Trends in 2021

If we look back at the top design trends for 2020, I don’t think one specific event precipitated the trends. Typically, trends are a response to either design professionals’ ideas that catch and spread or something that clients love and demand. The design trends for 2021 are definitely the latter—people’s demands and needs in response to the pandemic. As well, an entirely new vernacular has been created that will be used and overused. As I researched trends, the terms “new-traditional and grand millennial” were prevalent. These styles involve mixing contemporary pieces with vintage antiques. One reason for this is that Millennials are buying homes for the first time. The second reason is that the pandemic has been a catalyst for our need for functional spaces, warmth and comfort, and the desire to bring what we can’t have (since travel and other outside activities are limited) into our daily lives. We are reverting to some traditional ideals like home, family, and informal gatherings. Gone are the white-on-white kitchens and antiseptic bathrooms. Gone are the “great rooms” where kitchen, dining, and living spaces are combined into one large room. And gone are the bohemian, rustic, and faux farmhouse looks. So, what’s in for 2021? What we are finding is mostly driven by entire families working and schooling from home. Everyone needs space. Everyone needs private space. Everyone needs more space. For those who can’t move, adapting and renovating this space into a more livable and useful area is key! When it comes to trends to try, there’s a shift to warmer spaces that move beyond function and elicit an emotional response with its thoughtfulness and authenticity.

Dedicated Home Offices 

We can probably all admit: working from the kitchen table was kind of fun when you thought you would be doing it for only a few weeks. But now? Not so much. That's why in 2021 (and beyond), home offices are more important than ever. People working from home don’t want to field calls from the kitchen table. Creating a dedicated home office—even in your den—is a  great way to cultivate a viable working space. 

Kitchens with Color

This year, adding warm tones and woods or more natural products will take center stage. Textures will add the warmth and depth missing from the all-white, flat kitchens of the past.


Natural materials are having a big resurgence. Rattan is the material du jour, appearing everywhere from drink holders to bed frames. Try this trend by choosing a rattan accessory or accent piece that you’ll love—just don't go overboard! When you are really inspired, if done correctly, an entire setting in rattan can be very cozy!


Outdoor Kitchens

Multi-season spaces that feature fireplaces or fire pits, patio and deck areas, or screened-in porches that can be used year-round are on the rise. This also includes outdoor kitchens, which have become more popular than ever during the pandemic.

An outdoor kitchen can be as elaborate or as simple as you like. Some homeowners may just add an outdoor refrigerator and dining area to their backyard to create an expanded entertaining space. Simply adding a gazebo can provide this space without adding a lot of extra costs. Others may invest in a stovetop, ample counter space, and appliances to create a fully-equipped outdoor kitchen. 

Finally, melding different pieces—from materials and colors to varied styles and moving away from neutrals towards embracing color—especially in art pieces and collections—can be one way to invest in your home. Having a living space with enhanced seating lets you entertain, hang out with family and friends, or take a work call in comfort. After a year like 2020, there’s a strong hope anything will go when creating livable, unique living spaces that will live up to all we’re asking them to do. It’s time to be bold with pops of color, find a place for everything, and understand that home is where it’s at for the immediate future.

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