Though 2020 was an unforgettable year in many ways, it was a big year in design too. While we're more than thrilled to be moving on to 2021, the experts at CB2 combed through the biggest design trends of 2020 and gave us the inside scoop on what to look out for this year with their first ever design report.
Let's start with last year: Since 2020 was a tumultuous year, searches for "sage" were up 60%, perhaps we were all trying to cleanse the year away? Mirrors were the most searched product, while leather was the most searched fabric, and black and white color palettes were holding strong, with "white desk" making up 29% of all white color searches.
But that was last year, and things are changing. CB2 experts are predicting individuality, maximalism, and a break from traditional color palettes for 2021.
“Color, color and more color," Sara Khodja, CB2 Lead Product Development, tells MyDomaine. "Mineral shades are huge this year and also have a neutral air about them—making them easy to work into an existing design. Don’t be scared to mix patterns within that color palette, too. Texture is just as serotonin-inducing as color.”
Don’t be scared to mix patterns within that color palette, too. Texture is just as serotonin-inducing as color.
Keep scrolling for the full list of trends to look out for in 2021.
Bold statement pieces, playing with scale and plenty of vintage accents are all going to be major this year. 64% of interior designers are planning to incorporate bold statements into their 2021 designs, according to the CB2 report.
"We’re seeing a lot of nontraditional uses of scale in recent design work," Andrea Erman, CB2 Lead Product Development says. "A large pendant over a nightstand or a tiny cafe table. It’s a fun way to play.”
Building a Better WFH
You heard it here first: open concept is out. With many people working from home full-time, the need for compartmentalism is bigger than ever. That means separate dining rooms, plenty of office space, and maybe even room for a bar or at-home gym. Parlor style seating is also trending. After all, it's way more fun to take a work call in different seating vignettes.
Comfort is Key
According to interior designers, upholstery (namely cozy accent chairs) is going to be the most requested item from clients this year. The fabric of choice? Velvet, 42% of designers say.
"The desire for comfort is nothing new but customer choices definitely are — they simply aren't willing to sacrifice style," Erman explains. "It's all about luxe liveability in 2021."
To bring comfort to your home, consider adding textures and textiles.
“Layering pillows and throws seems like the obvious answer, but blank wall space can feel just as cold as a bare floor," Erman says. "Considering hanging a unique textile or vintage rug—it immediately enriches and warms up a space.”
Outdoor Spaces are Majorly Trending
When stay-at-home orders hit in 2020, we all craved more of the outdoors. That will stick around in 2021. Whether it's just a small balcony or a large backyard, CB2 predicts design aficionados will invest in high-quality, design-focused outdoor furniture.
"We're treating outdoor furniture with the same level of integrity as indoor furniture, CB2 President Ryan Turf says. "It's now core to our homes — the seasonality of it has totally shifted."
Optimism is Back
We're looking forward to things in 2021. In design, that means bringing in color and embracing maximalism. 2021 isn't the time to go small with design. 62% of designers think mineral-inspired hues like mercury, olive, ochre, and clay will reign supreme this year. And pattern mixing is all the rage.
"With [maximalism], there really are no rules," Matthew Williamson, CB2 fashion/product designer, says. "In fact, the more you mix up styles from different periods and genres, the stronger the overall effect. It's about tapping into what you really love to make a space uniquely yours."
Natural Materials Are In
Before you renovate this year, consider using natural materials. 56% of designers say stone will be the material of 2021, featured in coffee tables, side tables, art, and even serving ware. Not into stone? Cast metal is a close second, designers say.
Sustainability is Here to Stay
Smart design is sustainable design. CB2 predicts more designers and brands will lean into FSC-certified wood, which is wood harvested from forests that meets the highest environmental and social standards. Now that's design we can feel good about in 2021.