Design trends mirror the past...

A new decade will this be OUR roaring twenties? History influences architectural style like it does fashion. It has reflected different sentiments through-out the years. The roaring twenties, of the past, was a period of political and social change, cities became more popular (than farms) and it was a time of more wealth. People also were protesting the establishment by dressing, entertaining and dancing like never before.

Fodors travel best art deco in Florida
Fodors travel best art deco in Florida

A lot of our popular design trends, today, echo some of the trends from the 1920’s.

Then, Art Décor was becoming popular which incorporated sleek, vertical lines manufactured in materials such as chrome, concrete and glass. It also included pastels and fanciful colors, bold geometric motifs and exotic Eastern ornamentation. You find examples of these buildings in Miami.

River Forest House Chicago photos Redfin River Forest House Chicago photos Redfin
River Forest House Chicago photos Redfin

At that time, there were those that took Moderne beyond the Art Décor style and started paring down elements and streamlining them with horizontal lines and building colors in more earthlike tones such as ivory, sandstone and pumice.

Today we have mid-century modern design which combines both Art Décor and Moderne design. This design style features (modern) bold textures, bold colors, repeating lines and minimal clutter with a clean design (simplicity), that looks at the entire design of the building, including furniture and materials.

Modern/ Industrial
Modern/ Industrial

Frank Lloyd Wright was famous for incorporating his furniture and material design to be a part of the house. He inspired, especially in the Midwest, the prairie home which is reminiscent today in the mid-century modern style.

Obviously much has changed since the roaring twenties, we are a different society and have evolved through these years, whichhas influenced some of the design styles of today. Here are a few more design trends you might see in this new century that is driven by a fast-paced, technology-based society.

The industrial look that combines clean lines and angles will continue to be a design favorite and harkens back to the 1920’s Moderne style.


In this new decade you will see more nature inspired design featuring large doors that allow indoor/outdoor living, natural materials and exotic wood treatments as more people are wanting to bring the serenity of nature into their homes to escape the busy-ness and political climate of today. This will also be reflected by repetition of patterns found outside, serene colors and natural textures in both architectural design as well as interior finishes.

Modern/ Industrial
New York City repurposed meat packing district buildings now Lofts
Eric Su photography

This new decade will see the continuation of ways to bring more efficiency and sustainability to buildings, in-light of environmental concerns. More emphasis will be placed on preserving the past with the restoration and updating, of certain, historically significant homes/buildings while bringing them up to today’s efficiency standards and, perhaps, using them in ways that they were not originally intended. Large commercial spaces that become re-purposed, loft-style apartments like you find in the buildings of the old meat packing districts of New York.

This new decade is sure to continue to influence our styles just like the prior 20’s and other decades. While we do have some roaring (TV, politics, social media), it remains to be seen what this decade will become known for, but one thing is for sure and that is that design will follow and reflect back what society needs. Here’s to the new twenties…other monikers TBD.