With 2020 being the turbulent year it has been. We take a look forward at what interior design trends 2021 may be.
We have seen a huge resurgence in the time, money and care spend on people’s homes in 2020 (not much else to spend it on to be fair) and this has seen a continued push into the sustainable design trend as well as various modern spin offs on ‘older trends’.
Who knows what 2021 will bring, but lets look at what the design world may look like…
New Minimalism: a minimal but warm and welcoming home
I think one of the main trends for 2021 will be the so-called New Minimalism: a minimal but warm and welcoming home.
I am not talking about the total white and clean-lines kind of minimalism of the early 2000 but I am referring to a new style which is more connected to the need to simplify. In these times of uncertainty and great changes in our habits, we need a home where we can find calm and serenity, where we can relax and forget about the problems for a moment. We, therefore, feel the need to free ourselves from the superfluous and simplify our home, focusing on the things that are really necessary or that have a meaning or a memory for us. But at the same time, we need a place that feels cozy and welcoming.
These are the main characteristics of the New Minimalism:
- Total white is replaced by a palette of warm neutral colors, ranging from off-white to sand, from beige to brown.
- The use of natural materials like wood, natural leather, ceramics, marble and natural fabrics
- The presence of fewer furnishings and few decorations. Every item is carefully chosen to be “forever”, like timeless design, handmade pieces and fine pieces of art.
- Polished surfaces are replaced by textures and raw materials
- Sculptural shapes and references to primitive and ancestral shapes are also a big part of this trend.
Mariana Bettinelli, Interior Notes
Homes will combine with our lifestyles
The pandemic has created a new appreciation for the home. Not only will we see more innovation, further allowing our homes to support our lifestyle, but we will also see a pandemic palette of sorts. Optimistic hues that may not have been typically paired together in the past—rich reds, terracotta and shades of saffron with teals and turquoise—will work in harmony to reflect warmth and coolness, anchored by timeless classics like navy blue and gray. Use this palette for accents and accessories to instantly elevate any space.
After the year we’ve had in 2020, our clients are definitely looking forward to 2021 trends that serve their lifestyle while also creating a tranquil environment to begin and end their day (or even work from home DURING the day!).
An organic, relaxed vibe is trending high. Whether through a woven style of furniture and accessories or textiles that drape across a piece of furniture. The texture of the material adds interest without taking any energy away from the visual image that plays in our mind through our eyes.
Natural wood has come back into kitchens after a long stretch of painted white cabinetry. Whether via the form of beautiful rift-cut white oak (as shown in the image) or rustic, open shelving.
Outdoor living spaces have experienced a resurgence of interest (at least here in Texas!) where the weather is mild during the winter months, even if it does roast during the summer. This has provided our clients with more “living space” for their families as we spend more and more time at home.
Overall, the trends our clients are asking for are calm & peaceful, providing extra living spaces and intended to soothe our overstimulated minds.
Michelle Lynne, ML Interiors Group
In 2020 we discovered a new way to be at home. Home became our nest, the place where we can completely be ourselves. This affected our vision of the house – no longer a place to show off but rather a place that reflects us. I believe, and I hope, that the interior design trends ahead of us are a new kind of trends. A kind that doesn’t follow the vogue, but only the personality of residents. I believe in houses designed to harbour people, couples and families, and tell their stories.
Carlotta Berta, Unprogetto
Well-being will be at the heart of the home
Moving into 2021 my thought is that interiors now more than ever need to have well-being at the heart of them. We would hope to see designs that promote a positive atmosphere with uplifting influences. We love home accessories that bring joy and gone are the days where animal decor is seen as tacky. A fabulous Monkey Table Lamp brings a welcome injection of fun combined with lashings of cool! We look forward to seeing layering of textures and materials to create a welcoming and cocooning feel that is both decadent and ultimately inspirational.
Gemma Medden, Luxology
2020 has certainly been a year to remember – the year in which the whole world stayed at home. We have all been, more or less aware of our surroundings but this year, it seems that it has been at the forefront of our minds and lives. The home was always a sanctuary but in 2020, it seemed that became overnight so much more – the space in which we lived, worked, socialized, workout, and discovered creative hobbies. This shift is so important as it made people aware of not only their surroundings but what they desire from their home.
That is why I believe the trends for next year, 2021, will be focused on mindfulness, serenity, being present in the moment and the comfort (not to mention the functionality) of the home. I believe the cosiness factor, the hygge of the day to day life or the perfect imperfection will be in the spotlight. Bright but soft and cheerful colours, a lot of wood and of course the nature element will be even more present. After experiencing lockdowns, people will be yearning for that nature connection now more than ever. So bringing the outside indoors will be a major trend, a must, if you will, either through colour, materials, textures or simply through plants. I also believe the Japandi style will be very much in vogue this year as it combines all the above into one single design style. And I for one, love that.
Raluca Vaduva, Detail Movement Interiors
Any design trends in 2021 are going to be related to creating a sense of rootedness in one’s home. With social distancing in full swing and likely to be around for a while, people are going to want their homes to be more of a representation of himself/herself more than ever. I think we will also see decor, finishes and textures that help inhabitants focus on being present in their space.
Ashley White, Decorology
Garden as another room
With the lock-downs in mind, every space in and around the home will be treated as part of the home. The garden’s importance as a ‘room’ will be raised and consumers will be looking for products that help to make gardens more useable like their ‘covered’ rooms.
Huib Maat, Pairfum
As our outdoor spaces have also become more important, interior design will continue to move outdoors. With so many outdoor fabrics and rugs now available, it is easy to turn your patio into an extra room. Think of your outdoor space just as you would your indoor space and always start with a floorplan.
Louise Booyens, Louise Booyens Interiors
Due to people spending so much more time at home, I think bringing the indoors outside is going to continue to be a trend that grows next year. I love the way you can make your outdoor spaces reflect the decor style of your home in things like colours, patterns, shapes and materials. We have begun having a terrace built in our garden, and as I’m a big fan of colour and pattern, it’s an area I want to reflect that too.
The other interiors trends I think will grow further in 2021 are materials such as sheepskin and Borg, soft edges with furniture and room design and repurposing items we already have or giving second-hand discoveries a new life. I’m a huge fan of buying retro/vintage – what’s more fun than owning something nobody else has!
Beth Parnell, Dotty Dishes
Welcoming green hues
I personally am looking forward to the greens from next years pallets! From welcoming hues which are fresh for the new decade – saying goodbye to the troubles and gloom of 2020. To the warm rich greens like moss and forest which give a much-needed sense of comfort and cosiness. Forecasts so far have said that the cooler, paler tone will bring futuristic qualities inspired by technology. I look forward to seeing where it goes and using it throughout our designs
Gina Everett, Create Perfect
Bringing the outside in will continue to be a priority, think lots of houseplants! They not only add colour and interest but also clear the air of pollutants. The restful colour green will stay popular as it reminds us of nature and has a calming effect. A great colour for a bedroom!
Louise Booyens, Louise Booyens Interiors
2021 watch out green is about, I’m all here for the earthy green colour palette! As you may have seen from my work, I love green! It helps bring elements of the natural world into your home but also reinforces our connection to nature. Depending on the green, it can create an eye-catching interior that completely transforms your space. Paring warm greens with deep reds, light greys, creams and browns, is totally comforting, welcoming… and just what we need for 2021. I just love it. Tackle those winter blues with this cosy decor!
Nicole Burnett, Wise Owl Interiors
Interiors that bring a sense of joy
I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed going to the trade shows but it really has allowed me to think without a filter for 2021. I was lucky enough to get to the Michael Clarke exhibition at the Barbican last week and his punk ethos really stuck with me. It got me thinking about next year and to get through this we’re all going to need grit and integrity but above all something to smile and feel positive about.
Winter indoors is going to be tough so people will be looking for things that make them feel good. Objects that give you a sense of joy, that are hand crafted and feel personal to your style. With fashion off the radar for so many of us our homes are a bigger more playful canvas as places for self-expression. Colour palettes continue to look back to the 70s but with flashes of neon and pastel giving things a more 80s edge. It’s going to be fun!
Zoe Anderson, W.A.Green
Luxury Minimal Sanctuaries
Interior design trends in 2021 will no doubt be deeply influenced by the current global pandemic. Internal rooms will be designed to be multi purpose with a focus on mixed use of open plan spaces. Exposed elements, both indoors and outdoors will be popular. There will be focus on curated spaces with tactile design and visual elements that evoke a sense of nostalgia and personalisation. Use of natural elements such as greenery, wicker, rattan, linen, cotton, cane will still be hugely important in interior styling and decor. Architecturally, curved walls and arches will make a comeback creating a sense of cocoon like comfort in interior design. We will see paint colours that have a calming, refreshing almost nurturing effect trending in 2021. Design as a whole will be focused around creating luxury minimal sanctuaries that help invite, relax and unwind.
Rani Engineer, La Maison Jolie (Also, check out her Instagram > @raniengineer)
Sustainability & nature at the heart of everything
My trend predictions for 2021 are that we will continue to see an increase in the use of natural materials and more focus on sustainability in the interiors industry – we have also seen more clients wanting to re-use and refurbish existing furniture and buying used and vintage pieces rather than new furniture. Fluted / reeded glass and wood are still popular design elements and I think we will start to see more ‘artisan’ and craft elements in designs, such as bobbin legs and scallop edges.
Pia Pelkonen, Pia Design
I personally think that upcycling and sustainability are going to be even bigger in 2021 (and in the future in general). People are reducing their carbon footprint and many of us are already practising sustainable living; whether that’s by minimalism, using recycled materials, upcycling or just trying to be more energy-efficient. I think we will see more furniture makers embracing recycled materials like plastic, reclaimed wood etc.
Pia Orr, Finnterior Designer Blog
I have found that many clients are moving away from “the latest thing in interiors” as they want to buy more responsibly and re-use what they already have. I love using vintage pieces in my interiors as they not only tell a story but also says so much more than something new out of a box and helps to save the planet.
Louise Booyens, Louise Booyens Interiors
There are three distinct design trends that will be “hot” this coming year. Sustainable, mindful, and biophyllic design. Each of these trends has been on the block for a while now, gaining a fan club from their first appearance. Yet, current affairs along with this transient melancholic mood shift due to the pandemic, has strengthened their appeal to a whole new level. Consequently, I believe these very three design trends will be responsible for a change in gears in the design industry that will try to promote a more circular economic model. (At last)!
What do these trends translate to in terms of interior design? For starters, color palettes with calm-inducing, grounded colors, more natural materials, and lots of greenery. Warm minimalism as a style will gain new traction, bigger momentum and a more widespread fan club. Slow design will finally begin to echo its appeal to a wider audience that will adopt a more sustainable and mindful decorating approach. Eventually, (in the long run), it is mainly these three trends that will lead to redefining how humans perceive their natural habitat – one that will be much closer to nature, or even part of nature, yet shielded from any external harm.
Velvet Karatzas, Te Esse by Velvet
With such a tumultuous year coming to an end, most of us are looking to the future for a positive new start. Peoples attitudes to their homes have changed during 2020 and some of the trends we will see emerging in 2021 will reflect this. From creating a comfortable place to relax with deep cushions, to practical home offices and all-weather gardens.
Sustainability and nature continue to be key design influences. If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that you should respect nature! Nature and the outside have been key for people’s wellbeing, so it’s no surprise after being confined to our homes, we see these influences crossing barriers. This has even led to a surge in ‘winter balcony’ designs so bringing the inside-out and outside-in can be enjoyed all seasons.
We will see sustainable and natural materials with their array of colours and textures used in more modern shapes and forms. Adding unique interest to homes whilst still creating a soft calming environment. Sourcing from local makers and smaller-scale producers helps with reducing your environmental footprint (and boost the local economy!)
Mixing in vintage pieces continues the sustainable aspect by addressing our throwaway culture. Using a mix of different vintage and antique furniture can create a timeless look which can evolve with its inhabitants, whilst enabling them to express their own personality and style, from mid-century, to rustic modern to eclectic.
The colour palette is inspired by the rich comforting earthy colours such as warm olive green, rust, and natural pigments. DULUX have introduced their three nurturing palettes that evoke familiarity and comfort: Retreat, Nourish and Reset which after the year we’ve had is just what the doctor ordered!
Simone Gordon, Owl Design
2020 has been the year where we have spent more time in our homes than ever before, have created new habits and we have certainly seen our homes in a different way. They have become our sanctuary, our work space and our entertainment space.
There have recently been great moves towards a more sustainable approach in designing and styling our homes and I don’t see that going anywhere soon. I feel that 2021 will be the year where we draw on our feelings and learnings from 2020. We will continue to design and shop in a sustainable way, bring nature into our homes so that we feel connected to the outside world and create an environment where we feel more rested.
Specifically, I see designs that include nature or encourage the feeling of being surrounded by nature will be much more popular in 2021, especially in the home office as many work from home much more.
Lydia Spencer, House of Spolland
Light with Natural woods
Cabinets, furniture, and accent pieces are lightening up! There is a clean, crisp minimal vibe to this look. Layering is also important in this new clean and minimal look.
Kelly Paulson, Your Color Consultant
Travel influenced design with a focus on nature and greenery. Fun, unique custom rounded furnishings are being introduced, an exciting new look!
Kelly Paulson, Your Color Consultant
I think the trend we are going to see is more people wanting to get that exclusive hotel vibe in their own home. Considering how much time we spent at home in the last year, most of us have realized how the interiors of our homes can nourish and luxuriate us. Which is why we used to go travelling. With that being harder to do, people want to ensure that their nests are as beautiful and considered as possible.
Peter Grech, The Space Maker
Positive and uplifting interiors
After the year we’ve had we all deserve a bit of positivity in our lives. And that means creating schemes that put us all in a better mood.
For us that’s usually an injection of colour and vibrancy. We think deep greens will be all the rage in 2021, with pops of rust and ochre. And patterned wallpapers will continue to be popular choices in many homes. And the more colour and pattern the better, as far as we’re concerned.
But if colour is not for you, then uplifting interiors can also mean calm and serene, like this calm bedroom using a palette of nude colours. Either way, your home needs to bring you joy and lift your spirits. So, let 2021 be the year you create a home that makes you feel positive.
Beth Miller, Fresh Start Living
2020 brought many changes to our lives that are certainly shaping design trends for the year ahead. As we all spend more time in our homes (living, working, and relaxing), we need designated areas to accommodate these needs! A beautiful and practical home is a must as interior designers create spaces that are easy to maintain yet versatile and comfortable.
Along with added purpose to rooms, we have seen, what I am calling “layered modern”. A design trend where a foundational modern, simpler, less cluttered approach is set as the blank canvas for additional design elements, furnishings, and decor that fit the homeowner’s favored design style. Modern spaces are beautifully layered with mid century, traditional, bohemian, Scandinavian, vintage, or farmhouse elements to give that updated yet collected and comfortable look and feel.
Wanderlust, collecting and the redefined sanctuary
When Freddie asked me to contribute to this article, we were at the start of our second ‘lockdown’ here at home in the South of France. International travel had virtually stopped, which only served to exacerbate our wanderlust.
The lockdown experience has made people think more about their home, garden and the overall way they really live. We (like many of our friends) have renovated our kitchen and mudroom and redecorated our living area. All over the world people have developed new hobbies and habits such as exercising at home (move over sofa, hello yoga mat), painting, making sculpture and all of this takes space – and ironically, solitude. My feeling is that any underutilised space in homes will be transformed and dedicated to a specific activity or hobby – this is the ‘sanctuary’ redefined for 2021.
Hunting for antiques abroad provides a wanderlust fix. With a heightened desire to procure one-of-a-kind objects, our clients have a new focus on building collections such as French ceramics and art. The thing that I love most about antiques (from furniture to decorative arts to primitives) is that they were made to last and span generations – they are independent from annual trends because they are classic and above all treasured.
Redecorating an historic building is a privilege. One of the most special places we have visited is the newly opened Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé – working with Paul Allen Design we helped furnish this timeless property. Curating furniture for this vast estate was thoroughly enjoyable, and to stay as a guest, surrounded with those very pieces is one of the most satisfying experiences of my career. Each room is a sanctuary, decorated with only beautiful essentials.
Susannah Cameron, Chez Pluie Provence
eDesign will continue to thrive
2020 brought a lot of changes, especially with how much time people are spending in their homes. This creates an increased intentionality in how we relate to and interact with our spaces, which will continue into 2021. I believe people desire spaces that will spark joy and creativity in their day to day lives, which can be accomplished through bold interiors, including pattern mixing, deep rich colors, and unexpected pairings.
In addition, I believe the eDesign (online interior design) trend will continue to explode in 2021. The ability to receive customized design advice online is appealing on so many levels… Affordability, the ability to pick a designer based on aesthetics instead of location, and of course the health and safety aspects. Ever improving technology means you can literally see your space fully designed before purchasing even a single item, as seen in this 3D render I did for a Manhattan apartment.
Kristen Luhring, Arie + Co.
Another hot trend for interiors in 2021 is copper. Copper interiors embody a clash of industrial materials with modern glamour, seeking to revitalise any space they are a part of. The Arteplano is the perfect radiator to fit this utilitarian-chic trend; its etched copper finish stands out in any space. Not only this, but the unique method of creating the finish uses acid to ensure each radiator is completely unique and one-of-a-kind. Furthermore, the Classic in rose copper is an ideal statement piece for a more neutral interior. Furthermore, in a post-Covid world copper is proving particularly popular due to its unique ant-bacterial properties making it a more sanitary option.
Andy Keeley, Bisque
Patterns, organic materials and conscious décor
The world is changing and people are starting to look moreinto long lasting décor gems. Nowadays not only beauty is important, but sustainability and quality play a big part toowhen it comes to choosing what to buy.
The awareness of the exploitation of resources that exists in many industries is slowly rising, and as a society we’re starting to shop more responsibly. Humanity is turning their heads from plastic and all the waste and damage it causes to the environment. Assuring a better future for our world, décor pieces made of natural and low polluting materials are going to become a trend in the upcoming year.
Maison Numen was created as part of this movement. We believe in savoir faire, which is the ability to do things appropriately. All of our pieces are made of natural materials such as ceramics, wood, and linen. Some of them are upcycled as well.
As a consequence of social distancing, people are spending more time at home, and being in a pleasant atmosphere has now become a priority for many. We have become more connected to the digital while disconnecting from the real, outside world, which brings us to the next trend.
Another thing we will be seeing a lot in 2021 home décor is the addition of natural elements. These months of isolation at home have led us to incorporate bits of the outside into our spaces to reinforce our connection with nature. That translates to lots of green and earthy tones, indoor plants and other organic materials and textures.
Every day, more people join in on conscious purchases and care about helping small entrepreneurial businesses instead of exploiting corporations. The Maison Numen philosophy stands for supporting beautiful objects carefully created by the hand of expert and dedicated craftspeople, objects that add a unique touch to the decoration of any home.
We are sure that by 2021 this practice will become more popular and there will be more people buying objects with purpose and ethically made.
Maison Numen promotes the work of artisans from all around the world. We value their traditions which date decades back. One of our principles as a brand is to bring opportunities to these artists and give them the possibility to sustain their families, since a lot of them are women.
Another trend that we’re going to see is the combination of patterns, strong colors and organic elements with functional and modern designs.
For the following year the paradigms that debate about what is sustainable, functional and artistic are going to be broken. Now the three elements can be together as one. This new concept also applies to pieces from various parts of the world that allow us to bring home a bit of other cultures and other societies, like the Maison Numen piece. We will see more soul-made pieces that show dreams, experiences, culture and passion.
These are a few of the many upcoming trends we have observed for the coming year. We’re excited to put them to practice, and we encourage you to follow the trends that inspire you the most and to not be afraid to set your imagination free. The most important part is to contribute to our planet and to have fun while at it!
Jessica Macias, Maison Numen
Feng Shui Resurgence
Bringing pieces in your home that will bring ease to your well-being will will be an important factor in designing homes for 2021. The best way to bring a form of feng shui to your home is by adding soft textures, multiuse furniture pieces, plants, and being more intentional with items you bring into your space.
Hoda Jaludi, Karama (Also follow her on Instagram > @karamabyhoda)
Dare to be bold. Having something different in your home during the time where we needed to stay indoors has encouraged some of us to be bold in our designs. Bold colors for accent walls, fun wallpaper, and full gallery walls are some easy ways to add boldness to your home.
Hoda Jaludi, Karama (Also follow her on Instagram > @karamabyhoda)
Handmade Studio Ceramics
I’ve been saying this for a few years now, but I think it’s beginning to happen: people are taking more and more notice of hand-made studio ceramics, both for decoration and investment. Pieces by renowned potters are still remarkably affordable, while prices for some of the best-regarded names have risen steeply – a pot by Magdalene Odundo (1950-) was sold recently at auction in London for £200,000.
Small pots look good in large groupings, either by a single potter or by co-ordinating a group of pieces by several potters. The first image attached (shot in my living room) is a set of 80 guinomi (sake cups) by Phil Rogers. The second image (shot in my sitting room) features pieces by Alex Sharp, Yo Thom, Mary Rich, Ivar Mackay, Lisa Hammond, Mark Smalley and Eddie Curtis.
Roger Stewart, Random Treasure
Creating dedicated zones
With our homes having to become workplaces, home schools, entertainment zones as well as all the usual things now. Creating areas that are dedicated to those things has become more important than ever.
That might mean building extensions for some, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. You can carve out zones from existing rooms. Why not add a small home office area in a spare bedroom or under the stairs?
And if you’ve got a loft or basement that’s ripe for converting then those spaces can work really well for these additional needs, like this den/snug in a converted basement. Perfect for movie night as a family, something we’re all doing more of during these winter months.
But if you do have the ability to add more space, then make sure that those spaces are designed with purpose. If you’re building an extension think about how you’ll use the space and how you plan to furnish it to make sure it’s the right size and layout before you start the build.
Beth Miller, Fresh Start Living
Bringing the outside in
Most of us have been indoors for an unusually long time over the past months, highlighting how much we value the outdoors and how vital it is to our health, both mental and physical. No-one is a better designer than Mother Nature so the trend for foliage-filled spaces is becoming evergreen.
Idyllic architect-designed homes that merge nature with interior space are not within everyone’s reach, especially in dense urban areas, but a few companies are making it easier for us to create our own indoor oasis. Patch has made it easier for city-dwellers without cars to access plants with their delivery service. They also advise on which plants can clean your air of pollutants as well as which are safe to have around curious toddlers and nibbling pets. Bloombox Club offers a subscription service to allow your collection to build over time, with extensive online advice on keeping your plants as healthy as they keep you.
The evergreen trend for botanics can also extend to your walls. Watercolour artist Maaike Koster creates prints that are detailed and delicate, depicting a wide range of different species. Use them to freshen a naked wall or layer as a backdrop to existing plants to visually extend your urban jungle.
Mark King, The Modernist House
2021 interior design trends will definitely be influenced by the considerable time we have spent in our homes this year.
I think we will continue to see more homes bringing the outside in. Proven to lift feelings of anxiety and make us feel happier in where we live, interiors will be dowsed in natural materials (think rattan, cane, wood) and include various house plants – real, dried, or artificial.
A natural, earthy colour palette will also take centre stage – rusts, peachy almonds and warm greens will be more frequently used, as will layering and bringing texture in. Introducing materials such as boucle, or mixing opposing décor elements, will give you comfort and bring a welcoming feel to your home.
I think we’ll also see upcycling sticking around next year, with many of us looking to repurpose existing furniture and give it new life in our homes. This is a great way to save money in the current climate and will add another depth to a newly designed room.
Sarah Owen-Hughes, SOH Interiors
The interior design trends for 2021 have clearly been heavily impacted by the turbulent year we have had in 2020. With a continued push on sustainable and nature-inspired design.
What do you think the top design trends for 2020 will be?