5 home trends interior designers are loving this year




This article was originally published in Northern Virginia Magazine, February 4th, 2020.

We’ve all walked into a house that looks like it hasn’t been touched in decades. Keeping your house classic and also of the moment isn’t always easy to pull off. So, we went straight to the experts. Here, five interior designers share the trends they’re loving for 2020. (Spoiler: Wallpaper is back.)

The comfortable sectional is upholstered in a Sunbrella fabric, while the swivel chairs feature a performance Fabricut textile with a trellis pattern. (Photo by Christy Kosnic)

Basement Bonuses


Why it’s Trending

With square footage at a premium and people spending more time at home, homeowners are taking full advantage of renovating their basements for everyday living.

“People are reclaiming their basements as true living spaces that should be designed and decorated as beautifully and carefully as the rest of their homes,” says Michelle Troxell of Grace Thomas Designs in Leesburg. “They are no longer a dumping spot for all the furniture you don’t want in the rest of your house.”

The reversible game table is from California House. Personal photographs, with similar frames and mattes, create a cohesive gallery of wall art. (Photo by Christy Kosnic)

In Action

When Troxell was approached by existing clients for a basement remodel, she couldn’t have been more up for the task. “I love a well-designed, functional basement, with ample space for different family members to do their thing,” she says. Her clients, a professional couple with two daughters (one in college, the other in high school) were looking for a ‘wow’ space for entertaining, while also anticipating the need for more living space as their family grows. “They have five pets (three dogs and two cats), so it was important that the products and materials we selected were durable and easy-to-clean, as well as attractive,” she adds. (Families with young children would also benefit from that.) Thus, the flooring is made of hardy porcelain tile, accented with area rugs as needed. Troxell created several rooms or niche spaces to serve different functions: a comfortable guest room; a lounging area for watching TV or movies, with high-performance fabric upholstery sections; and a game area furnished with a pool table, card table and wet bar. “We designed the game area for the gentleman in the house to have a high-end game table for hosting poker nights; the tabletop also flips over to create a dining table in the basement if needed,” she adds of the dual feature. The wet bar has custom cabinetry, floating shelves and a quartz countertop, along with a bar sink, wine fridge and dishwasher. “The basement remodel also brought the design elements from upstairs downstairs for continuity,” says Troxell, adding, “It has become a place that the family and their friends enjoy spending time.”

The bar’s accent wall is covered in Stikwood reclaimed wood plank veneers, while the custom cabinetry is from Tedd Wood Fine Cabinetry. (Photo by Christy Kosnic)

Tips of the Trade

  1. Pay attention to lighting. Most basements are under-lit, so consider recessed LED lighting, with dimmer switches, as well as ambient lighting.
  2. Use high-performance fabrics, like Crypton or Bella Dura, that are stain resistant. They come in a myriad of colors, patterns and textures.
  3. Consider manmade flooring, like vinyl and porcelain. Natural materials are more expensive and harder to maintain.

This post originally appeared in Northern Virginia magazine’s March 2020 print issue. View the rest of the article online (with four other amazing, local featured designers!) here.