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4 Design Styles That Will Define the Future

There are so many things we wish we could predict about the future, but on the design front, we’re more than curious as to which styles will be making major waves in the years to come.

We spoke with designers to gather their thoughts and predictions on the looks and trends that we’ll be seeing in our homes down the line. Read on for their thoughts on the future of design.

1. Sustainability

Scandi-inspired dining room with light neutrals and black chairs.

House of Chais

Unsurprisingly, an emphasis on eco-friendly materials will be key moving forward, designer Peti Lau says, noting that we will see “innovative new technology that will not only be impactful for the environment, but also incredibly chic-looking.”

Lau cites Pollima, the world’s first carbon negative furniture company, as an important resource moving forward. “The elements are based on Scandinavian-inspired designs, and they’re built to last. Items are made of recycled metal and highly pressurized hemp byproducts, which is actually more durable than wood.”

 Peti adds, “When I hear about companies like this, it’s so exciting to me as a designer. This makes me think of how designers like Charles and Ray Eames really transformed the way we lived and changed our perception of how we live.”

2. Nostalgia

Vintage feel bedroom with antique books.

Katie Martinez

No matter how far ahead we move into the future, popular styles from the twentieth century will always remain favorites, designer Lisa Queen notes.

“Whether midcentury modern or traditional, styles of the present always seem to pull from styles of the past,” she explains. “There is a consistency to honoring classical lines and elements, and then adding in a twist that’s contemporary."

In particular, don’t part with those chinoiserie-inspired pieces or bright colored sofas just yet. Queen notes, “1970s Scandinavian and Hollywood Regency seem to be making a comeback, and both are very nostalgic and honor things of the past to which we have become attached.”

There is a consistency to honoring classical lines and elements, and then adding in a twist that’s contemporary.

3. Functionality

first five things to buy in home office - task lighting

Design: Marie Flanigan Interiors

Objects that are beautiful and useful are going to be key, designer Traci Connell says.

“No longer do people desire an iconic piece of furniture, but they desire what will bring them joy and also make their life easier in every way,” she explains. “The styles of interior design that evoke feeling and emotion by incorporating personal aspects and durability or functionality are the styles that will define the future.”

4. Outdoor Elements

Beach house living room with palm and green sofa.

Desiree Burns Interiors

Go ahead and embrace the natural, urges designer Desiree Burns. “I see more outdoor materials being brought in,” she says. “Lots of earthy textures and larger format tiles traditionally used for exteriors are now being used for interiors.”

Specifically, Burns cites terracotta tiles, cement tiles, and large format stone tiles, which are being introduced in kitchens, bathrooms, or interior accent walls. 

Designer Gala Magriñá cites similar observations. “I am happy to see a return to soft and soothing color palettes and textures, as well as the use of organic shapes in furniture and lighting," she says. "All of these elements represent biophilia and are a way to bring nature indoors, which is very much needed these days.”

And the benefits of bringing the outdoors in are more than just aesthetic. “We now know that being in nature or surrounding ourselves inside with hints of nature boosts our mood, reduces stress levels, and even reduces blood pressure," Magriñá adds. “Now that everyone is spending more time at home and more companies will be offering work-from-home flexibility, it’s all about making our homes as peaceful, supportive, and serene as possible. Bringing nature in helps with all of this.”