Many of us have never felt more desperate for a fresh start and a new beginning. And since it’s not like we’re leaving the house anytime soon, it makes perfect sense that the first place to start anew would be at home. (Plus, decorating and home renovation projects are a pretty good distraction from ever-present existential dread, if we do say so ourselves.)
If you’re looking to do a design overhaul, you’re probably also looking for some inspiration—so we asked real estate and design experts to weigh in on what they anticipate will be the biggest home trends of 2021. It turns out, with all the stress that 2020 brought to our lives, it also influenced some defining changes in the way we decorate, design, and live in our homes.
We can probably all admit: Working from the kitchen table was kind of cute when you thought you would be doing it for only a few weeks. But now? Not so much. That’s why, in 2021 (and beyond) home offices will be more important than ever.
It’s quaint to think back on our obsession with open floor plans. They’re not completely passé (yet), but people are increasingly interested in closing off those wide-open spaces we so used to covet.
“The pandemic has completely shaped home design trends for 2020 and 2021,” Isaacs says. “Not only do people want to create a cozy shared living space, but they also are carving out areas to have some space to themselves.”
“The trend will be to create different living spaces within the open floor plan so people will have pockets or nooks in the home for e-learning, Zoom calls, a conversation, lounging, exercising, etc.
The need for separate spaces is also shifting home buyers’ priorities in the new year. “New buyers are asking for homes with more separation, as sometimes multigenerational families share a home and need space and privacy amongst themselves.
During the pandemic when it was difficult for some to get their daily dose of nature, people started bringing the outdoors in with natural materials in their home.
With the pandemic raging on, the pros say the indoor houseplant trend is here to stay—which is good news for your collection of monsteras and air plants.
Organic touches are also sprouting up in the heart of the home: the kitchen. “For the kitchen, our designer members are seeing more minimalist styles with touches of organic and natural materials such as wood grain—perhaps as part of a desire to connect with nature.
Instead of painted kitchen cabinets or the ubiquitous all-white kitchen, expect to see homeowners embracing a more natural look with wood-grain cabinets and wood countertops on islands.
An outdoor kitchen can be as elaborate (read: expensive) or as modest as you like. Some homeowners may simply add an outdoor refrigerator and dining area to the backyard to create an expanded entertaining space. Others will invest in a stovetop, ample counter space, and appliances to create a fully equipped outdoor kitchen.
Never embraced the bidet in your home bathroom? Well, hold on to your butts: That’s just the start of things—you can expect to see a slew of new bathroom innovations in 2021 as homeowners continue to focus more than ever on hygiene. Touchless appliances, including motion sensors for lighting, and smart temperature control for bathroom floors will be more popular.
So go ahead and pile on those mismatched blankets and throw pillows, and don’t be afraid to embrace a design that reflects your personality.
“People want to feel at ease in their homes now more than ever,” she says. “Before the pandemic, people may have put form before function to create the out-of-a-magazine look for their living room. Trends now lean toward a more casual and layered aesthetic.