Houseplans — 2020

Best in American Living™ Awards Showcase Top Design Trends for 2020

Best in American Living™ Awards Showcase Top Design Trends for 2020

Last month the National Association of Home Builders held their annual International Builders' Show in Las Vegas, NV. Of the highlights of the conventions the awards are always highly anticipated and these awards for Top Design Trends for 2020 are certainly noteworthy. PW&A did not attend the International Builders' Show this year, though we did last year. Continue reading below for the full article from the NAHB - Best in American Living™ Awards Showcase Top Design Trends for 2020.


Over 150 single-family, multifamily, interior design, remodeling and community projects were honored at the 2019 Best in American Living™ Awards (BALA) ceremony held during the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. The awards were sponsored by Monogram Appliances, and the media sponsor was Professional Builder.

Judges awarded eight Best in Region, five Of the Year and one Judges’ Discretionary Award for Innovative Site Design. In addition, one Game Changer award was given as well as one “Wow!” award, a special award given to a project with a jaw-dropping, one-of-a-kind design detail. These projects represent the nation’s best in home and community design, interior design and remodeling.

BALA winners showcase top design trends that home buyers can expect to see in homes and communities over the next several years, among them:

Colorful kitchens. Often found first on the island and then on lower cabinets, many designers are finding ways to punch up today’s new and remodeled kitchens. Judges saw cool aquas, dark woods and new, colored textures in many of this year’s applicants. It could take the form of a deep blue, on trend with many of 2020 color forecasts, or fun wallpaper, or earthy tones.

Crisp colors paired with warm woods. More designers are pairing otherwise “stark” or “cool” palettes with warm wood tones—either real wood or manmade—to create a look that is both dramatic, yet homey; high-end, yet comfy.

Curated design details. In every type of housing, from single- to multifamily, from remodels to communities, it’s clear that buyers want their next home to feel personalized to their taste. Every detail matters—from ceiling textures to shelving choices to mullion size—and today’s educated buyers won’t settle for less.

Expansive, large-format windows. Almost considered a standard feature in single-family custom homes, expansive, oversized windows—often with limited vertical interruptions—are on trend in all housing types. Even in denser areas, architects are finding interesting ways to incorporate large panel glass that lets in light but keeps out nearby neighbors.

High-quality signature entries. In our often car-centric society, residents spend a lot of time coming in through garages, but in 2020, expect to see a greater focus on front entries and improved streetscapes. A signature entry, especially on a production home, adds a one-of-a-kind appeal for future owners.

Non-traditional storage solutions. Instead of traditional cabinetry, designers will opt for shelving, both as a storage solution and as a design element. Outside of the kitchen, architects are creating more artful interpretations of traditional storage spaces, like wine cellars or under-stair displays. Artfully crafted, these storage areas purposefully blend into the room, instead of another typical closet door along a hallway.

Personalized lighting design. No matter the price point, buyers want a personalized feel to their homes, whether rental or for sale, and lighting is an obvious choice to offer that personalized feel. Lighting, like other design details, should not be an afterthought, and just installing what’s on hand without added thought about placement won’t fly with the 2020 buyer.

Sophisticated in/outdoor connections. With new technologies and increased availability of glass walls, pocket doors and large windows, new and remodeled homes alike are benefiting from seamless indoor/outdoor connections, both visually and physically.

Texture paradise. In 2020, designers are opting for more mixed metals, mixed materials and mixed textures to add depth to their designs. Wall paper, back on trend, is a great way to add additional texture to a space. Instead of full-room papering, designers are using wallpaper to create statement walls, focal oints or large pieces of art.

Thoughtful, well-edited design: Architects are pushing for more character and uniqueness, especially in production homes. Well-edited doesn’t necessarily equal simpler, but it does mean there needs to be a genuine purpose of place and points of interest that draw the eye across the façade—without all the fussiness of past decades. In plan, architects are making smart spatial decisions to match a cultural preference towards simplicity in living, especially in the age of constant technological interruptions and connections.

Unique wood detailing: The use of wood has been up-trending for the past couple of years, but in 2020, expect unique wood details and use of wood to create texture, ambiance, lighting design and more.

What’s old is new again: A renewed focus on genuine sense of place makes adaptive reuse and historic preservation projects a focus of 2020. By focusing on what came before, designers can build on an existing history instead of starting over, and residents will feel more connected to the place they now call home.

More information about this year’s winners and trends can be found at

Design Trends to Look for in 2020

Design Trends to Look for in 2020

With 2019 coming to an end, we're been scoring the internet and trade journals, as well as touring new homes, to find out what the latest trends in home design look like. While many trends remain from the past several years - Realtor grey is still an extremely popular color, white kitchens never really go out of style - there are some new interior design trends that are making a come back, and some that we expected to trend long ago. 

Like all things, your home and the way you decorate it are dependent only on what works for you and your lifestyle, these trends are hot, but they may not work for everyone. 

Design Trends to Look for in 2020

Go Green

Big, bold plants are making a huge come-back. Think the 70s with large ferns and elephant ear plants. Not only are these beautiful plants a great way to bring the outdoors inside, they also help to clean the environment, look fantastic, and add a pop of color to any room.

Multi-Use Spaces

This trend is due in part to the tiny house craze that's been going on of late. In smaller homes space has to be multi-use. An office is also a spare bedroom, the laundry room is also a craft room. 

Multi-Use Furniture

The Murphy bed is making a comeback due to this trend. Your home office can also be a bedroom with the flip of a switch (or the tug of a cord). 

Recycled Materials

With concern about our use of plastics and other man-made materials filling our oceans and landfills, it's no wonder that innovative companies are creating furnishings out of previously used materials. Patio furniture made from recycled milk cartons last forever and look great. The same is happening for interior pieces too.

Sport Courts

While many homes are getting smaller, some are going big and in those large homes you'll often find sport courts. These are great in climates where going outside in harsh weather is dangerous, or for sporty families that need to practice and don't want to spend free time driving. They're also a great draw for the neighbors so be sure you like to entertain before adding one to your home.

Indoors go Outdoors

More and more we're seeing homes that have traditional indoor spaces - living areas, kitchens, dining rooms - taken outdoors. These are not simply porches or patios  - these are living spaces meant exclusively for the outdoors and to be enjoyed in all seasons.

Bold Color

You'll find bright, bold colors in most of the new homes being designed these days. And not just a pop of color but a whole wall of lemon yellow or lime green. Often used on textured surfaces. These can be stunning, certainly eye catching, but one wonders if they won't date the home like avocado green appliances did in the 70s.