Home Home Improvement Interior Design Trends of 2021: What’s Out, What’s In.

Interior Design Trends of 2021: What’s Out, What’s In.

by Kimberly Fischer
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I think we can all agree that 2020 was a long year with more time spent at home than ever before. Nationwide closures left many of us struggling to create home offices, homeschooling spaces, and gyms, significantly changing the way we use our homes.

Regardless of whether you’re moving to a new home or renovating your current one, it’s always important to choose an aesthetic that’s as current as possible to help boost resale value. While overall, there’s been an “anything goes,” approach to interior design in recent years, these are the trends experts predict will be on the way out and what we can expect to see in 2021.  

What’s Out? 

  • All White Kitchens
  • Modern Farmhouse
  • Matching Furniture Sets
  • Minimalism
  • Neutrals
  • Mid-Century Modern
  • Faux Anything 

What’s In? 

  • Bold Cabinetry 
  • Grandmillenial Style 
  • Complimentary Non-Matching Furniture 
  • Maximalism 
  • Eye-Catching Statement Pieces
  • Luxurious Accents and Unique Patterns
  • Natural and Organic Materials 

Out: All White Kitchens

Although a white kitchen has its timeless appeal, all-white everything isn’t always the best choice. Over the last decade the idea of an all-white kitchen with white cabinets, white fixtures, and even a white countertop and white flooring has begun to lose favor as an ongoing trend. The overall look tends to give your space a washed-out look and can feel cold. However, white still works if you add warm elements to it, like wood hardware.

Large spacious kitchen with white kitchen cabinets, granite countertops, subway tiles, and stainless steel appliances.
Large spacious kitchen with white kitchen cabinets, granite countertops, subway tiles, and stainless steel appliances.

In: Bold Cabinetry

Other options that are going strong are natural wood tones, a splash of color that pops on one statement wall, and bold cabinetry. In fact, designers predict green cabinets could be one of the biggest kitchen trends of 2021. Both lighter and deeper shades will be popping up in kitchens everywhere and because green is a mix of blue and yellow colors, it works with both cool color palettes and warm, cozier kitchen designs. Pairing green cabinets with Carrara-marble counters can help highlight the gray veining in the stone.

Modern style kitchen with light wood countertops, new appliances, and muted green cabinets.
Modern style kitchen with light wood countertops, new appliances, and muted green cabinets. 

Out: Modern Farmhouse 

A beloved staple featured on every home decorating show over the past ten years, the modern farmhouse trend is finally on its way out to pasture.  Part of the reason why many people are over this aesthetic, according to Kelley Mason, Manager of Creative and Content at Lulu and Georgia, is that it has been overdone particularly in places like apartments where a modern farmhouse look isn’t remotely organic, “Shiplap wall treatments, barn doors, and other hallmarks of the modern farmhouse style are still beautiful but look clearly out of place in city apartments and suburban homes,” she says. 

Farmhouse style entryway with a wooden bench placed in front of a white shiplap wall.
Farmhouse style entryway with a wooden bench placed in front of a white shiplap wall.

In: Grandmillennial Style

On the other hand, the “grandmillennial” or “granny chic” style may rise in popularity. The grandmillennial trend is defined by a revival of homey design elements that you might find in your grandparent’s home. The style is meant to evoke comfort, nostalgia, and tradition. Think floral wallpaper, antique paintings, delicate china, crocheted throws, and vintage touches with whimsical flair,” says Heather Goerzen, interior designer with Havenly. “This trend will certainly be one to watch in 2021.”

Formal seating area with castle like interior, carved white wooden furniture, and an antique ceramic tiled stove.
Formal seating area with castle like interior, carved white wooden furniture, and an antique ceramic tiled stove.

Out: Matching Furniture Sets

Matching furniture sets may soon be considered unfashionable and a design faux pas. While they may be an easy and affordable way to fill your space, identical furniture and matching sets don’t showcase personal style and typically aren’t made well enough to use for the long haul.

Dated bedroom with matching furniture set and green walls.
Dated bedroom with matching furniture set and green walls.

In: Complementary Non-Matching Furniture

Instead of coordinating all your furniture or buying a complete set from a single showroom, consider selecting non-matching pieces with complementary colors or designs. According to Bob Williams, President of Design at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams opting for better pieces has a greater purpose beyond quality for the sake of longevity. “Alongside their use, these pieces also carry intrinsic meaning. People are creating deeper relationships with the things they have in their rooms because so many more of life’s moments and memories are happening there. Purchasing is more intentional, and people are loving their rooms more because of it.”

Bold living room area, with mis-matched furniture pieces and unique accessories.
Bold living room area, with mis-matched furniture pieces and unique accessories.

Out: Minimalism 

A favorite amongst celebrities, this ultra-sleek and often times stark design style has no place in the middle of a pandemic. With the sheer amount of time and the number of activities we have all been engaging in at home during 2020, it makes it almost impossible to stick to an austere or sparsely filled home. In 2021, the minimalist trend will start to be replaced by more curated, layered, and eclectic spaces.

Simple living and dining room space with white flooring, plenty of natural light, and sleek furniture.
Simple living and dining room space with white flooring, plenty of natural light, and sleek furniture.

In: Maximalism 

Because it is impossible to live in a home where we leave nothing out, the gravitation towards a maximalist look will become the more functional choice moving forward. Try mixing old and new pieces, going away from perfectly lacquered items to more matte finishes, chalk paint and waxed concretes on the wall— all reminiscent of crafty, comforting times. Every piece in your home should tell a story and make a statement with its unique silhouette, your choice of fabric, color, or unique backstory.

Living room interior, with a feature flower wall, a gold light fixture, and unique accents throughout.
Living room interior, with a feature flower wall, a gold light fixture, and unique accents throughout.

Out: Neutrals

Continuing on with the maximalist theme, it’s easy to understand why neutrals are on their way out. Although it is still important to incorporate neutral colours into your home’s design to appeal to future home buyers, homes with solely neutral pallets are on their way out. 

Modern living room with a neutral interior design palette, including neutral wall colour, furniture, and accents.
Modern living room with a neutral interior design palette, including neutral wall color, furniture, and accents.

In: Eye-Catching Statement Pieces

According to HomeGoods Style Expert, Beth Diana Smith, “Design is about exploration, experimentation, and reflecting our personalities. So, in 2021, we will continue to gravitate towards more color, visual interest, and playful design.” Don’t fret, this doesn’t mean you have to go painting every wall in your home a vibrant shade of yellow. Instead, try introducing color through bold statement decor pieces like ceramic vases, decorative boxes, throw pillows, and colorful wall art.

Pale pink themed living room interior, with complimentary shades of pink throughout furniture and accessories.
Pale pink themed living room interior, with complimentary shades of pink throughout furniture and accessories.

Out: Mid-Century Modern 

This retro-inspired trend certainly had its moment, but the clean lines and simple shapes that characterize this style are being replaced by more luxurious and dramatic touches of luxury.

Mid-century modern interior, with white walls, and minimal furniture and accents.
Mid-century modern interior, with white walls, and minimal furniture and accents.

In: Luxurious Accents and Unique Patterns

If you’ve seen Netflix’s popular show Bridgerton, set in Regency-era London, you’ll understand why 2021 is all about bringing playful opulence and bold patterns into the home to lift an interior’s mood. With the growing desire to host elegant gatherings comes a love for geometric shapes, luxury velvets, monochrome prints and cashmere throws.

Unique, colourful living room space with bold wallpaper, a velvet couch and pillows, and a patterned rug.
Unique, colourful living room space with bold wallpaper, a velvet couch and pillows, and a patterned rug.

Out: Faux Anything 

With all the time we’ve spent indoors lately, 2021 is shaping up to be a big year for biophilic design, which focuses on human’s innate attraction to nature and natural processes. This means we will be seeing less plastic and man-made materials, and more natural and organic materials. 

Artificial plants in flower pots on window sill.
Artificial plants in flower pots on window sill.

In: Natural and Organic Materials 

This year, it is all about sustainability and people will prefer stones, wood, natural fabrics, and natural coloring methods. It is time to replace your faux plants and flowers with real ones. You only need to peek at Pinterest and Instagram to see that houseplants have never been more fashionable – not only are they beautiful, bringing vibrancy and color to our homes, but they also freshen the air, filtering out pollutants and releasing oxygen. For those who can’t bear the idea of replacing your fake plants with real ones, preserved flowers are the solution, it’s basically dried flowers that look fresh and last for months!

Rustic, cozy bedroom design, with emphasis on natural wood, fabrics, and real plants.
Rustic, cozy bedroom design, with emphasis on natural wood, fabrics, and real plants.

Key Takeaways 

Keeping up with the most recent trends can at times be exhausting, but will pay off in the long run when looking to sell your home. If you want to improve the interior of your current home, or design a new home, keep in mind that neutral, minimalist designs are on their way out. Instead, place emphasis on bold patterns, colours, and accent pieces. Remember, regardless of what is currently trending in the world of interior design, your space should reflect your own personal style and be filled with items that make you happy and spark joy in your life.

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