The new year is just round the corner, and it usually brings about plans to restyle homes, whether it’s a full-on renovation or a refresher – especially with Chinese New Year taking place early (Jan 25). Before we head into 2020, get to know in advance Singapore’s design and decorating trends that Houzz – a home design and renovation platform – has predicted for the Year of the Rat.

1. Biophilic design 

Photo: Casalgrande Padana Spa

With sustainability becoming an everyday word (think eco-bags and reusable coffee cups), and manufacturers continuing to develop environment-friendly products such as biodegradable furniture, the focus on homeowners’ well-being will extend to spaces as well. Houzz designers are turning to the next frontier: biophilic design. This term refers to the integration of greenery with the built environment so that homeowners feel connected to nature.


2. Botanic prints

Photo: Margaret Wright Photography

The appreciation for biophilic design will extend to decor, too. Botanic prints in whimsical, geometric and stylised versions, from furniture upholstery to wall coverings and tiles, invite into homes the soothing effect of nature. Homeowners are starting to take a maximalist approach with these prints, using them on every surface of the home.


3. Soothing palettes

Photo: Kristen Lang

The biophilic inspiration will also impact colour palettes. Misty sage green evokes calmness, serenity and well-being. It’s pale enough to be a neutral, and works beautifully with other pastels, which is rising in demand among Singapore homeowners. Jewel tones will be popular in furniture, too, such as emerald green and sapphire, within a light and soothing setting created with pale neutrals.


 4. Pared-down luxury

Photo: akiHAUS Design Studio

Singapore homeowners on Houzz favoured the Japanordic style, blending Scandi style with Japanese influences, in 2019. In 2020, expect to see homeowners look for a more sophisticated and upmarket take on this – the same clean lines and neutral palette, but enriched by glossy surfaces and plush, velvety soft furnishings.


5. Art Deco influences

Photo: Andrew Snow Photography

Art Deco is experiencing a revival on Houzz Singapore. Thus, brass and rose gold, jewel tones and curves are expected to come to the fore in home design. Familiar Art Deco motifs will also be common in decorative features such as wallpapers, fabrics and furniture silhouettes.


6. Terrazzo

Photo: The Scientist

Popular in the 1970s and 1980s, terrazzo – a combination of concrete (or sometimes resin) and marble, granite or recycled materials like broken ceramics – will reign in 2020. Designers are incorporating this wallet-friendly, low-maintenance material not only in floors, but also for tabletops, and even furniture and light fixtures.


7. Flexible kitchens

Photo: Sync Interior

A couple of years ago, the open-concept kitchen was just trending, especially among homeowners who are passionate about cooking. Now, this functional space has to be even more flexible, with space considered a premium, and many homeowners have opted to reclaim floor area from the service yard to incorporate into the kitchen.


8. Bay window solutions

Photo: Atelier Here

Guess what was the most-searched-for term among Singaporean homeowners on Houzz in 2019? Bay windows. Designers are getting more savvy – this architectural feature is no longer just a window seat in their creative hands. Look out for bay windows that can be turned into study bays, entertainment consoles and vanities.