The Best of the 2010s: Designers Name the Decade’s Top Decor Hits

Terrazzo made the list.

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Between wedge sneakers and the introduction of 502 different types of milk, the past decade has been a wild ride. Nowhere does this ring truer than in interior design: We were there through the “Live, Laugh, Love” signs, millennial pink, shiplap, inflatable furniture…and even more millennial pink. But it wasn’t all bad—it just takes a little trip down memory lane to drum up the good kind of nostalgia. Which we did, with the help of some of our favorite interior designers. 

We asked six pros to weigh in on the highlights and lowlights of the past 10 years. Of course, everything is subjective—but we have to say, we agree with their picks. Do you? 

Young Huh, Interior Designer

bedroom with canopy bed
Photography by John Bessler

Best of the decade: Delicate details. “I’m thrilled that slender, graceful furniture is getting more and more attention—like Gustavian furnishings or painted garden-themed furniture.” 

Time to say bye to: “Crafty” bohemian style. “I’m happy to see macramé and hanging plants make way for a more luxe sensibility à la Yves Saint Laurent’s spaces in the ’70s or Lorenzo Mongiardino’s rooms for Lee Radziwell.” 

Kevin Greenberg, Founding Principal of Space Exploration

dining table nook with plaster walls
Photography by Space Exploration Design

Best of the decade: Plaster. “A majority of our clients these days are interested in cladding their walls with something more nuanced and supple than paint on Sheetrock, and we couldn’t be happier. We get a lot of requests for tadelakt plaster.” 

Time to say bye to: Industrial chic. “Back in the halcyon days of 2010, repurposing well-worn, utilitarian objects felt like a nice way to breathe character into a space, but as early as 2012, when it had been distilled into a prepackaged aesthetic that could be ordered with a click, it already felt corny. Bye-bye, Edison bulbs and any other architectural element that’s better suited to a Dorothea Lange photo than a contemporary interior.” 

Dee Murphy, Interior Designer

workspace with recessed bookshelves and jeanneret chair
Photography by Zeke Ruelas; Design by Dee Murphy

Best of the decade: Cane decor. “My standout trend is actually a comeback kid from the 19th century. Wicker, more specifically caning, has stolen the show in both commercial and residential spaces. Breuer and Jeanneret chairs are the current superstars, but an antique settee or daybed is just as dreamy. Save up for the splurge and wait to buy the real thing.” 

Time to say bye to: Full-on farmhouse. “I’m looking at you, sliding barn doors. While there are moments from the look that will always matter, I hope to see a more refined mix of materials that can carry the aesthetic into the future. Think: Zio & Sons.” 

Tali Roth, Interior Designer 

terrazzo bathroom
Photography by Claire Esparros

Best of the decade: Terrazzo. “I don’t think it’s a one-year (or one-decade) wonder. It’s totally timeless, and what’s so amazing is that now manufacturers are making accessible, tile-size terrazzo, instead of it being  only for large commercial spaces or the one percent.” 

Time to say bye to: Blue-gray. “About five years ago, it was everywhere, and it had a kind of clinical and lifeless quality that made it very inflexible to design around.” 

Allison Crawford, Interior Designer 

Best of the decade: Burl wood. “It’s a versatile trend in furniture that lends itself to any style and any room in your house. You can’t go wrong with a walnut burl-wood dining table! Years ago, I scored a vintage Milo Baughman one and it has withstood the test of time and multiple redesigns.” 

Time to say bye to: Shiplap. “While I love the textured look, it’s time to stop painting it white and let the natural, warm tones of wood shine. Bonus points for relocating the trend from your walls to vaulted ceilings.”

Christiane Lemieux, Co-founder and CEO of The Inside

mid-century modern living room with sofa
Photography by Douglas Friedman

Best of the decade: European mid-century furniture. “It’s known for its beautiful wire-brushed oak, unexpected organic shapes, and rich walnut. I’ve loved seeing people from all walks collecting classic and enduring treasures.”

Time to say bye to: Mass glamour. “Often found in really shiny brass and mirrored pieces, it’s become so generalized, and I’m ready for something earthier, more authentic, soulful, and grounding.” 

See more trends we love: Stained Glass Isn’t Just Found in Churches Anymore Will This Sofa Silhouette Be the Next Big Thing? Your Grandma’s Favorite Look Is the Next Big Decor Trend

Elly Leavitt

Writer and Editor

Elly enjoys covering anything from travel to funky design (tubular furniture, anyone?) to the latest cultural trend. Her dream apartment would exist on the Upper West Side and include a plethora of mismatched antique chairs, ceramic vessels, and floor-to-ceiling bookcases—essential to her goal of becoming a poor man’s Nora Ephron. You can probably find her in line at Trader Joe’s. You will never find her at SoulCycle.