It’s about the journey. It’s about the return home. Each year Shaw Floors sets a design vision that guides product design for hard and soft surfaces. The team of designers immerse themselves into the trends to create the best products. The team identified four distinct trends based on travel destinations and developed stories around them. Retail sales associates will make these stories part of their conversations with consumers to help guide them to make product choices.  

The design team begins with intensive trend research to identify styles that speak to consumers across the board. Then the designers team up for immersive travel to understand more about each trend and how travel impacts overall style, design and function of homes. 

“Even those who stick close to home can use our products and our room photography to assist with their styling their space to feel current, personal, and infused with culture,” said Pam Rainey, ASID, IIDA, vice president of product design, Shaw Floors. “Our product designers lean on their technical expertise and personal experiences to craft product stories both relevant and inviting for today’s homeowner.” Here is what Shaw sees for 2020. 


Simple, comfortable, light and airy are the words used to describe the Nordic trend. Shaw designers Taylor Weckerly and Jan Byrd traveled to Copenhagen in January a year ago to enjoy the brisk winter season. There, they saw a palette of subtle, calm and soothing tones.  

“The trip influenced our product design by allowing us to explore different ideas and new ways of thinking,” said Weckerly said. “While in Copenhagen, we immersed ourselves in their past, present and future ways of living. By living like Danes, if only for a week, we could understand their day-to-day and their natural curiosity to life.”

How does this theme translate to the floor? For soft surface think functional, stylish, natural and modern. For hard surface think natural, minimalistic, wood tones.  

“Perhaps this is why the Danes are the happiest people in the world,” Byrd said. They have found a perfect work-life balance and do not focus on consumerism; they focus on living their best life.” 


For the Mediterranean trend, colors are soothing and slightly more saturated. This palette is authentic and natural with a respectful reinterpretation of the past for contemporary lifestyles.

“The moment that I stepped out onto the streets of Barcelona, I was transported back in time,” said Jada McCamy, senior stylist, Shaw Floors, who traveled to the city in Spain for her trends investigation. “The architecture echoes the past with time worn surfaces, archways and ornate details. The people speak of their history and heritage with great passion. Modern Mediterranean designs respect the past while reinterpreting them into something which resonates with contemporary lifestyles—a feeling both familiar and undiscovered.” 

On the floor, this theme translates through old world tile full of patterns, textures and saturated colors. Soft surfaces use natural contours and the illusion of surface patterns. In decor, you’ll see this trend interpreted with pops of blue, the use of contours and soft shapes, and Old World charm played up. 


Quiet beauty. Never complicated. The art of simplicity. These are the hallmarks of the Zen trend, which capitalize on soft trends to enhance the stillness of a space. Senior product designers Frank Crowe and Jason Shaw travelled to Singapore to discover more about this theme.  

“Since exploring the culture of Singapore and studying the Zen aesthetic, the art of simplicity has been at the forefront of my mind and design” Shaw said. “As someone who works with wood, the thought that consistently surfaces is that there is no need to overcomplicate what is naturally beautiful.”

To achieve the Zen look, think simple, natural, and asymmetric beauty. For hard surface, consider light textures, neutral colors and natural character. Spaces are infused with light, upholstery and textiles are made of natural, unbleached fabrics, and dimmable lighting creates ambiance.

“It was amazing how patterns and colors bridged cultures from around the world,” Crowe said. “After visiting Singapore, I realized you can’t use up creativity because the more you use, the more you have.”

Bohemian Chic

For the last trend, Bohemian Chic, push materialism aside and be true to yourself. Nostalgia and wanderlust combine for a meaningful, youthful, curious sense of freedom. The palette is playful but sophisticated with colors that inspire curiosity.  

Product designer Sarah Ballew traveled to Marfa, Texas, to investigate this trend. 

“Marfa is best described by its town motto, ‘Tough to get to. Tougher to explain. But once you get here, you get it.’ Marfa is a very different town. There is no pretentiousness—you don’t have to pretend to be somebody you’re not. It’s true and it’s real.”

Bohemian is not about obtaining things of financial value, but rather collecting meaningful things of nostalgic value. “It’s a freeing way of living in the present and having a sense of wanderlust. It’s about living life with a curious, youthful outlook, and you can be youthful and curious at any age,” Ballew said.

To achieve the look with this trend, think interesting and distinctive patterns for soft surfaces and distressed, time-worn textures with variation for hard surfaces. Combine these with curated travel mementos, house plants and layering rugs in statement colors.