I love keeping up on interior design trends! And today I’m sharing a little bit of what I see on the horizon for 2021!
Feature Photo Credit: The Nord Room Blog.
*If you’re looking for current design trends for 2023, I have that post HERE.*
Trends change about every 10 years, and after 2020, I think everyone is ready to flip a new page!
2020 had such a big impact on everyone, and really in all parts of our day to day lives. Financially, physically, spiritually, relationally – you name it, it was affected.
*This post contains affiliate links to products I know &/or love.
You probably won’t be surprised to know that Home Depot as a company recorded their best year ever in sales. The DIY crowd was out in droves as a lot of people realized they had the time to get projects done in their homes, yards and gardens.
In a similar vein, the interior design styles and focuses that became more popular really centered around the idea that people were spending much more time in their homes.
On one hand, I think most everyone wanted their home to feel more comfortable, and more like a sanctuary.
While on the other hand balancing a need to be able to functionally do just about everything at home. Working, schooling, socializing, and exercising- all in addition to the regular “home” things like eating and sleeping.
It was a shift that put the focus on our homes and immediate surroundings in a way that really hasn’t been seen in quite some time!
Some of the most obvious design element changes I saw last year were that mid-century modern furniture seemed to really start taking a back burner, and I think that’s mainly due to comfort! While those couches can look really stylish and sleek, they didn’t hold a candle in the comfort or welcoming department.
Minimalism also seemed to kind of take a back seat.
Again I think this was because the idea of people needing to use their homes so much more and needing to use their own space for so many more of their every day activities, they realized they would need a bit more of the things they could have previously done without.
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Before I jump into what I think the interior design trends are for 2021, I want to do a quick refresher on what I think is an important topic whenever we’re discussing trends!
I’ve written a few blog posts that touch on the subjects of trends which you can find here:
And I think now, on the verge of some bigger changes is a good time to be reminded about the differences between trends and classics, and when to use which in our homes!
When I mentioned that trends change about every 10 years, I think you don’t have to look much further than kitchens of the past 50 years to get a good idea of how obvious some trends can be!
I feel like at times I can even pinpoint the exact decade a kitchen was installed in based on lots of these very specific cabinet color selections, counter top styles, flooring options and design choices.
I love trends, and studying them, understanding them, and most importantly hacking them to work for my space, with my budget.
My personal rule of thumb is to not spend more than $500 on a trendy item.
Now depending on your personal finances, that might sound like a lot, or it might sound like barely anything – but my advice is the same, regardless of your budget:
Don’t spend good money on trendy features.
Go classic with your hard finishes, and trendy with your smaller items and furnishings where it suits you!
Hard finishes are things that don’t come with you when you move, like your:
Furnishings are the smaller items like:
When you use trendy finishes on your hard surfaces, you end up being either bound to them for longer than you like, or needing to pay big money once again after about a decade to replace them, regardless of whether or not they’re in bad shape.
They become what I call the “bully” in a room very easily as soon as the winds and trends change.
Sticking with classic finishes helps you to then have lots of freedom to work alongside those kind of benchmark pieces with fun trendy accents that aren’t such an expense to update when the time comes.
Some classic hard finishes I’ll always recommend:
And now the main event… *drum roll please*
Now that we’ve gotten the “business” side of things out of the way, we can jump into the part I’m most excited about! New trends for this coming year!
I am seeing so much more color in 2021! I think we’ve had our past decade with lovely whites and neutrals, but now the colors are making their way back, and I’m am here for the color pops!
I think the specific colors themselves that are having their time in the sun are the jewel tones!
Think: mauve, apricot, peach, coral, mustard yellow (this one is the one I’m loving the most), forest green, navy blue, hunter green.
The Sherwin Williams color of the year is actually a neat grey brown mushroom tone called Urbane Bronze (SW- 7048).
The Farmhouse Split:
Another big change I’m noticing is a bit of a split in the Farmhouse Style that has become so popular.
About half of the current farmhouse trend is headed to modern farmhouse, similar to Studio McGee’s style.
And the other half is headed into a style called Cottage Core.
If you’re not familiar with cottage core yet, I think the best way I can explain it is:
Basically a farmhouse backdrop, but with lots of florals and colors in the foreground.
I mentioned it once already this year, but I can feel my design sensibility leading me this direction for my own home, and I’m excited to dive in deeper in an upcoming blog to share more about it with you!
I can see the white shiplap trend really starting to quiet down, at times simply with different colors (I’ve seen some painted black recently), and at other times, replaced all together with a new take on board and batten walls.
I’ve been seeing lots of geometric and grid shaped accent walls made with 1″ x 2″ pieces of wood and then painted in the dark rich colors I mentioned earlier.
I also think wall paper is making a pretty fantastic comeback as an accent wall! With lots of color and fun florals.
Fun accent wallpaper is another thing you shouldn’t be surprised to see in my own home in the coming year.
Kitchen Interior Design Trends for 2021:
In the kitchen I’m seeing light, almost raw wood cabinets coming back – which feel like they fit very nicely with both modern farmhouse and cottage core.
In the Living Room:
Something fun that I have noticed a few times are these long, high bookshelves – I’m talking within about 1′ of the ceiling that almost look like an aspect of the millwork.
It’s a kind of creative use of that space that I haven’t seen around much before!
I’m also seeing lots of plants making their way into designs in all the different parts of the home – which I think really ties into the idea of us wanting sanctuary in our homes since we’re there so much.
Cognac sofas are also really popular! So much so that trying to find them second hand right now is near impossible. I think it won’t be too long before we start getting some more knock off versions to help fill the void, though.
What’s really neat about cognac is that it’s both a classic, and a current trend! This is one piece I’d recommend a bit of a splurge on if it’s something you love!
I think the color goes so well with charcoal, and black and white, and with wood tones. Dreamy!
I think both interior and exterior brick is getting a bit of a surprising update with paint! I know German schmear and white brick have been popular for a while, but I’ve noticed examples of even brightly colored bricks! I’m curious to see what else comes from those few bold inspirations!
If you find vintage caned pieces while thrifting, I’d definitely suggest you snag them up! They’re also showing up new in retail, though, if your thrifted selection leaves something to be desired!
There are also some really creative caned furniture options I’ve been seeing around! Some have been so bold as to use it as a full treatment on their cabinet doors, but I think I would stay away from such a large usage on a hard fixture, and stick to adding them on a smaller furniture piece that you can swap out later if needed.
I do think this process of caning furniture could be a fun and inexpensive DIY with wooden dowels!
The textured hammered brass seems to be up and coming as the metallic of choice for 2021.
I also think concrete fireplaces will be popping up more and more this year!
This is actually one time I might say it would be OK to ignore my “hard finishes” rule if this was a look you really loved. This treatment could totally be done over the top of an outdated stone fireplace if you were looking for a change.
Lastly, Black is back!:
I think it’s been about since the 80’s that black has been kind of relegated to the sidelines, but I truly see it making a comeback in 2021.
It can be so beautiful when used as an accent color, but I have to say that I think it can become a little flat, gothic and heavily masculine when used in too great a quantity.
Feel free to dabble and add those sophisticated elements, but be careful not to over do it!
I hope this serves as a helpful look ahead and inspiration for you!
Let me know in the comments below which of these you’re most looking forward too, or if you see any other trends on the horizon that you think I might have left off!
Until next time,