Meet the 7 Trends Designers Predict Will Define 2021 Style

Formal bedroom with black and white accents.

PDG Studios

At the risk of stating the obvious, the 2020’s have already been the longest decade ever. Of course, we’re not the only ones who are ready to turn the page on 2020. Turns out, our homes are just as eager to welcome a new year.

As the saying goes, home is where the heart is—however, our spaces have also become our private gym, remote office, go-to restaurant, and the backdrop of many Zoom meetings. And, no matter how beautifully you designed your space, there’s a good chance you’re ready for something new and get those bad, 2020 vibes out once and for all.

If you want to redecorate your space with good juju, you’re in luck. We tapped seven designers to share the trends that will be big in 2021. If their predictions are any indication of what’s to come, the new year cannot come sooner.

01 of 07

Retro Revival

Ornate living room.

Design: Alexander Doherty; Photo: Marius Chira

“I’m seeing a return of brown furniture from the mid-century modern aesthetic to the popular art deco design movement that moved into the 1930s and 1940s. Design elements like vertical lines, sleek craftsmanship, bold geometric shapes, rich finishes, lacquered surfaces and a rise in material investments like marble and burl wood give way to more sculptural elements that mimic the period’s architecture. There is a resurgence in the paring down of design and taking out all of the ornate, fussiness of furniture.”—Alexander Doherty, designer

02 of 07

Pinch of Personality

“I feel like 2021 is going to be a little bit of an awakening for the industry, where we trend toward a design style that is really so personal. It will be a time where people come to view their home as a sanctuary, a sacred place, and take the time to really have their interiors be a reflection of what brings them peace and joy. Part of this is that, really, anything goes. We’ve already seen a piece of this with the re-emergence of styles with grandmillennial and bohemian, but I think we’re really in the beginning of what’s going to be a true melting pot period for the design industry. It’s maximalism, minimalism—we’re going to see it all.”—Nancy Charbonneau of Charbonneau Interiors

03 of 07

Keep It Cozy

“Think [back to] the 1990s: Maybe it’s your parents’ style that comes to mind or Rachel and Monica’s apartment. Whatever image is conjured up, we think that the old-school, Pottery Barn vibe, which was oh-so-popular in the 1990s, will be making a strong comeback. Why? People are spending a lot more time at home and looking to add layers of functional comfort to their space. Overstuffed furniture, softer curves, and traditional styles that you can count on always looking the same provide comfort and support for many during these unprecedented times.”—Alessandra Wood, interior design expert and vice president of style at Modsy

04 of 07

Jetsetter Spaces

Foyer with table and black mirror.

Biba K. Design

“While we may not be able to scratch the itch to travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I predict that in 2021 people will crave spaces inspired by our favorite places, whether it be a country, a hotel, or a restaurant. The idea is to bring the style and beauty of these special and inspiring spaces to our homes as a way to connect and celebrate the places we love. I have worked with clients to create travel inspired nurseries, Bali-themed zen dens and have even sourced neon art similar to what you might find in an edgy boutique hotel lobby." —Habiba Koroma, principal of Biba K. Design

05 of 07

Outdoor Oasis

Outdoor cabana.

Studio Q Designs

“I believe one of the surging trends for 2021 will be outdoor spaces. With the craziness of 2020, people have become less inclined to entertain in one's home, so luxury open air spaces are going to be the next hot deal.”—Quintece Hill-Mattauszek, principal of Studio Q Designs

06 of 07

Material World

Formal bedroom with black and white accents.

PDG Studios

“Warmer, earthy colors will be incorporated to help offset the cool grey tones that have been popular for a long time. Textures like reclaimed wood and bleached wood tones, and woven or rattan-type materials will also be offset by smooth and rich velvets and bolder color choices—think lilac, yellow, mint, green, and peacock—to help create that playful mix for a layered, yet timeless, approach.”—Lisa Haude, president and principal  of PDG Studios

07 of 07

Wonderful Walls

“Days of cool grays are gone. Warmer tints, taupes and in some cases true color are climbing the walls. Minimalistic, monochromatic, and mundane pallets have passed the baton towards satisfying and warm tones. Along these lines, we see wallpaper making a major surge. Saturated hues and whimsical patterns bring interest like nothing else can.”—John McClain, designer

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