Can you believe it's 2020? I'm having flashbacks to middle school when 2020 was like the Jetson future and we created time capsules we would open when we had grandkids, lol. Flash forward and turns out I still have kids in diapers, but the new decade definitely gives me pause. It feels new and big and full of possibility.
1. Rainbows Rule
The rainbow hit it big in 2019 and I think it's just getting started. We are seeing the rainbow in everything from wallpaper to art prints, wood cutouts and toys, mobiles, bedding, macrame and more. The rainbow can be a focal point in the nursery or a sweet subtle addition (see how many rainbows you can spy in the rest of these trend photos below.) I have seen this trend very strong in a popular terracotta color scheme (see below for that trend in and of itself) of rusts, burnt oranges and muted blushes but the rainbow is equally beautiful in happy brights, pastels and the whole spectrum of color. Additionally the rainbow is a sentimental touch for so many who are blessed to be having their rainbow baby and I just love that.
2. Moody Millwork
If there's one overarching trend in nursery design right now it's that nurseries aim to really make a statement, and the moody millwork trend does just that. Decorative moldings or shiplap are applied to a single wall in a classic or geometric pattern and then painted a moody shade of dark forest green, navy, charcoal or black. It's such an amazing statement and I love the way a simple wooden name sign just jumps right off the wall. This trend is a heavier DIY but the end product is a real wow factor.
3. Naturally Neutral + Boho
Neutral boho nurseries with natural touches have been around for a bit but I think these will span the decade. The boho neutral nursery has a very free spirited vibe that comes across in the styling. Vintage rugs and plant life are at home in the boho space as are neutral tones of cream and beige, macrame wall hangings, natural light fixtures, simple prints and natural wood decor. The outdoors come into a naturally neutral nursery and the "wabi sabi" principles of beauty in imperfection, simplicity and serenity are embraced. I love this trend and I don't think it's going anywhere but I do see it continuing to evolve and to mix with other trends.
4. Wicker & Woven
While natural materials in general are hot right now, wicker is definitely having a big moment. It is feels natural, crafted and can instantly deliver boho or coastal charm to your nursery space depending on the way you use it. Woven changing baskets are also all the rage right now and are a great way to introduce a little woven magic to your nursery that instantly softens the space.
5. New Southwest
This trend is part of a larger "glam jungalow" trend that's been in play for awhile with accents of blush and gold or brass popped into an otherwise boho neutral nursery. Now I'm seeing the addition of the cactus and llama theme to this style and it's what I'm calling the New Southwest. It is so fun, colorful and whimsical but still feels natural, light and airy. Because I know you'll ask, here's where you can find the popular and amazing chandelier by the Junaglow style originator Justina Blakely.
6. Coastal Cool
Coastal is the new nautical and is so much more sophisticated than it was years ago White and bright board and batten or bead board, small scale wallpaper and neutral, natural decor all play nicely together in the cool coastal space. A sophisticated coastal vibe is at the heart of this true blue theme with Pantone's 2020 color of the year Classic Blue or navy blue at center stage
7. Terracotta & Blush
I've said it before, but blush is really not a trend anymore. It's crossed over to a classic color in nursery design (and weddings, fashion and more.) It's the new "baby pink" in my book anyway. However blush has a new buddy in town named terracotta and they are oh so beautiful together. Also called rust, burnt orange or ginger; terracotta is an earthy muted orange that is all the rage. Terracotta is beautiful on it own, but when it is paired with blush you get some serious boho magic. Some other supporting colors are mustard, warm gray and sky blue. These muted colors all support the natural neutral nursery mentioned above because they are, by nature, earthy (see what I did there?)
8. Sophisticated SM Style
I give a (not-so) little design studio called Studio Mcgee all the credit for showing us that kids spaces can be both sweet, playful and sophisticated. If you don't know who Studio McGee is, you will in 2020. Their style is all its own. It's a complete mash-up of Cali-cool, modern farmhouse, mid-cent mod and new traditional (I know, it's a lot, but it's SO good!) They work with sophisticated, neutral color schemes then layer on the texture, statement lighting and vintage touches. The result is a sophisticated, luxurious but relaxed and approachable interior. We have seen their work in kids spaces more than nurseries but many of you are reaching out to me with one of their kids rooms that you want to translate into a nursery and I am 100% here for it. These are definitely the sophisticated non-nursery/nurseries that effortlessly grow into big boy and girl rooms.
9. Boho Floral Farmhouse
Joanna Gaines truly made her mark on the world with shiplap and it has been popping up in nurseries for years, driving a farmhouse trend that may or may not even be a trend anymore. But a new boho farmhouse trend is emerging that I really can't get enough of. Adding a pop of floral or a floral hoop (hoops I think will be very big this year) and a statement boho chandelier is all it takes to move a farmhouse nursery into the boho floral farmhouse theme. The juxtaposition of boho femininity and florals with the simplicity of the farmhouse nursery might be my favorite trend right now for girls, but don't hold me to it.
10. Deep Forest Green
Although moody colors in general are very on-trend right now, deep forest green is having a particularly big moment. Notice how nearly every theme seems to point back to nature in some way? Well this one is no different, and you don't have to be using a forest theme to use it. It looks great with brass and vintage accents, transitional nurseries with millwork and more. Part of why I think we're seeing it so much is because it is very versatile and works across many different nursery styles.
Here comes the sun, and it's more than alright with me. Another earthy trend with literal sun and sunset imagery and, of course, the muted desert sunset pallet that I am loving and see absolutely everywhere.
12. Clouds + Hot Air Balloons
While the celestial night sky has been trending for a few years in nursery design, I think that clouds and sky themes are going to be re-emerging in 2020, and alongside it I think hot air balloons are making a comeback. Clouds and balloons have certainly had their moment before, but I think this time around we will see softer, more natural and more painterly versions of this motif. Coastal, neutral touches will pair beautifully with this trend making it prime for gender-neutral nurseries and gender specific nurseries alike.
13. Tropical Safari
The safari theme is yet another classic in nursery design, but the new safari is more tropical than ever, and it's not hard to see why this trend is so popular. Tropical safari is a natural extension from the boho neutral trend because it builds on a basic neutral color pallet of white or natural and then pops in heavy doses of tropical greenery. It can stop there, or for those who want to dial up the color, the tropical theme has the whole world of natural color to incorporate via safari flora and fauna, tropical birds and more. Brights play very well in the tropical safari world too. You can feel free to add that electric chartreuse (Etsy's color of the year prediction), bright coral, aqua or millennial pink and the tropics can take it without it overwhelming the eye. Animals can be the classic safari elephant, lion or giraffe; or you can change it up with the trending sloth or colorful parrot. This is a super fun trend where you can truly get as wild as you like with it.
14. Naturally Ethereal
As the naturally neutral nursery evolves I have started to see this ethereal trend emerge, where it's more than just the use of natural materials, but the overall feel of the space is something truly imaginative. Take this pampas grass (sprouting up everywhere) but used here as this dream like natural cloud. I think we'll keep seeing more of this as all of you creative mamas and papas find new ways to create whimsical and dreamy spaces while maintaining the serenity of a naturally neutral nursery.
15. Boho Black & White
There are no limits to the possibilities for a high contrast black and white nursery, since black and white are not actually colors, they can be used in nearly trend. But my favorite pairing lately is when black and white collides with boho neutral. In the absence of color, you're free to play up texture and minimalism. It's graphic quality is the perfect backdrop for juxtaposition to natural neutral textures. This look has the ability to be both playful and sophisticated.
16. Large Scale Floral Domination
I know, I know...this is not new. This trend has been going strong for several years now but guys, it seriously shows no signs of slowing down. Anyone paying attention to nursery design can simply not ignore large scale florals. I receive a photo of this particular nursery designed by Monika Hibbs featuring this wallpaper at least once a day. It's maybe more popular than ever. Blush is still leading the way in floral wallpapers and watercolor is still hot but there are so so many options when it comes to florals, and quite frankly, I hope this trend never ends and simply becomes a part of classic nursery design. The big question when you dive into this trend is how you want your nursery to feel. Floral wallpaper can feel soft and sweet, vintage, moody or dramatic, whimsical and so much more. My love of florals runs super deep and I have a hard time picking a favorite style, they are all so beautiful!
17. Paper Flowers
I'm seeing a ton of paper florals again, and while not exactly new, there is clearly a dominating floral theme in nursery design and paper flowers bring that theme into 3D. With the added bonus of being available in nearly any color scheme you can dream up. You can arrange a single focal point bouquet of flowers over a dresser or crib, or alternatively can create 2 bouquets flanking a personalized name sign. Both are great looks and, because of the wide range of colors available, are really great nursery wall decor options when you have specific colors you want to pull in, such as from your bedding.
18. Happy Brights
Photo by Jeff Mindell
If you can't have fun in nursery and kids spaces, then where you can you have fun? This electric color palette of brights and neons is sure to put a smile on your face. My only rule to brights is that they need a bright white backdrop to really sing, otherwise I think they lose their happy place. Brights haven't been a go-to over the years for nurseries because many people think they don't feel "baby" enough, but the trend toward grow-with-me rooms has many parents designing their nursery with their toddler in mind and I think that's very smart.
19. Navy Blue
As mentioned before, Pantone's 2020 color fo the year is Classic Blue and I think we'll be be seeing this bold blue in places we're not used to seeing it (i.e. florals) as well as places where it's always been right at home (I'm looking at you coastal.)
20. The Mix
This is not so much a theme or a trend, but the refusal to settle on a single theme or trend and instead mix together elements that may be classic or trendy in nursery design into a nursery that uniquely represents your style. Nursery design has come so far over the years and there are so many really great design options, many of which are very affordable. Great nursery design has never been more accessible, and there has never been a better time to create a space for your little one that perfectly reflects your dreams for them. So while trends are fantastic and often are the perfect starting point we need to figure out the evolution of our style, feel free to mix it up as much or as little as you want. Do you, because after all, the important part is that it's a space where you will absolutely love spending time with your little love and watching them grow.