New Year, New Space: 2020 Design Tips & Trends with Dawn D Totty

By: Holly Marie Tong

As we know, new years’ resolutions seldom last.  It’s in our nature to set goals for the new year, but by and large, so many of them fall by the wayside.

However, this year, let me make a suggestion:  How about updating your space and enjoying it all year long? 

Now, it’s important to note that when I say “new year, new space,” I am not talking about spending a lot of money.  I am referring to simple, yet exciting ways you can improve your residential or commercial space.  Lucky for me, I happen to be friends with a top interior designer.  Dawn D Totty of Dawn D Totty Designs was named “Best Interior Designer” in Chattanooga’s 2019 “Best of the Best Awards.”  Lucky for all of us, Dawn has graciously agreed to share some of her greatest design secrets with us.

First, let’s talk about the most-defining 2020 design trend: 

Minimal is still in, folks.  There has recently been a wave of purging, downsizing, and minimizing going on in America:  Let’s continue to welcome it.  Less really is more.  As we declutter and resist purchasing random knick-knacks everywhere we go, we can better showcase the pieces and designs we cherish most.

Without further ado, here are some of Dawn’s ways in which you can spruce up your space in the new year:

#1 Fresh coats of paint:  Paint is one of those small upgrades, which makes a huge difference.  “Paint is a $30 refresher with 2-4 hours of labor,” expresses Totty.

How to implement:  “If you don’t want to commit to painting an entire room, pick a focal wall.  In your living room, it would preferably be the wall where your television sits. Choosing this wall will help camouflage the obvious large black box in the center of the wall.  Paint this wall 3 or 4 shades darker than the other walls in that room,” she reveals.

Parisian LIving Room Design, Mystery Makeover, Dawn D Totty Designs

The 2020 paint colors of the year are as follows:  First Light (Benjamin Moore), Sun God (Kelly-Moore), Back to Nature (Behr), Minty Fresh (Dunn-Edwards), Songbird (Pratt & Lambert), Whirlwind (Glidden), Chinese Porcelain (PPG Paints) and Naval (Sherwin-Williams).

#2 Wall coverings:  “To add some character to your space, consider some wallpaper.  Wallpaper looks fabulous in bathrooms, living rooms and on your focal point wall,” shares Totty.

How to implement:  Head to a shop with quality wallpaper.  Dawn who resides in the Chattanooga area, recommends “Associated Fabrics” on Dodds Avenue.  They do have a website and online shop as well.

#3 Customizing with accessories:  Accessories are yet another way to make your space uniquely yours.  Your accessories should be a direct reflection of your personal style.  The more customized and uniquely you your accessories are, the more you will feel at home.

How to implement:  The best place to accessorize is in your local small shops.  In the Nashville area, the possibilities are endless.  Some of my Dawn’s personal favorites closer to her home are 1866 Revival in Sewanee, Area 61 (Broad Street – Chattanooga), as well as local art galleries.

“How about creating your own gallery wall?  Perhaps you could do a black and white wall of your own family photos,” she suggests.

#4  Textiles:  Again, textiles are small changes that make a big difference.

How to implement:  Change out bedding, shower curtains and pillows.  Perhaps you could also do some fresh new window treatments.  Yet again, Associated Fabrics is also among her favorite places to shop for textiles.

#5 Furniture:  Swapping out furniture is another way to make your space feel fresh and new.  Like Dawn’s other tips, this doesn’t have to be overly pricey or detailed.

 How to implement:  You have an endless amount of furniture options out there:  From local shops, to antique stores to Facebook Marketplace, you can reasonably achieve both comfort and style in 2020. When it comes to textiles and furniture, bold colors and patterns can really make your environment pop.  Also among some of this year’s biggest sofa trends are the color white, soft corners, curved-backs and round legs.

The Farmhouse Dawn D Totty Designs

So there you have it.  Design doesn’t have to be overly complicated or time consuming.  Small changes can truly make a big difference.  Happy 2020 and happy designing!

Keep up with Dawn’s latest designs by following her on Facebook & Instagram!

For more updates and blog articles from Holly Marie Tong, visit her blog at blog at

Dawn D Totty Interior Designs is available for online, onsite, and global interior residential & commercial design. To schedule your custom design consultation contact Dawn at (615) 339-9919 or

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