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2021 Interior Design Trends

The pandemic has certainly created seismic shifts in interior design trends. A lot of homeowners will be focusing on updating their homes, with a focus on kitchens and outdoor spaces...

The pandemic has certainly created seismic shifts in interior design trends. A lot of homeowners will be focusing on updating their homes, with a focus on kitchens and outdoor spaces this year. Before you shop, let’s get into some of the trends we’re going to see make a huge splash this year in 2021.

Design by Ashe Leandro

Beige, Brown, Terracotta Colors are BIG for 2021

We’ve seen this trend ramp up in the latter stretch of 2020 and it will only get bigger and more prominent this year. As our time spent indoors has increased dramatically, many of us want to create a space that's warm, inviting and calm. 

What better way to do that than to incorporate earthy naturalistic colors. Even white and minimalist interior design lovers can get in on the trend with a few décor accessories. 

Designed by Ajai Guyot

In Ajai Guyot’s home, hints of cream, beige and rich rustic browns mingle together with warm woods and brass accents on a clean white backdrop. The richness in pattern and texture throughout the space are balanced by clean white walls and tables. Along with a neutral color palette, providing negative space for your eye to rest is key to creating a serene environment.

Designed by Ajai Guyot, see more of her designs and her documented processes here!

These on-trend earthy warm colors can be easily incorporated into your home as throw pillows, blankets and small decor elements, think vases and bowls. For a simple DIY solution, outdated ceramic and glass pieces can be spray painted to look modern again. For those of us in much colder winter climates that can’t spray paint in low temperatures, there are other ways to update older vessels simply by using basic acrylic craft paint and baking soda for texture. Check out XO, MaCenna’s easy DIY to find out how.

Featuring Midway in Crysacrylic with Brushed Golden Brass

Let’s talk about hardware that will meld with these new color palette trends. Since colors are trending warmer, hardware should also go warmer in tone to match like the example above. Our Brushed Golden Brass finish goes amazingly well with browns and warm woods like oak and walnut. However if your cabinets lean neutral, you can go with almost any type of finish. But if you plan to update your kitchen cabinets, think about the tone of the cabinets and the tone of hardware you plan on choosing. As long as they share similar undertones they can go together. Brushed Golden Brass also looks great over dark brown cabinets like the bath below.

Piper T-Knobs in Brushed Golden Brass by Hickory Hardware

Featuring Veranda in Matte Black

Hickory Hardware’s Matte Black finish works over any cabinet color or wood material since black is neutral. But if you want to opt for a warmer but deep finish, look for Vintage Bronze or our Oil-Rubbed Bronze finishes.

Featuring Veranda in Satin Nickel

Satin Nickel works wonderfully with these taupe gray cabinets. The slightest touch of brown tone in our Satin Nickel finish makes it versatile with a lot of cabinet colors, even if they lean a bit cooler and grayer like these.

Designed by OYOY

Danish design brand OYOY are masters at creating calming yet inherently playful earthy environments. OYOY interiors are rich with terracotta, rust and taupe tones with neutral warm woods, pinky beige and dusty creams. They’ve even managed to weave in a bit of gray, great for us (including myself) needing ideas on how to transition the passé gray craze into 2021 and beyond.

Design by OYOY

Think this neutral color palette is only for adults? Think again! Neutral doesn’t have to strictly mean grayscale, black and white or just white with beige and brown. A neutral color palette can work in harmony with other on-trend neutral shades including soft gray-blues and muted greens. To keep your eye interested in bouncing around a neutral space, it’s also about playing with patterns and textures which leads me into the next trend...


Natural Textures, Materials, Textiles and Patina

A common fear with going with an all neutral color palette in the home is that an interior space can get boring. But with a simplified color palette, things become much easier to decorate. You don’t have to always find that perfect shade of turquoise at the store to match something pre-existing in your home as a neutral color palette provides flexibility and range. To create interest, the focus will be on textiles and patina.

Source from Bloomist

There’s been an uptick in vintage hunting as many stores remain poorly stocked due to the pandemic. The great thing about vintage finds is they add a richness to an interior space that is hard to replicate in new off the shelf items. Rich textures also add visual interest and get you away from design fatigue, as not everyone will have that exact same vintage item you’ve acquired. Check out the pillow below which is made from recycled vintage fabric. I have also seen old rugs and Turkish kilim repurposed as wall hangings and cushions.

Vintage Textile Pillow from Marigold Interiors

The way an item wears with time is unique to that item, which I think is so cool! Anyone else ever get tired when every one of their family, friends and influencer’s house has the exact same store-bought decor items? You can avoid that by going for vintage. Your house should look and feel like a home, not a showroom.

As climate change and human environmental impact come to mind, buyers become more conscious everyday about the things they buy. Just like with vintage clothing, there’s a lot of great vintage décor in circulation just waiting to be brought home. In addition, natural materials just feel richer and more luxe than say polyester, which is a plastic fiber. At the end of the day, polyester linen curtains look and feel like plastic. Real linen washes, wears and ages like an authentic leather jacket, with a patina. It has character and a soul that only develops more overtime. Nature’s idiosyncrasies are hard to replicate via mass production methods and machines. The glamorous heavy velvet curtains from seasons past will also make way for lighter, sheerer cotton and linen fabrics. We’re seeing this trend with bedding, curtains and pillows.

Linen Bedding by Casaluna

Styled by Colin King

Natural materials have also been making a huge entrance in major furniture pieces. Remember the white plastic Eames chair fad a few years back? These days, everyone’s feeling the itch for some wood, rattan, caned and wicker furniture again. Seen with the resurgence of Jeanneret style chairs, Marcel Breuer’s Cesca chairs and counter stools utilizing woven leather.

Source from Saffron + Poe

Imperfect textures are also making their way into the kitchen and bath in the form of handmade zellige tiles. If you’ve been watching Netflix, you’ve seen Studio McGee use zellige tiles a lot with their clients for kitchen backsplash. No two tile pieces will be exactly alike. Imperfection is what makes it beautiful. Last year I had called out wabi sabi will be a trend and I think we will see this evolve even more through 2021.

Source from @Zia Tile

Source from @Hullebusch

I may have gotten ahead of myself again last year with calling out marble as a trend (it’s always trending), but I think the more boldly veined marbles like arabascato are gonna be really popular to clients who can afford this luxe material and there will be a demand to replicate this natural look in quartz. Since so much cooking is being done more at home due to the pandemic, people are going to want to really invest into the heart of the home, which is usually the kitchen. With hard working kitchens, fixtures are going to be taking on more stains and water spots and if we’re going for the wabi sabi way of thinking, that patina is going to be alright, it adds to the character of the fixtures.

Paint by @Kalklitir

For those extra daring, textured walls made with tadelakt or plaster will become more popular. For an easier DIY version, paintable lime wash products do exist, whether you mix them yourself or buy them ready made in gallon containers such as the line by Portola. These textures add amazing depth and movement to walls, the end result unique to how the paint is applied.

Paint by @Kalklitir


Interior Redesign and the Gut Remodel

Design by Elizabeth Roberts Architects

2020 was a restless year for society. Many people moved, fortunate people bought houses and with that usually comes with redecorating for the former and more likely remodelling for the latter. 

Open concept houses were all the rage until family members had to see each other 24/7/365 indoors. No one wants to see dirty dishes in the kitchen sink when they’re trying to relax in the living room next door. Putting walls back up was a thing again, to add privacy, to dampen sound and to create more rigid spaces and boundaries. Time will tell how long this trend will last post-pandemic.

Source from Saffron + Poe

During this pandemic, acquiring furniture for their comfort became a much higher priority than pieces of furniture that just merely looked great, but weren’t ideal for long term lounging. People are going to be looking for pieces that not only feel great to hang out or even sleep in, but that look great and can stand up to daily abuse and usage.

Source from @smallable_store showcasing House Doctor

As people spend more time in their homes, they had more time to contemplate the current state of what they did and didn’t like about their home and what they could do about it. This pent up energy was felt everywhere in the summer of 2020, with hardware stores running low on patio pavers and general building materials needed to create an outdoor oasis. Fire pits were sold out everywhere and so was patio furniture. Landscaping and improving the backyard will be huge projects for 2021 as the weather gets warmer.

Aman Kyoto via @dream_casa

As the color trend indicates, people are getting really tired of the builder grade cookie cutter homes and neighborhoods cropping up with the same basic gray wall paint, gray kitchen, gray countertops and gray flooring. There will be a movement towards updating these spaces to be more warm and inviting. New paint colors, floors and remodeled kitchens can make a huge difference.

From @kitchens_of_insta

In summary, the trends are:

  • Beige, Brown, Terracotta Colors are BIG for 2021
    • Many home decor furnishings are trending much warmer as these colors convey a feeling of comfort and calmness. Earthy colors will reign supreme in 2021.
  • Natural Textures, Materials, Textiles and Patina
    • To echo the naturalistic color palette, there will be an emphasis on natural materials like linen. Vintage items will also be coveted for their unique patina and character.
  • Interior Redesign and the Gut Remodel
    • People are itching to remodel their kitchens and patios and these are big remodel projects. If they aren’t doing that, there are much more DIY-friendly changes by updating wall paint or DIYing their own outdated decor.


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