Trends come and go, but some stick around for awhile! These are the biggest home trends taking over 2021 that have the staying power.
Whew. Do you feel it? 2020 is OVER and we’ve come out the other side, not unscathed surely, but intact. Design trends change every year. That’s the nature of our evolving styles and, quite frankly, consumerism! But this year is a bit different.
The past year has dramatically changed the landscape of every industry and the same is true for how we live in our homes. Where we live means so much more than it ever has before – home is now our office, our school, our daycare, our playground, our restaurants, and everywhere else we used to go. Hopefully this we can get back some of our old normal, but I bet most of our lifestyles are sufficiently altered for the foreseeable future.
Like many other home décor enthusiasts, I’ve been researching trends in all things home, décor and furnishings. Here I’ve compiled my forecast for upcoming home trends that we can expect will stick around for a while.
1. WARM WOOD TONES
For the past decade we’ve all drooled over painted wood – white and gray built ins ruled every room while wood-look tile and luxury vinyl in every shade of gray dominated our floors. The past few years we saw a reemergence of pale and bleached wood that has started to make way for warmer wood tones.
I have a very distinct memory of seeing warm wood cabinets in a kitchen for the first time in years a couple of years ago in a McGregor Homes parade home in Oklahoma City. I remember telling the owner that I felt like I was in a William-Sonoma which I intended as a huge compliment. Since then I’ve seen countless kitchens, bathrooms and built-ins utilizing the gorgeous warm tones of natural and stained wood.
McGregor has always been one of my favorite Oklahoma City homebuilders. As you can see in the photo above the utilized light warm wood for the gorgeous paneled island. Their kitchens are always gorgeous and I encourage you to go look through their online gallery if you want some inspiration!
Earthy brown tones are also showing up in furniture and textiles – cognac and caramel leather sofas and chairs; natural cane and woven bamboo accent tables; rattan light fixtures.
These colors are easy to work into any décor style, even if much of your home is cool grays and whites. Adding small light fixtures, decorative accents or a few throw pillows can easily warm up your space and make your whole room feel refreshed and updated.
Adding small light fixtures, decorative accents or a few throw pillows can easily warm up your space and make your whole room feel refreshed and updated.
2. SEPARATED SPACES
All it takes is one afternoon of binge watching HGTV and you will see no less than half a dozen walls get knocked down. Homes of decades past are easily recognizable by their compact, boxy layouts where rooms are separated, and sight lines are all but nonexistent.
While open floorplans will continue to dominate for the foreseeable future, when a whole family is working and learning from home, open floorplans present some challenges. As a mom, I’m all about those open sightlines, but as a work-from-home business owner, I know the importance of audial separation! Truthfully, I knew the importance of this years ago in my previous home when the only place I could have a quiet phone call was in my bathroom with two closed doors between me and my talkative child and barking dog.
All these newfound living conditions are motivating people to create separate areas for work and play. Some homeowners might choose to convert existing bedrooms or bonus rooms to home offices. Some might put up actual walls. Other homes with smaller footprints may turn unused corners into dedicated school spaces or quiet corners.
We may also see a trend in multipurpose furniture. I’m going to throw it back for a minute to show off the very first piece of furniture I bought as a real, working adult. Our last home was very short on space and we didn’t have room to spare for a dedicated home office which I desperately needed as a fledgling small business owner. I looked for months for a long table that could serve as both an entertainment stand for our TV, but also had space for a desk. My dad, knowing what I was looking for, spotted this piece at a Vintage Market Days event. I used the hard-earned money I’d made from my small business to make the purchase and it worked out perfectly. We now have this piece of furniture in our upstairs playroom and I like to imagine it will be the perfect place for both of my children to do homework when they grow up.
Regardless of how you create a physical work/life balance in your home, I bet we will see many homeowners stretch the limits of creativity to find the perfect solution for their family. I can’t wait to see the results and how homebuilders develop these new spaces in the future.
3. IN WITH THE OLD
Conscious Consumerism. Granny Chic. Cottagecore. Whatever you call it, the nostalgic comfort of vintage prints, antique furniture and warm muted color pallets are making a comeback. While fast furniture dominated the marketplace for years, consumers have become increasingly aware of the negative effects cheap, low quality furniture has on the environment AND pocketbooks.
Buying a cheap bed that will fall apart during your next move may seem like a reasonable short term solution, but at some point you realize that bed frame with its 400 pieces (seriously, why does the cheapest furniture have the most parts?) is going to end up in a dumpster and you’re going to have to drop a few hundred dollars to replace it. People are starting to recognize that often the most financially and environmentally responsible choice is to purchase a good quality item that should last for years.
Sometimes those good quality items are antiques! My parents are big time antiquers. Every road trip we went on was peppered with various stops at antique stores much to my 8 year old chagrin. I thought every antique store we stopped in was creepy and musty; the only respite being that they were havens in which to hunt for coveted Beanie Babies! Now I’m older and have a newfound appreciation for the phrase, “They don’t make them like this anymore.”
You don’t need to litter your home with creepy porcelain dolls or those weird cat wall clocks (unless you’re into that sort of thing in which case, do you), but a really unique piece of antique furniture can make a huge statement and make your space different than everyone else’s! Let me offer a few more ideas: Adorn your bar cart with antique glassware or hang an ornate painting with a big gilded frame in your hallway. Mixing and matching styles is a surefire way to make your home feel uniquely you.
That said, I also know there’s likely a lot of you out there for whom antiques are NOT your thing. Anyone else not-so-irrationally worry about old antiques being haunted?! I once listened to a podcast episode about a haunted dybbuk box and HELL NO was I even stepping foot in an antique store after that. Side note: if you want to go down a rabbit hole, Google Post Malone being haunted by a box. I’m not even kidding. This post will still be here when you get back!
I mean, I love his music. But just one look at him and it's like, yeah. I can believe that guy is haunted by something.
Back to the point: Vintage prints and small scale patterns are showing up in myriad textiles from throw blankets to wallpaper - all in NEW unhaunted items! I’d recommend you don’t go too crazy with the pattern mixing, but purchasing some pretty throw pillows to go with the handmade afghan your Grandma knit you is sure to elicit the coziest, homiest feelings! Almost as if I planned it (I totally did), talking about Old Grannie’s blankie brings me right to my next trend: Comfort Taking Priority.
4. COMFORT TAKING PRIORITY
As someone who loves modern minimalism, I’ve been all about the clean lines of mid century décor. But sometimes those hard edges and under stuffed cushions don’t lend much toward comfort. This year we’re going to see a huge shift in trending styles as everyone begins prioritizing comfort. Rounded furniture, overstuffed cushions and luxurious textiles are going to be big sellers as we continue settling in at home. The truth is, there’s just not much use for a beautiful, hard sofa when you’re stuck at home all day with no one to impress but yourself!
Has being at home made you more aware of areas lack comfort? Or are you all cozied up already?
5. EMPHASIZING OUTDOOR LIVING
Last year when many industries were dying a slow painful death (or even a quick painful death), outdoor living purchases skyrocketed! Do you remember those videos of the people in Italy hanging out their windows singing with each other? Even in the very beginning of the pandemic, we all started recognizing the importance of expanding our living space outside.
Last year I was so grateful for our big back yard and our two porches. While we already had some rocking chairs on our front porch, our back porch was a blank slate. I also knew I wanted to do more with our front porch to make it more functional since we were spending so much time watching the kids play outside.
Whether someone lives in a city apartment with a small balcony or a big farmhouse with a huge expanse of property, outdoor projects took center stage. Even though things will hopefully begin returning to some semblance of normal, I think we’re all still planning on taking advantage of the great outdoors.
Outdoor furniture and décor is going to continue holding its own in the retail market. I also expect to see social media flooded with backyard DIYs for things like firepits and outdoor kitchens.
Indoor plants will also continue making their way into everyone’s homes. Sometimes even having something around that’s pretty and alive can make a space feel fresh and open. And if you don’t have a green thumb, there are some really great quality faux plants out there.
6. GLOBAL INSPIRATION
Oh to travel again. Won’t that be wonderful? Global inspired décor will bring a little bit of the world to us while we dream about heading off into far off adventures again. Plants, botanical patterns and cool ocean hues will be used both as accents in neutral spaces or as overall themes.
Hand made pottery, woven baskets, authentic Persian rugs, the ways to bring in globally-inspired decor is truly endless.
Some of my favorite decor pieces in my own home are these black bamboo fans. They make me think of a small island off the coast of nowhere that hasn't been overtaken by commercial condos. But at this point I'd gladly take a week to stay in a commercial condo! There are usually three fans on that wall but one of my Command Hooks fell. Sheesh.
You can easily achieve an international-inspired look by using all sorts of shapes, textures and colors. I know I already said it, but it bears repeating - there are endless possibilities for creating this design style that will make it feel like home - or abroad - your way.
So that's it for my round up of 2021 Home Decor Trends with Staying Power. What's your favorite upcoming trend? Did I miss any you're really excited about? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time!