Interior Design Trends for 2021

Interior Design Trends for 2021

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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.*

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.

Photo Credit : Rugs Direct

*This post contains affiliate links to products I know &/or love.

There are a few interesting ways that 2020 affected the design industry:

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.

Photo Credit: Diana Marie Home

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.

Photo Credit: Lindye Galloway

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.

Photo Credit: Etsy – Hilmenna

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!

Trends versus Classics:

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!

Photo Credit : Maria Killam

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.

When to Splurge On Trends:

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:

  • Countertops
  • Flooring
  • Cabinetry
  • Tile & Stone work
Photo Credit: Farmer’s Daughter
Photo Credit: Farmer’s Daughter
Photo Credit: Farmer’s Daughter

Furnishings are the smaller items like:

  • Accent chair
  • Pillows
  • Wall & table top/shelf Decor
  • Paint for wall colors

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:

  • Carrera Marble
  • White Subway Tile
  • Medium tone wood floors
  • Mantles with clean lines
Photo Credit: Me & Mr. Jones

And now the main event… *drum roll please*

Incoming Interior Design Trends for 2021:

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!

Color:

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.

Photo Credit: Carousel Designs
Photo Credit: Home Depot – Katherine Orange Tufted Accent Chair
Photo Credit: @shadedeggesphotography via @lonnymag on Instagram.
Photo Credit: Jean Stoffer Designs

The Sherwin Williams color of the year is actually a neat grey brown mushroom tone called Urbane Bronze (SW- 7048).

Photo Credit: Sherwin Williams

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.

Photo Credit: Country Living

If you’re not familiar with cottage core yet, I think the best way I can explain it is:

  • Sweet
  • Vintage
  • Old English
  • Garden
  • Victorian

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!

Wall Treatments:

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.

Photo Credit : Thistlewood Farms

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.

Photo Credit: Molly Britt Design

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!

Photo Credit: Room & Board
Photo Credit : In Honor of Design

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!

Photo Credit : Pottery Barn

Painted Brick:

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!

Photo Credit : My Chic Obsession
Photo Credit : Katrina Lee Chambers

Caned Furniture:

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!

Photo Credit: Target

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!

Photo Credit : Bria Hammel Interiors
Photo Credit : Bria Hammel Interiors

Hammered Brass:

The textured hammered brass seems to be up and coming as the metallic of choice for 2021.

Photo Credit : Target

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.

Photo Credit : Provenance Companies

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!

Photo Credit : Craftberry Bush

And that’s my 2021 round up of incoming Interior Design Trends!

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!

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Until next time,

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13 Comments

  1. Ruth Newton
    February 26, 2021 / 3:47 AM

    I think you are right on based on what I’ve been seeing too. I love the dark, rich colors on the walls, especially with gold metals. Thanks for always inspiring us Sarah.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      February 27, 2021 / 10:02 PM

      Thank you for your kind words, Ruth! It will be fun to watch it all come together this year!

  2. Nena Pulsifer
    February 27, 2021 / 7:51 AM

    Totally agree with all your predictions! Done most of them already. 🙂

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      February 27, 2021 / 10:01 PM

      Love it! You’re ahead of the game!

  3. Geraldine Ryan
    March 26, 2021 / 1:42 PM

    Hi Sarah.Just found you and so timely.We are planning a basement Reno and a wall of black cabinets will be a feature.We have a 100 yr old house and storage is a big issue. The tv and fireplace will be within that wall.Love the drama of black.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      April 10, 2021 / 12:23 AM

      That sounds lovely, Geraldine!

  4. Catherine Lemay
    March 30, 2021 / 10:19 AM

    Love it all! Thank you! We are buying an Inn (an old bank, dating back from 1900!) that we will be redecorating and doing some renovations and updates to, and I’m wondering what that dreamy yellow paint color is in that top photo??

    My daughter and I are also subscribed to your youtube channel and love everything you do! We love all of the ideas and helpful information! Thank you!

  5. May 4, 2021 / 7:42 PM

    It’s exciting to read that more colorful patterns are being used this year. My wife has always wanted to try getting more creative with our house, and we wanted to take this opportunity to try something new with the way our walls and floors looked. With that in mind, once I find a painting contractor in the area, I’ll definitely get their help in arranging something like this using brighter and more expressive colors.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      May 4, 2021 / 10:05 PM

      Fun! I hope you enjoy your new color!

  6. Heather
    June 24, 2021 / 9:37 AM

    Hi Sarah,

    While I agree that these are more of the mainstream trends, there have got to be other trends that are coming up as well that have more of a contemporary look? I feel like cottage/farmhouse are all one similar style. Are there any other styles that are trending in other design worlds??? I love a more forward look on things.

    Thanks,
    Heather

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      August 25, 2021 / 12:54 AM

      Oh, I’m sure there are, my areas of expertise are really the traditional and some transitional styles. The most modern look I study is “Modern Farmhouse”, but if you are interested in something truly contemporary, I think you would like Lisa Holt’s YouTube channel!

  7. September 5, 2021 / 11:47 PM

    I am glad that I saw this post. It is informative blog for us and we need this type of blog thanks for share this blog.

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