10 Interior Design Trends Dominating TikTok in 2021
Even if you’ve never downloaded TikTok – and don’t ever plan to – the social media platform has probably (most certainly) influenced you in some way or another. Have you or someone you know, baked the infamous baked feta pasta? Have you tried the tortilla folding hack or sleeping with socks hack? Maybe you’ve given a go at learning the ‘Blinding Lights’ dance? Well, all those originated from TikTok.
10 Interior Design Trends Dominating TikTok in 2021
Cottagecore has been crowned TikTok’s top interior trend of 2021 with 6 billion hashtags dedicated to the trend on the social media platform.
A shift away from the sparse Scandinavian minimalist trend, cottagecore offers a warm, inviting, romantic and cosy aesthetic that mixes DIY, vintage and a desire to bring the outdoors in. It’s a form of escapism and refers to a fantasy world far removed from the chaos of the world. It seeks to mimic the essence of an imagined life in the countryside to help make urban life more habitable than it actually feels, whether that be through home décor, personal style or figuratively through mindset.
Things that are explicitly cottagecore include herb gardens, dried flowers (more on this below), floral prints, ceramics, treehouses, the act of baking, plaid blankets and pastels and green colour palettes. To bring a little cottagecore into your home décor, look for natural fibres, warm colours, symmetrical patterns such as tartan, plant life and other organic objects, and wood. For inspiration, look to the Byron Bay home of Courtney Adamo for an example of chic yet accessible country-inspired décor.
Heard it before but can’t actually pin-point exactly what it is? Well, to sum it up perfectly, if you’ve seen the TV series Mad Men then you might have a good idea. Functionality is at the heart of mid-century modernism and the focus is on furniture that is adaptable and easy to use. Extravagant embellishments are nowhere to be seen, and instead materials such as steel and wood are favoured. Teak table tops, tapered peg-legs and leather mixed with timber also define the trend.
The best aspect about it is that it can fit in seamlessly with your existing furniture set. Thanks to its minimalist design, décor from this era has a timeless, always-on-trend look about it. If you’re keen to completely refresh your space with the mid-century modernism look, there are a couple of things to be wary of. To avoid your space looking a little too utilitarian, playing with levels is key - this can be achieved by incorporating furniture from different heights. You can also look towards Fatuma Ndenzako’s mid-century Melbourne home tour.
On the other side of the maximalist trends dominating the interior space on TikTok is Japandi - a hybrid style that brings together the simplistic and natural elements of Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics to create a space designed with calming colours and clean lines.
It’s not only trending on TikTok, either - according to Pinterest’s 2021 trends predictions report, searches for the minimal style have increased by almost five times in the past year.
The key to nailing Japandi is using minimalistic designs that are both aesthetically pleasing and intentional.
The focus is on high-quality and handmade furniture, which is paired with neutral colours and paint choices that promote calmness and tranquility. Brighter colours can be incorporated, but must be executed in a subtle and meaningful way.
What also sets Japandi apart from other minimalist trends is the focus on sustainability and eco-friendly aesthetics, which is partly responsible for the style’s popularity. Head here for your complete guide on how to incorporate Japandi into your interiors.
4. Twisted candles
There’s a certain satisfaction amongst TikTokers in submerging a candle in hot water, twisting and bending it and then letting it solidify. What you get is a fun accent piece for a well-styled living space, which can even add a touch to your tablescape.
There are currently over 22 million videos on the social media platform with the twisted candle hashtag, with many being DIY videos demonstrating exactly how to create the candle for a fraction of the cost of what retailers are selling them for. For a complete guide on how to make twisted candles, head here.
With over 22 million views for #rattan on TikTok, it’s true this trend has officially made a comeback. So, what is it? In the context of home décor, rattan translates to a refined kind of nostalgia - it’s a take on the 70’s boho aesthetic.
In terms of the material, natural rattan comes from a vine-like plant from the palm family, which grows in rainforests. The plants grow quickly and requires little cultivation, which makes it an incredibly sustainable material, beyond its style chops. Light and bendy, rattan is easy to weave and manipulate. The result? Limitless potential for striking forms, patterns and textures.
While it used to be used almost exclusively for outdoor furnishings, now bed frames, wardrobes and chairs are crafted from this fibre, as are smaller detail pieces (think: baskets, pendant lights and magazine racks). There are also endless DIY rattan projects on TikTok, like making your own coasters, table lamps, shelves and plant stands.
For inspiration on how to give your space a laid-back, beachy vibe, step inside the Poppy Lisman’s Sydney apartment.
6. Dark academia
When everyone entered lockdown and students were forced to leave their classrooms, many wanted to replicate the furniture of formal education in their homes - and thus, the internet trend ‘dark academia’ was created.
Dark academia, which hashtag has 843 million views (and counting) on TikTok, revolves around literature, academics, mystery and arts, and is heavily inspired by European architecture, history, Gothic elements and Greek Arts. It romaticises a passion for art and knowledge through bookshelves, wooden furniture, antiques and materials such as plaid, tweed, corduroy and wool. You could consider the aesthetics of Hogwarts from Harry Potter as a prime example of dark academia.
To incorporate the trend into your interiors, opt for a colour palette comprised of black and brown hues, keep your bedding bulky by layering with lots of sheets and blankets, stacking books, finding rustic and dark wood furniture, adding in a mirror with a gold frame, showcasing art supplies or musical instruments, hanging creeper plants off furniture and sourcing Greek ceramics.
7. Light academia
While dark academia was a by-product of 2020, light academia - a lighthearted and bright rival to its moody and self-destructive counterpart - has become a TikTok sensation in 2021 as people are looking towards a COVID-free future. While the style inspiration is still rooted in the joy of learning, the differences come down to colour palette (beige versus black) and fabric (lightweight versus heavy and cosy).
There is less of a tragic feel, which evokes the message that knowledge brings light and happiness instead of it being associated with doom and gloom. Soft neutrals like rose, and soft browns and greys are favoured, as are dusty pastels like pink, vintage blue and buttercream yellow.
8. Dried flowers
Given the cottagecore trend, it’s no surprise that dried flowers have also become a TikTok interior trend. Unlike fresh flowers which only last a few days and can be incredibly expensive, or fake flowers which often get a bad rep, dried flowers are an economic alternative that are also pollen-free.
TikTok houses thousands of videos on how to DIY dried flowers, but online marketplaces such as Etsy and almost any florist, sell an abundance of dried flowers in a plethora of colours and arrangements.
Picture a greenhouse with plenty of natural light - that's what naturalism is. To execute this trend, use an abundance of plants, have open windows and opt for organic materials like linen. Salt lamps and crystals are also popular naturalism decor items that are great additions to the bedroom. To help get you started, here's our full guide on how to create the perfect indoor jungle.
Her colour palette is full of pinks and pastels, and she spends most of her time in her bedroom (probably posting on TikTok). She loves hair clips, oversized sweaters and mom jeans, and her hair and make-up is meticulous. For an instant visual, think Ariana Grande.
The primary theme underpinning the 'soft girl' aesthetic is cuteness. For home décor, this translates to softer colours, organic objects, pretty florals, plush materials, fairy lights and an overdose of pink.
Want more like this? Here are 7 ways the pandemic changed the way we style our homes.