Looking Forward: 16 Design Trends to Watch in 2021

  • Denise Graves
  • 05/12/21

Keep an Eye Out for These Incredible Trends in 2021. 

With the end of 2020 rapidly approaching, it’s time to look forward to all that 2021 has in store. There is plenty to look forward to in 2021—including new interior home design trends. The new year is the perfect time to give your home a makeover. From lighter woods to sustainable designs, here are 16 design trends to watch in 2021.

1. Lighter Woods

With the turn of the new year, don’t be surprised to see lighter words replacing deeper colors. According to Insider, Scandinavian blonde or rustic light oaks are becoming increasingly popular. As people embrace their love for minimalism, light-toned woods are slowly but surely replacing medium and darker shades. The best part is that lighter-toned wood items enhance your home, regardless of what decor style you are going for.

2. Easy-to-Clean Materials

COVID has undoubtedly made people more conscious of cleanliness, and that will become more clear in 2021. Designers predict that easy-to-clean materials are going to become increasingly popular. Non-porous materials, such as glass and metal, are less susceptible to bacteria growth. This helps to prevent the spread of germs indoors and makes your home safer for you and your family. 
Credit: Sherwin-Williams

3. Color of the Year

Sherwin Williams recently released their Color of the Year: Urbane Bronze. This dark and moody color perfectly encaptures both sophistication and simplicity of a space. 2020 taught about the unpredictables and uncertainties of life and, as a result, people want their homes to be a haven more than ever. Whether you choose to accent a wall or add a rug or window trim, this color gives your space depth. Urbane Bronze is the perfect color to add to your home and will help make your living space a safe and intimate environment. 

4. House Plants

It seems like 2020 has been the year of the house plant—and that trend isn’t going anywhere once the new year rolls around. Indoor plants have a lot of perks. They add a pop of color, help the air, and brighten your mood. According to studies by NASA, they also heighten your creativity and increase wellness. Ferns, bamboo, and spider plants help purify indoor air. If you’re new to house plants, here are some easy-to-care-for indoor plants to keep in mind.

5. Sustainable Designs

People are becoming increasingly committed to living a sustainable lifestyle—and that includes everything from travel to interior design. The interest in sustainable designs has significantly increased in the past few years. According to NYU Stern’s Center for Sustainable Business, sustainable items garnered almost 30 percent more interest in 2018 than in 2013. Green interiors are predicted to be one of 2021’s hottest trends. This encompasses everything from reclaimed and recycled wood, to durability, to less waste. A commitment to sustainability isn’t going anywhere as more and more homeowners, builders, and designers opt for the eco-friendly route.

6. 1980s Home Decor

As the saying goes, what goes around comes around. When that comes to curating the style of your home, that couldn’t be more true. 1980s home decor is edging its way into the new year’s designs. Don’t be surprised to see playful shapes, bold patterns, and colors making a comeback in 2021. This applies to everything from curtains to furniture, debunking the “less is more” minimalist trend that defined 2020.

7. More Color in Homes

It’s out with the old and in with the new! As the new year rolls around, expect to see warm and earthy colors taking their place. 2020 has been an unquestionably difficult year, and people want their homes to offer comfort, coziness, and safety. Designers predict that warm neutrals and deep earth tones will become a common theme of 2021. Vancouver designer Gillian Segal predicts that caramel will replace gray and deep colors, such as olive green and burnt orange, will become more frequent. When it comes to incorporating color into your home, look to paint and fabric that have yellow or red undertones to create a welcoming and cozy look. 

8. Cottagecore

Research has analyzed Google Trends throughout 2020 to discover which design trends are here to stay and which trends are on their way out. Cottagecore came out in first place, and it’s not hard to understand why. Cottagecore is a rustic design that embraces simplicity and comfort. The color palette of cottagecore generally comprises muted colors, with common themes of plants, rustic homes, and flowers. With all that we have collectively experienced in 2020, it’s no wonder people are gravitating toward this style. This wholesome aesthetic is only expected to become more and more popular throughout homes. 

9. Vintage Elements

In 2021, don’t be surprised to see vintage elements popping up in interior design. This includes everything from antique to repurposed to retro pieces. When it comes to adding vintage elements to your home, remember that the key to successfully achieving this look is to provide an abundance of contrast. 

10. Textured Walls

Another common theme in 2021 is textured walls. Not only does this change the aesthetic of your home, but this look is easy to achieve. Textured walls help to bring depth and dimension into a space. It also helps to make the room look large by drawing people’s eyes to the outer perimeters of the room. Textured walls might vary from wallpaper to decorative molding to wood shiplap. Get ready to see this trend take on a variety of different looks and feels in 2021. 

11. Bold Wall Colors

Color is a powerful tool to bring life into your home. One of the main trends designers expect to see in 2021 is an emphasis on bold and bright colors. Whether it is for furniture, lamps, or accessories, expect to see a few more pops of color in the design schemes. According to award-winning interior designer Marie Flanigan, we can expect to see an increase in jewel tones, such as ruby and sapphire, and earthy shades, including cypress and saffron. Homeowners won’t be shy when it comes to expressing themselves through color. 

12. Natural Materials 

The past few years have seen an increase in rattan furniture and cane webbing—and that isn’t going anywhere in 2021. Designers expect natural materials to continue to rise in popularity. This includes a variety of things, ranging from light-toned wood, leather, ceramic, and live plants. Here are 10 natural materials you can easily use for the interior of your home. Incorporating natural materials into your home is sure to give your living space a warm and natural feel. 

13. Mid-Century Style 

Although Modsy predicted Mid-Century Modern would exit in 2021, research has shown this style will very much be a part of 2021. In fact, Mod Visionary is on the rise by 14 percent. This style effortlessly combines Mid-Century Modern with minimalist styling and colors. This sub-style is known for its clean lines and sleek look. Mod Visionary’s increase reflects people's desire for functionality. This design looks great in smaller spaces and provides both functional and beautiful pieces of furniture.

14. Home Offices

This one comes as no surprise. With COVID drastically changing the way we work and live, people are drawn to creating office space in their homes. According to Modsy, home office design requests have grown steadily since April 2020, with furniture sales three times higher than in April of 2019. People are starting to rethink their priorities, and the need for a functional home office is consistently rising to the top. 

15. Granny Chic

A while ago, comparing someone’s interior design style to grandma’s house wouldn’t have been taken as a compliment. But now, granny chic—also known as grandmillennial style—is predicted to become another popular trend in 2021. A granny chic style is all about embracing vintage furniture, accessories, and fabric prints that have a modern twist. Floral wallpaper, antique paintings, and crocheted throws are a few examples of the grandmillennial trend.
The grandmillennial style brings comfort and class into your home. As the saying goes, everything old is new again, and that couldn’t be more true when it comes to granny chic. 

16. Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper

As wallpaper is coming back into style with a vengeance, people are drawn to peel-and-stick wallpaper. Self-adhesive, removable wallpaper has become more popular with individuals who rent or are looking for a simple way to improve their home. This trend isn’t likely to go anywhere as we move into the new year. Easy to install peel-and-stick wallpaper brings personality and pizzazz into your home.
If you are looking to explore San Antonio real estate, contact Denise Graves today. Named SABOR’s Realtor of the Year in 2016, Denise is one of the most sought-after San Antonio real estate agents. Her expertise and dedication to clients will help guide you through finding your dream home.


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