Explore interior design trends from different parts of the world that will influence how we embrace living in our homes in 2021 and beyond.
Dear wanderess, I know much you miss travelling the world to discover new places,cultures and lifestyles, and to source truly unique pieces for your home. For the time being as we enter this year in lockdown, with international travels still scuppered for many of us, come with me and together, let us explore the world by looking at some interior design trends that I hope will get you inspired in the beginning of this new season.
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1. Neutral colours paired with bright colours
As a connoisseur, you are certainly aware by now that global interior design trendsetter The Pantone Color Institute has elected “Ultimate Gray” and the vibrant yellow “Illuminating” as its colours of the year for 2021. For the past years these two hues have dominated our home interior colour palettes and they are predicted to continue their ascendancy in 2021, from our wall colour paints to the furniture and soft furnishings that we purchase.
Rug’s Society Valencia Rug
Photo: © Rug’s Society
Available at Rugsociety.eu
My Wimbledon central apartment that I repainted in Ultimate Gray and refurnished last year with hints of soft grey, navy and cobalt blue, yellow Illuminating soft furnishings and handcrafted cotton textiles from India and Mali is an ode to Pantone’s 2021 shades.
Bonnie Accent Armchair, Luna Grey Weave
Photo: © Made.com
Available at Made.com
Illuminating, which is all about hope, happiness and summer holidays, is evocative of the vibrant yellow colour found in the world famous Marrakech’s Jardin Majorelle that served as French designer Yves-Saint Laurent’s main residence in the 1960’s. And Ultimate Gray, now a mainstay colour in interior design trends, is very much about keeping you calm and focused all year round. The two shades, elegantly paired together, aim to bring you joy and balance.
2. Muted colour schemes are expanding to warm earthy tones
One of the most interesting interior design trends for this year is the broadening of muted colour schemes beyond the classic greys, white, or beige with the resurgence of earthy tones that work beautifully with an array of softer and vibrant colours to create quite unique homes.
And no company other than DULUX has got it so right this year with the introduction of its Brave Ground Colour of the year 2021 that will blend well with subtle browns, greys and neutrals to create a calm yet sophisticated home, bringing cohesiveness to a room. Similarly, the same earth tone can beautifully complement vibrant and harmonising shades in your kitchen, your study area or your family room, giving you the freedom to create visually appealing interiors that bring you happiness and inject personality into your spaces.
The warmth of earth tones, with their beginning of autumn and spring vibes, is reminiscent of terracotta inspired homes and historical sites found in Maroua-Cameroon, Timbuktu-Mali, Marrakech, Southern Spain, Malta, Dakar-Senegal, Memphis-Egypt, and Petra-Jordan. A trip to either of these places post-pandemic will fill you up with positive energy and great inspiration for your interior design projects.
3. Bringing the outside in
As life under lockdown has severely restricted our abilities to fully enjoy outdoor spaces, one of the enduring interior design trends for 2021 is how people continue to find clever ways to bring nature into their homes to keep their inner selves centered and calm in this season.
For those who are going for extensive home renovations, larger all-glass windows and floor-to-ceiling doors continue to grow in popularity to create an airy feel to their living spaces, allowing lots of natural light and fresh air to flow inside for an inviting experience.
On a smaller scale, stunning botanical murals and wallpapers, indoor plants and jaw-dropping florals of all styles, sizes and colours from the highly fashionable pampas grass to seasonal leaves, trees will help you create your own indoor garden this season.
Pampas and Bunnies Bouquet
Photo: © NorfolkPampas
Available at Etsy UK
In furniture and soft furnishings, natural materials and fabrics from stones, rattan, jute, light wood, bamboo, and handcrafted cotton and linen are increasingly becoming attractive to homeowners, renters, and interior design trend setters alike due to their eco-friendliness.
4. Sustainable living is gaining in popularity
This year sustainable living, which currently translates into people’s greater focus on vintage pieces, upcycling, more natural building techniques such as tadelakt (waterproof Moroccan plastering for wet areas), and a reduction of our environmental impact, is gaining ground.
Photo: © Beaumonde
If you are into high quality vintage pieces, I highly recommend that you check out Vinterior, Pamono and One Kings Lane, because I can assure you that their vintage and retro-inspired items are superb. Last year, I got my very first vintage Bevan Funnell mahogany bookcase from Vinterior, and I must confess that I felt very proud of myself! It was worth the investment, because it added class and character to my contemporary interior.
Beyond upcycling and greater investment in craftsmanship and timeless and statement pieces, home personalisation and ecological friendly living for people this year and beyond, in line with the Green Deal, will focus more on how to integrate energy-saving systems into homes including:
- Installing energy smart meters
- Switching to renewable energy sources such as solar panels or heat pumps
- Opting for energy efficient lighting and underfloor heating
- Investing in window double or triple glazing
- insulating lofts and walls
5. Work-from home office setups as the new normal
Home office upgrades or setups is another interior design trend that is here to stay, as flexible and remote working under the COVID-19 pandemic have drastically accelerated. Many people, particularly those who did not have a dedicated study area, are doing their absolute best to find creative ways to add a dedicated office space to their homes, depending on their square footage.
Some friends of mine had to turn their guest bedrooms into an office space.
Photo: © Furniture And Choice
Others, particularly those living in London with less square footage, ended up having to rearrange furniture in their bedrooms to squeeze in a desk and a chair with appropriate shelving, or integrate a study area in part of their open plan kitchen/dining/and living area. I had to do the same because I simply could not fathom the idea of turning my bedroom into an office!
The blessed ones with second and third homes in the countryside simply spruced up their home offices with elegant chairs, soft furnishings, and technologically advanced gadgets and air purifiers to make them more comfortable and luxurious for the long haul.
All these interior design trends are going to be in place for the foreseeable future, as many workplaces have either completely or partially shifted to remote working, which for many have improved productivity levels.
6. The return of cheerful patterns in soft furnishings
If you need to cheer yourself up during these rather unusual times, investing in small soft furnishings with either colourful or uniquely handcrafted patterns that will remind you of various places and cultures you have explored around the world is the way to go. They are easy to mix and match and to swap as the seasons evolve during the year.
Photo: © Sweetpea & Willow
Give yourself permission to travel to faraway places from the comfort of your home courtesy of cushions, throws and small blankets in a variety of textiles such as Uzbek ikat, Malian mudcloth, Congolese kuba cloth, Malagasy inspired fabric, or Mid-century inspired pieces.
Crescence Home Modern Abstract Cushion Cover
Photo: © Crescence Home
Available at Bycrescence.com
7. Clever kitchen storage solutions to maximise space
Whether you live alone or you have a full household to feed in lockdown, maximising your kitchen storage space is more than just an interior design trend in 2021; it is an absolute necessity to keep your sanity intact, enabling you to easily navigate your space.
Irrespective of your kitchen size, decluttering your space and investing in savvy kitchen storage solutions will save you an awful lot of time and energy in the long run that you can better use to take care of yourself.
Photo: © Brayer Design
For an enjoyable cooking experience in 2021, make sure to equip your kitchen with adequate shelving, modular cutlery trays, a top quality spice rack carousel, stylish food containers, and a stackable can rack holder to maximise storage space.
8. Beautiful cookware and dining essentials’ upgrade
With more time spent at home than ever during this pandemic, some people have discovered a passion for baking and other culinary skills they did not even know they had. As a result of it, they started investing in their kitchen cookware and have ended up falling in love with their KitchenAid Stand Mixer.
This is a trend that is set to continue in 2021, as many people who used to sporadically spend time in their kitchens and who cannot live on takeaways forever, finally have a chance to upgrade their cookware and follow suit the best they can to preserve their health.
9. Multi-purpose garden rooms to improve family interactions
One of the emerging interior design trends for 2021 is how people flexibly re-purpose their underutilised spaces such as their gardens with year-round cost effective home improvement solutions such as garden pods to enhance family interactions. Garden pods versatility makes them the perfect space-saving addition to any property. They offer up a multi-use space, be it a work-from-home office, a home gym, or just a quiet space to escape the chaos of the house.
If you can’t afford right now the high costs of an extension or a purpose-built garden cabin, it’s definitely worth checking out garden pods, as they are easy to install and they can be dismantled, stored and used again.
10. Home technology gadgets are our new best friends
Way before the global pandemic hit the world, assistive technology was already a well established interior design trend in supported housing to ensure older people maintain their independence and enjoy a high quality of life. The other generations are merely catching up to this growing trend as a result of remote working, home schooling, and the need to remain connected.
5 G internet broadband, smart speakers, high tech fans and air purifiers, wireless printers, laptop stands, together with the latest monitors will continue to be upgraded in 2021 as part of the growing tech-savvy interior design trends aimed at enhancing our stay-at-home lives.