to the 5000 year-old Korean concept of Nunchi.



Nunchi is woven into the fabric of Korean every-day life but for us, it can be defined as a word that literally translated means “eye-measure.” It’s the art of gauging how people are thinking and feeling in order to create connection, trust, and harmony. It’s related to concepts like emotional intelligence and situation awareness, but with two major distinguishing factors: Nunchi emphasises the room as a whole, single organism, and not just the people within it; speed is paramount to Nunchi.


This synergy between us as living organisms and our environment, the ambience surrounding us has been increasing gradually over the past few years. The opening up of our living spaces, the integration of thus far separate living, dining, personal space areas has been gradually replaced by one open-plan, multi-functional, dynamic space. We may not think of a room as a living, breathing organism, but if we just reflect upon this, we realise that it is exactly that - with its own temperature, mood, volume. The Koreans describe this entity as "boonwigi" - the room's wellness level or atmosphere, where everyone is a contributing member by virtue of simply being there, and where one's actions either enhance or ruin the "boonwigi", the atmosphere, for everyone.



With the above in mind, the design and feel of the spaces we inhabit become more and more dependant and influenced not just by design principles but by our responses and interactions with those. The decade-long debate on whether or not the role of design is to reflect or respond to zeitgeist seems to now weigh in favour of the responsibility of design to address the needs, demands and expectations of the current climate.



As the demands on our living spaces grow to incorporate not only our residential but also our working needs, design has to deliver dwellings which serve multi-faceted purposes. We expect our homes to incorporate more holistic, human-centric principles, to provide ecological solutions and to extend their functionality

into the realms of sustainability and biophilia (love of nature). The trend of 2019 in using natural materials such as plywood, cork, etc. leads us to predict that the direction of 2020 trends will follow the principles of more tranquil, nature inspired confines, as illustrated by the selection of Tranquil Dawn by Dulux as the colour of 2020, which sits in sharp contrast with Pantone's choice for 2019 of Living Coral.



In summary, 2020 interior design trends will allow us to focus on designing our spaces to reflect us, what makes us happy, what tells our story. Structured simplicity and honest comforts will sit side by side with eclectic glamour and abstract energy, ever mindful of the need for our rooms to integrate good "boonwigi" and positive, mindful harmony.

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