Apartment living and design trends in the 2020s

Principal stylist Justine Wilson shares her predictions for interior design and styling trends in 2020, including the new ‘apartment living’ standards people will be looking for.

The home of the ‘new roaring 20s’ is going to be very different to the home in Australia a mere 100 years ago, according to Justine Wilson, director and principal stylist at Vault Interiors.


From the 1920s to 2020s, the home is not only a very different place aesthetically, but it is also enjoyed differently from a practical and usage perspective. We now have Siri and Google taking over the home, as well as an increasing love for entertaining and open plan home design.

While many people associate the Art Deco era of the 1920s with glamour and exotic touches, Justine claims the 2020s will be remembered for something quite different. She believes sustainability, free-earth materials, the tiny house phenomena and a resurgence of mixed-generation households that reflect a more global perspective will be the hallmarks of this new decade.

Reaction to the recent bushfire crisis across Australia and an increase in global consciousness about climate change and sustainability could see an increase in people using earth materials, such as mud bricks and recycled glass, to create dwellings in regional and rural areas that are more environmentally friendly, is one trend prediction Justine makes.

Interiors with global influences – think boho-eclectic vibes and Mediterranean lines, with a nod to exotic resort-style holiday destinations – is how Justine sees interiors heading over the next few years. Deep textures, warm earthy tones and salvaged items will become the new palette to pull from, while the popularity of Terrazzo will continue to grow, along with handmade tiles, and concrete and stucco will be preferred finishes.

Using sustainable products and reducing our carbon footprint is part of this evolving trend, with the increase of solar power installation and the use of ‘green’ products, including reused or recycled items, becoming ever more important for the consumer in Justine’s estimation.

On the back of this conscientious movement, Justine also sees container houses and moveable homes in standalone communities with communal facilities in a co-op-style structure becoming popular among many. While this might bring back 70s-era hippie-commune living back for some of you, living in what Justine describes as “tribal living systems” or mixed-generation hierarchies is nothing new, but with today’s face-paced life the expression “it takes a village” takes on a new practical appeal.

For those more inclined to the urban landscape, Justine states, “People will also start to gravitate more towards apartment living and there will be big changes in the way apartments are designed and what they offer.”

“We already see unit complexes having their own doctors, grocery stores, gyms and pools but we will start to see more activities like yoga classes, art classes, meditations rooms and music areas and day spas as well.

“People are going to become more community minded and seek interesting experiences. It will be less about living in the unit and more about what the lifestyle it can offer,” she added.

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