Interior design trends for 2021

Trend-watchers and interior design enthusiasts have been busy predicting the hot new looks for 2021. There are surprises, along with one or two old favourites. 

We’ve taken a peek at a few of the forecasts and projections and condensed them into nine key themes. 

Here’s what we think will influence style choices in our homes in the months ahead.

  1. Nostalgia

Many of the looks on the cards for 2021 take their cues from yesteryear, bringing character and personality to our modern comforts. Watchwords include arts and crafts, vintage, antique, gilt, ornate, rustic, cottage and reclaimed. Even shabby chic is on trend again. Connect with the past to build a contemporary look that develops slowly and meaningfully. 

2. Global effect

Look out for international influences, reflecting the holidays we’ve missed and those we’re dreaming of. Vibrant patterns and colours evoke an island paradise, with Hawaiian-style blues and lemons, florals and striking digital prints. At the other end of the scale are the grounded tones of the African plains, with wood, woven textures and rattan all featuring strongly. 

3. Houseplants

Houseplants are here to stay, freshening the air and bringing a natural energy to any room. Whether trailing, climbing, mini or sculptural, there’s a houseplant to suit any setting. Faux greenery is okay too and don’t be surprised to see dried arrangements and ornamental grasses making a comeback.

4. Organic

Natural is the key, with Scandinavian design remaining a strong style influence. From elegantly rustic to classically minimalist, we’ll be taking inspiration from materials such as timber, stone and glass. Mix old and new to inject personality, with reclaimed wood the star attraction. Shapes reflect natural forms, shunning the stark and unyielding. Earthy tones nurture and support, with cosy browns, creams and soft terracotta. Brave Ground, Dulux’s Colour of the Year for 2021, is the perfect example of a warm, balanced, natural neutral.

5. Texture

Textured walls are predicted to be right on trend in 2021, with wallpapers transforming plain plaster into everything from luxurious marble to rough-sawn timber. Rugs, throws, carpet and cushions will add extra feel-good vibes while enhancing that all-important comfort factor.

6. The art of calm

After the year that was, it’s not surprising we’ll be seeking some calm after the storm. Ease will be the name of the game as we cultivate a less-is-more approach. Minimalist artwork will shine as we look for ways to eliminate stress-inducing clutter. 

7. Contrast

Can’t decide what colour to go for in the kitchen? Pick two contrasting colours and you’ll be showcasing one of the year’s key looks. Think inky blues, blacks or greys set off by crisp white to get you started.

8. Blue hues

From ocean-inspired palettes to smart, sophisticated navy, blues will come into their own in the year ahead. Inspiring calm, rest and comfort, the new blues work in perfect harmony with this year’s natural neutrals.

9. Upcycling

Breathing new life into old treasures will be a growing passion for many this year, echoing an increasing awareness of the need to salvage, repurpose and re-use as we prioritise sustainability. Creativity know no bounds.

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