With the start of a new year comes an obligatory post about trends from all of your favorite design bloggers and youtubers. (My favorites here, here, and here.) And I guess, looking at that headline, we’re no different!
But I didn’t want to just drop trends and run. Instead, let’s have a conversation about trends vs. timeless design. Where is there space for just doing what you like? What if you’re not into a trend? How do trends influence our thoughts about what is “timeless”?
Let’s make this a dialogue! I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments.
Trends vs. Timeless Interior Design
Before I get into the trends, I feel like I need to acknowledge that you might not really care about design trends! There’s a lot of talk about ignoring what’s trendy and choosing timeless design.
I absolutely agree that you should do whatever you want to in your house, whether or not it’s trendy or in style. (More permission to do what you want here!)
For instance, for a while everyone was putting in subway tile as a “timeless” option—but now a lot of people are sick of subway tile. And, of course, the way we used subway tile shifted as well, from using dark grout to now using light grout and more of a handmade-looking glass subway tile over the flat white.
So, while I highly encourage you to buck the trends, they’re still probably going to seep into your consciousness and influence you anyway—and that’s okay!
How Fast Do Trends Shift?
Posts like this make it seem like every season and every year completely wipes the trend slate clean and replaces it with new ideas. Obviously that’s not at all how it works!
I think of that scene in The Devil Wears Prada, where Miranda Priestly points out that Andy’s out-of-style sweater was chosen by the people in that room.
What she’s saying is that trends trickle down from high fashion to everyone else. Interiors are similar—we might first seem something that feels really bold in Elle Decor, but then the idea trickles down and becomes more mainstream.
So, while interior designers may no longer be painting walls a certain color, that doesn’t mean it’s completely gone or even completely out of style.
Plus, given the nature of interiors, trends shift slowly. Finishes are harder to change than a sweater, so it takes time for something to truly be dated.
So, even if there are posts saying something you love is totally out (like everyone trashing white kitchens right now…wtf?), more than likely in practice it’s not actually out of style.
If you look at a trends article and try to incorporate every single one into your space, it will probably look dated sooner. But if you try something here and there, mix it in with other elements you like, and stay true to yourself, you’ll have a more timeless interior that will evolve with you and stay in style.
With that said, here are my interior design trend predictions for 2021!
2021 Trend Predictions for Every Room
General Predictions: Curves and Color
While some trends are room-specific, I think, on the whole, we’re going to be seeing two things more throughout the home: curves and color!
Curves—meaning domes, arches, and rounded shapes, are definitely a case of the pendulum swinging away from what we have been doing for a while.
For a long time, it seems everything has been about straight lines, clean lines, and modern shapes. Now, we’re starting to see curved sofas, arches, and rounded shapes come back into styles.
The other trend of 2021? Color! Some people are going dark, some are playing with pastels, but for sure, the trend of all grey and white and black everything is gone!
Bathrooms: Bring on the Color and Pattern!
Speaking of color, I think one place we’re going to see a lot of it is in the bathroom!
It might not be your first thought, but when you start experimenting, I think it makes a lot of sense to begin in the bathroom. It’s a place you don’t spend as much time and guests may or may not see (and if they do, it’s fun to make a statement!), so it’s a safer space to try new things.
Living Rooms: Choosing Neutrals for Workhorse Rooms
In 2020, our living rooms had to become a lot of things: an office, a classroom, a gym, a tiktok background. Which I think is reinforcing the need for neutrals in these central spaces.
By choosing a neutral palette, you have the flexibility you need in that space, and you can always add color with beautiful art and accessories!
That said, while we’re keeping these spaces neutral, we’re definitely not doing the 2008 version of neutrals that was all grey everything. Instead, they’re mostly white, with infusions of warmth through natural wood tones.
Home Offices: More Comfort as We Spend Our Lives Here Forever
A lot of companies are starting to say that employees will be working from home permanently or at least a few days per week after seeing it work so well in 2020.
That means a lot of people are carving out space for a home office, shopping for a house with an extra bedroom, or just upgrading their desk.
Next, I think we’ll see a focus on creature comforts in the home office: upgraded desk chairs, ergonomic keyboards, desk sized fans and humidifiers, etc. All while still making them beautiful, of course!
I spend all day in my home office, too—see it here.
Exteriors: More Intention, More Design, More Work in the Garden
Basically, I think we’ll see a lot MORE in outdoor spaces. That’s because people are really using them and taking advantage of every square foot of their space—including exterior ones!
It already happened in 2020 that a lot more people started gardening, and I think that trend will continue even after the pandemic is over. I have a hunch that once people have found a new hobby and started enjoying their outdoor space, they wont stop!
2021 Trends for Every Room
What do you think? Are you going to try any of these trends or keep everything more timeless? Tell me in the comments how trends affect you.
And, if you want to know more about the latest trends, check out these posts: