Michelle Ogundehin: ‘The miracle of interior design is that you can make big changes with very basic ingredients; just a few test pots of paint, or some paste-the-wall wallpaper.’
Each year new interior design trends come and go, but few years have the impact on home decor than 2020. We’ve witnessed wholesale changes in the way we use our homes, and what we expect from them. Rather than somewhere we come to at the end of a long day at work, our houses are now: our office, and our sanctuary, our schools, and our restaurants all in one.
This inevitably has caused a shift in how many people are decorating and furnishing their homes. There’s been a transition towards warm, cozy decor, multi-functional design, and durable materials.
In 2021 you’ll see less minimalism and pale colour than last year. Embrace earthy greens, jewel tones, pattern, texture, and a focus on nature.
The dramatic events of 2020, have encouraged a reevaluation of what people actually want and need from their homes - including how they decorate them.
The coronavirus pandemic has reshaped how we interact with our living space. With more time at home, we increasingly need multi-functional, durable, and comfortable spaces. There’s a renewed focus on homes that work for the people living there, and on making the most of outdoor spaces as extra living space.
These are the top home design changes you’ll see this year:
Previously most people’s home offices (if they even had one) were simply places to finish off ad hoc bits of work, or a place to work on side hustles. But now, home offices are the default workplace.
2021 will see people placing greater emphasis on creating workable, comfortable, and nice spaces to work. This includes bringing in proper lighting - important for your eyes and your zoom calls - and making sure you’ve got the right type of chair. It’s likely too, that some people will decide an office with a door is more important than a spare bedroom.
The importance of a good home office to those looking to buy a new home has already started to show. In early January, property portal Rightmove reported a 326% increase in the adverts using the terms ‘office’ and ‘workspace’. It's clear that over the next year home offices are going to remain an key feature - particularly for sellers.
With more people working and attending school from home the importance of multi-functional spaces is increasing.
We expect to see an increase in multi-purpose storage and furniture solutions - particularly for small spaces. Think pull-down desks, easy-to-move mod furniture, innovative toy storage, and durable fabrics - like linen - that can be washed easily and regularly.
‘Comfort’ is a word that’s becoming increasingly important in interior design circles. Or as Martyn Lawrence Bullard describes: ‘Comfort, practicality, and making your home your sanctuary on every level’.
Many of us may now be working and learning at home, but we’re also spending more time there too. Having a comfortable and relaxing space is just as important in 2021 as having a functional, durable one.
This means that bedrooms and living rooms will take on greater importance when it comes to home design. Expect to see lots of calm, natural colour palettes, and earthy tones, as well as lots of soft, warm, textural accents in the form of throws, pillows, and rugs.
Gardens have always been a priority for many people, but they’ve gained even more importance for many as a result of the coronavirus lockdowns. Outdoor space has offered a place to exercise, escape, and entertain. Gardens are no longer simply a nice attachment to a home, they are a whole extra living space.
Homes with gardens showed particularly strong price growth in the second half of 2020 and it’s unlikely that this trend will end anytime soon.
And, for those who don’t have outdoor space, houseplants and indoor trees have offered a way to bring nature closer. The boom in house plant sales demonstrates how popular this trend is and continues to be into the new year. Incorporate plants into your home design for a super easy aesthetic and wellbeing boost.
If you’re looking to sell your home in the near future, you may decide you don't want to make lots of large interior design changes. However, there are a couple of home decor trends that you can easily take advantage of. These trends are all great ways to add value to your home this year.
Each year colour and trend experts Pantone peg the colours that they believe will define the coming year. This year the Pantone Colours of the Year are ‘Ultimate Gray’ and ‘Illuminating Yellow’.
Incorporating these colours into your home design will make your home look modern, and in style - and doing so takes very little effort. Adding coloured cushions is a great way to integrate pops of illuminating yellow into a room. Or, you may decide to go with something a bit more daring, like: painting your kitchen cabinets or living room walls ultimate gray.
If you have a dedicated home office space in your house, make it a focal point. Consider 'staging' the room for your listing photographs so the purpose of the room is immediately clear.
For more information on how to 'stage' a home for sale, check out this guide.
Gardens are an evergreen asset for homesellers, and even more so in the current climate. If your property is lucky enough to come with outdoor space - whatever its size - consider the ways you can make it look like a natural extension of the living space.
If it’s large enough, add some durable garden furniture and some lighting. This will demonstrate how the garden can be used for relaxing, entertaining, or even working.
If you have a small space or balcony, lighting and plants can be used to show off the space as somewhere you might come to relax and enjoy nature.
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If you’re looking to keep ahead of the curve - or you’re hoping to attract interest in your home from sellers - it’s important to bear in mind the trends from the past year that are beginning to fall out of fashion.
Open plan living spaces used to be a favourite of interior designers and homeowners alike. Large open rooms looked modern and were useful for those who liked to entertain. Now, the appeal of open plan living rooms is seeing a dramatic decline - particularly in family homes, where parents and children might be working and studying at the same, and the appeal of a closed door is especially great.
When we were spending most of our time at work, coming back to a beautifully modern home felt luxurious. Now, very modern, luxe finishes are being replaced with a return to warmer, nostalgic, and more relaxing styles.
Colloquially this is called ‘cottage core’, or ‘grandmillenial’ style. You’ll find a lot of the harshness of the design from the past few years replaced by texture, pastels, vintage pieces, and prints.
Similarly, it looks like the heyday of minimalism is coming to an end. Homes are expected to be more livable, and durable in 2021. Lots of pale colours, and hiding away the paraphernalia of living is just not as practical this year as it was previously.
Wallpaper is definitely making itself known as a key trend to watch for 2021. And, it’s not hard to see why. Wallpaper is one of the simplest ways to transform a room, and there are many affordable and low-effort application versions available.
Bright colours and maximalist patterns are at the forefront of the trend, and are set to grace our instagram feeds, imaginations, and homes for at least the next year. This interior design trend is all about bringing joy and positivity into our spaces.
However, if you’re planning to sell your home in the near future, be careful with what patterns you choose. Bright or heavily patterned wallpapers are a matter of personal preference, and could be offputting for some buyers.
But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get involved with this trend. If you’re keen on trying a bright, bold, statement, opt for deep jewel tones like emerald green, or a full, warm purple. Or, if you prefer a lighter space, earthy hues like olive greens, burnt orange, or blush pinks are all incredibly stylish options.
If you want to try something patterned, take inspiration from the great outdoors. Wallpaper prints with plants, leaves, and trees are a more classic take on the pattern trend, and play into this season’s focus on bringing nature into the home.
For more interior design inspiration, check out the DIY section of our blog, here.
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