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At TISE 2020, Jennifer Farrell Presents Her Scoop on Interior Trends


February 18, 2020

Texture. Nature inspired. Driftwood. Glam. Mixed metallics. Smoky sunset colors.

These are the design trends coming to a home near you, according to celebrity interior designer Jennifer Farrell. The designer’s predictions were played out across the exhibit hall in carpet, tile, wood, vinyl, and stone at TISE, which had named Farrell its 2020 Design Visionary.

In four interior vignettes Farrell created at the show to highlight those trends, the Los Angeles-based designer offered up an innovative use of textured flooring and tiles, mixed metals, large-scaled photo murals, soft accessories, and calming colors, serving up a relaxing dose of calm laced with pretty that homeowners would welcome coming home to.

Our current palette will soften a bit to add a bit of warmth to our interiors, Farrell says. Grays are not going away, but those gray shades are getting ashier and moving away from yellow tones—think mocha and taupe. Driftwood is a common shorthand term for those ashier shades.

At the show, those ashy colors were shown to full advantage in the vignette the designer dubbed Overscale Organics, which featured the textured hard surfaces she called key to 2020 interiors, plus a large photo mural of a cut agate in the new palette. A basketweave patterned tile from Shaw in chalky taupe shades covered the walls, and she used a darker-toned vinyl plank oak-look flooring on both the floor and the ceiling. Farrell calls ceilings the fifth wall, and notes they provide a prime opportunity for surfacing.

The feel was intimate and soothing. Farrell predicts dimensional, mixed material tiles in nature-inspired shapes will take a starring role, and sees both hardwood flooring and its faux-wood vinyl plank cousin featuring texture and cool-tone matte finishes. 

The popular onyx and agate stones of the past several years remain popular in surfacing, but there is a shift away from the brighter teals and blues to a warmer palette of sunset colors such as smoked rose, gray sky, and hazy sunlight.

Accompanying this move into a driftwood palette that is heavy on texture (with lots of variation in surface color giving the appearance of depth and even movement when viewed) are mixed metals in lighting, mirrors, furniture, plumbing fixtures, and tile. Farrell’s advice? Look for glossy graphite, blackened bronze, and weathered brass finishes.

In another vignette, the designer used dark fish scale tiles on walls, placing them on their sides, and employed two colors of grout, one dark, one light. Visually, the contrasting grout colors created the impression of undulating movement—a clever means of giving depth to a flat surface. The lesson here? Get creative with placement and grout.

Glamour will get its due in 2020, with touches of gold, sparkle, and bling. That will be reflected in surfaces with metallics, crystals, beads and mother of pearl, and a continuing trend toward the use of chunky woven materials like rattan, rope wool and jute in both accessories and carpets. Farrell predicts hard surfaces—everything from vinyl, wood tiles and dimensional wallpapers—will feature intricate mosaic patterns in soft sunbaked colors mixed with richer tones like saffron and cinnamon.

Even minimalist spaces come in for dimension and a bit of color for pop and energy. In a bit of cheeky humor, the designer used plywood on the ceiling in the minimalist vignette, which she had had painted in Pantone’s color of the year, a dusky shade called Classic Blue. The dimensional glossy white ceramic tiles invited touch and imparted a sense of fun. Organic shapes, which consumers will see in everything from lighting to furniture, replaced hard edges. Call it the softer, more inviting side of minimalism.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

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