7 Interior Decorating Trends Everyone's Obsessed With in 2021
2020 brought us inside in an extreme way but ultimately made us realise that home is where the heart is. The benefits of creating a sanctuary at home—a space to thrive, not just survive—have never been so apparent.
"One silver lining to this year's lockdowns is that home has been brought to the fore," explains Melbourne-based interior designer Simone Haag. "I have always encouraged people to buy the home that speaks to them over the suburb that speaks to them, often touting that you don't live in your local café."
"This year, many of my clients have reallocated funds that they may have spent on travel to layer their homes," Simone adds. It's a relatable observation, whether you rent or own, especially for travel-obsessed Australians. Instead of a week in Bali or the epic Eurotrip you saved for, it's highly possible you've invested your travel funds back into your home.
"2021 is going to see a continuation of organic forms in furniture design as it filters further into the mainstream," explains Sydney-based interior designer Claudia Stephenson. "More and more people are buying for life, or buying secondhand to live a more sustainable lifestyle, which sees a resurgence of real craftsmanship and brings us closer to the natural world."
So, keep reading to find out which seven interior decorating trends you'll be seeing next.
7 top interior decorating trends of 2021
What is it? It's a brave new world. From bushland to outer space. A bouquet of eucalyptus leaves inside a neon-coloured vase that's also a bluetooth speaker. Rustic meets high-shine.
When it comes to home décor trends in 2021, Claudia is looking forward to the blending of really old and really new. "For the more adventurous among us, we will see creative blend of the natural world mixed with the futuristic," she explains.
Rustic wood and polished chrome in perfect harmony, or a light sculpture atop a burl-wood coffee table, is what we're talking about. To do organic-futuristic at home, and do it well, it's important to be selective. Too much going on will dilute the impact of your hero pieces. Decide who the heroes are first, then build around them.
2. Grandmillennial Style
What is it? It's curated clutter. Dramatic patterns, ornate fabrics, clashing florals. It's grandma's house, but more luxe.
While it's unlikely that the white walls and clean lines prevalent in Scandi minimalism and French chic ever be "out", the more-is-more approach inspired by the Victorian era is pulling millennials and gen Zers into its elegantly cluttered orbit. Grandmillennial style was bound to dominate in a mid-pandemic world, where home is a priority and comfort even more so. The idea is to appropriate traditional design elements from centuries past into a contemporary setting, warming the void-like qualities of more minimalist spaces.
"Subdued palettes and vintage finds were huge for 2020," says artist and home renovation expert Prudence Oliveri (aka Prudence Caroline). "I'd love to see that evolve even further—think nanna's country pad mixed with Spanish revival."
3. The Ornate Art Wall
What is it? It's two things: volume and variety. Many frames of varied sizes and materials, filled with art that's just as diverse—paintings, prints, illustrations, photographs, whatever makes the mood.
According to Simone, one aspect of home décor that will continue to grow in popularity is the art wall. Hanging one or two special pieces to punctuate your home's focal points is a great way to lift the mood and add personality, but go one step further by filling a wall with art and you'll be amazed at how cosy and comforting the space becomes.
In the living room, consider how you might incorporate your visual entertainment into a curated art wall—consider the highly coveted Samsung Frame TV, which acts as a virtual art gallery when not in use. Or, if watching TV is only a sometimes activity in your house, consider replacing the bulky flatscreen with a projector set-up.
4. Sculptural Furniture
What is it? Unexpected curves. Chubby chairs are here to stay. When making big investments, be bold as well as practical.
A growing emphasis on home décor means more people are more likely to invest in bigger pieces in addition to smaller homewares and art objects. Every item of furniture, therefore, is multi-purpose: not only should a sofa be comfortable, but ideally it should make an impact to the aesthetic and sensory mood of the room.
"Furnishings are becoming the new sculpture and art pieces people invest in," Claudia says. Thankfully the chubby furniture trend will continue, with curves dominating over angular lines in general—another indicator of our collective need for cosy comfort and inviting spaces.
What is it? DIY all day every day. The rules are, there are no rules. Resourceful, sustainable, creative.
The idea behind bricolage is that having to work with what you've got, rather than create the home of your dreams from scratch, can be a blessing in disguise. It's all about unconventional combinations, and mixing and matching, in every sense: shape, colour, texture, era.
Earlier this year we broke down the three elements that makes bricolage as an interiors trend so appealing: breaking the "rules" allows you to be creative and find out what you really want and need; using what you've got (or what's close by) means you're more likely to be environmentally sustainable; and you're more likely to achieve a more unique and personal outcome.
6. Navy Blue
What is it? Classic, grown-up, Scandi-noir.
Blues have been trending for a while now, but 2021 is set to see deep navy blues dominating the landscape. Gentler than black but no less dramatic, navy is a sophisticated addition among neutrals and brights.
7. Blonde Wood
What is it? Warm neutrals en mass. Not just furniture, but floors, walls and ceilings, too. Layers of blonde wood create the kind of sunny, Scandi-inspired minimalism that uplifts, lightens and creates ambience.
Raw, untreated, light-coloured woods are an elegant way to connect your home's interior with nature without losing your minimalist through-line. If you're creating a zen den at home—a space to relax, meditate or reflect—opting for all blonde wood furnishings will help to facilitate tranquility and warmth.