Is it weird that writing about trends actually makes me feel oddly hopeful? I think that since the majority of last year was focused on simply making it to the next day in one piece, dreaming up nonimportant things like trends was either impossible, seemed somehow insensitive, or honestly just pointless. But in 2021, even though we are by no means in the clear, dreaming feels ok to do again.
So that’s what I am here to do with you…dream about decor. Some of these trends were a surprise and some I’m curious to see if you can get on board with. But hey it’s design so it’s supposed to be fun, weird, and challenging even. Let’s get into it!
Talk About A Dream…Blue Pastels As The New Neutral
Yep, blue-toned pastels are here and are extremely chic. Last year, we predicted that cool mint would take over 2020. Now cool mint is by no means dead but it looks like its pretty pastel cousin is taking over for 2021.
As if natural canning isn’t stunning enough, slap on a pastel blue like this and you my friend are cooking with some serious design gas! This whole house is covered in a similar blue and looks like what living on a cloud would feel like…the chicest cloud ever. This blue really elevates the space while still keeping the vibe soft and neutral.
Yes, I too want to work in this office. It’s simple yet inspired and that baby blue makes the entire space POP! But what I love is that it’s isn’t distracting but softly enhances. (Also that brass framed interior window is everything).
So while a pastel blue isn’t inherently a kid color, it sure does make sene/look SO good as the entrance for this kid’s reading nook. Also gold and pastel blue for the win!
In this apartment, they decided to use a pastel blue as their room divider curtain which is such a fun choice if you are looking for soft but not boring color. If they had to pick a color, I think this was the way to go.
This Isn’t Your Early ’00s Brown
Rich, bold brown is here and I think it will be one of the biggest trends of 2021. Already a ton of big-box retailers are incorporating brown intro their more modern designs like this sofa from CB2. Typically it takes a while for these stores to really lean into currents trends so I am pumped. I myself am highly considering heading into this direction for part of my MOTO.
So while we think that the rich, chocolatey browns are what will really hit, there are a ton of variations that have been popping up like Carley Page’s Interior Define sofa that’s more of a gray-brown or Sarah Ellison’s warm caramel-colored sofa. Options, y’all!
This is that chocolatey brown is was talking about! Boy, is it pretty! I’m telling ya, keep an eye out.
Here are a few more color variation options. On the left, you have Sarah Shinners caramel colored bedroom walls that I’m sure look as delicious and they must feel when you are in the room. Then on the right, you have a wonderful light gray-brown on the walls that when paired with rich warm tones like the gold, pink, and warmer browns, really just adds a beautiful depth to the space that doesn’t feel depressing in the least (which can happen with gray-browns).
And just as a fun side note, this color is not just for decor but also for more permanent material like tile. Thoughts?
Old World, New Look: Tapestries
When I moved into my current apartment in November, a vintage tapestry felt almost required as part of the decor because of the building’s style. So when first started to really notice them, I thought it was an algorithm thing (I was seeing them because I was searching for them kind of thing). Turns out it wasn’t the algorithm, the rest of the design world is currently pretty into them too! They add texture, are usually pretty big meaning that they will take up a lot of wall space (buh bye blank walls), and add some visual whimsy. Let’s see how the pros are designing with them.
This home is FULL of 2021 trends (it was also in our kitchen trend post for those diamond floors). But let’s focus on the tapestry at hand. While the colors are dark and muted, it still adds warmth and more visual interest to the room. Plus it nicely contrasts all of the modern elements.
Wait, in all of these examples the tapestries are there to contrast the modern elements and I love that. Plus the moodiness of a tapestry kinda feels sexy when but in a modern space. Who knew tapestries would be the item to create a sexy vibe!
Again, super modern space (what up enormous brass cherries?) and an extra-large vintage tapestry to balance. Yes, please!
I do have to say that this framed tapestry is probably my favorite. It’s also a room designed by Ashe Leandro, who in my book can do no wrong. Since the room isn’t overly modern but unlike the others is a bit softer, I love that the tapestry has a modern edge with it being framed in a lucite case. So beautiful.
After A Brief Break, Serge Mouille Lamps Are Back Baby
Now, this was a controversial trend. And by controversial, I mean that Emily wasn’t entirely convinced when I said that Mouille Lamps were “back”. She didn’t think they really ever left which isn’t wrong. But my case for this being a 2021 trend was that I felt they had taken a back seat for the past few years and now were back in full force. Look, a classic is a classic but I’ll never forget when I was first designing my old living room and initially wanting to install one, I overheard Ginny saying that they were everywhere and getting to be a bit overdone (or something like that). Also, this was not in response to me wanting one. Ginny would never do that unless I asked her opinion! Naturally, I was like, “well, I don’t want to do something on a design blog that’s overdone!” So instead I used a Noguchi pendant lol (another VERY popular light fixture that Mel used in her MOTO). This topic is very much related to Mal’s post she wrote last week. Anyway, this stunning lamp took a bit of a breather but now if popping back up in a ton of designer’s portfolios. Wanna see?
First, we have the ever talented Lea Johnson and her new basement oasis. She just installed this beauty and man does it make such a stunning impact.
Then we have Crystal Sinclair with this cozy but chic living room (this home’s kitchen was also in this year’s trend post). As you can see instead of using wall art to create interest, she used beautiful, modern light fixtures… like this Mouille Chandelier:)
Now, when most people think of a Mouille lamp, the classic black version comes to mind first. But if you want a white version, fear not and look at these beautiful examples.
And just because I love them so much here are two more photos that both made my heart skip a beat.
Natural Wood Framing: DIY Some Instant Character
This trend was one that might also be a little controversial since interior wood framing is usually original to a home but it’s also a very DIYable way to add some great interior character to your home. Plus, I’ve been seeing it a ton lately.
With this incredibly cozy and textured home, I’m not sure if Ido and his partner, Kristina installed that framing or if it was there initially. From the article, this home was almost uninhabitable when they got it so who knows. But this one thing I do know is that it’s beautiful and cool.
This is actually from The Proper Hotel in Austin, Texas that was designed by Kelly Wearstler. Clearly, they wanted to have a vintage meets modern look and by adding in the wood strips they achieved that in a really creative way.
This framing definitely looks original but look how cool that mural looks in the nooks! Just a great way to add more depth to a mural/space.
But look, not all of us can go screwing wood strips onto our walls. So this painted version (paired with beautiful vintage pieces:)) is such a great way to get the look without the potential wall damage.
The Dramatic Bedroom Curtain Wall
So Sarah Sherman Samuel did this behind-the-bed-curtain-wall look last year in her main bedroom and since then I’ve been seeing it more and more. 2021 trend? I think yes. Let’s dive in.
This was Sarah’s bedroom update last December and while I love her first version, this one is more up my alley. The curtains give the room a ton of movement, what could be called a secondary headboard, and lots of privacy. But what I love the most is that large black circle. It’s SO GOOD!
Here we have another neutral curtain wall with a bold piece of art hanging in front of it. They took it once step further and mimicked the curtain folds intro the headboard and the bed frame. Pretty interesting!
But curtain walls don’t always have to be cream or gray but instead can be a great way to add a bold color moment in the bedroom. I love the orange but boy does that pink curtain and yellow mirror combo just have my eyes dancing.
Statment Desks Are The New Black
This is probably a no brainer, right? Those of us lucky enough to work from home have been thinking pretty non-stop about our “offices” and the desk is our first stop. I know that I am in the process of finding a sick desk because well, it’s in my living room so I want it to look really cool! And from what the internet is telling me…I’m not alone.
Kellie Brown is the queen of post-modern interiors. If you don’t follow her you should be. This stunning stone design makes me so happy and is a total showstopper. I love that it doesn’t scream desk but easily functions as one. That’s something I am heavily thinking about. Also fun fact, one of Emily’s best friends Scott styled this shoot!
So this one may look more like an actual desk but OMG is it cool! Plus look at that storage (something I often forget to consider:)).
And here we have a gorgeous wood beauty that would knock anyone off of their feet! That curve, those legs…it’s just special.
Wall Dividers That Have More Than One Function
This to me is another covid inspired trend because we all need a little more privacy. Plus there are truly so many great room dividers available these days that can really make a space pop. Let me show you how.
Tell me that green divider doesn’t make this room sing! Its color and shape are unexpected and it just adds the perfect amount of something “weird” in the space. Now, I’m not sure if it’s simple decor or if it’s used for its privacy purpose but regardless it’s perfect right where it is.
Oof! The first time I saw this apartment my jaw hit the floor. Yes, it’s custom (or I assume from looking at it) but it’s undeniably cool and totally functional. Five stars for small space creativity! Also, I love the color palette:)
I told you this house was full of trends! Here is likely another example of a room divider being used for decoration as opposed to privacy. But regardless it looks awesome and again brings warmth to this space.
Single Color Rugs… I Know WILD
This is the most surprising trend to me and while I’m not opposed, I’m not sure if I’m 100% on board. Why? Well, what I love about rugs is the ease with which they can bring pattern into a space. So if you remove the pattern, then you have to work harder to create visual interest elsewhere. Again not bad but I have one eyebrow raised.
First off I am not in the least bit surprised that YSG is on this trend because well, they are trendsetters! But here they not only have what looks like a patterned wall-to-wall carpet, but the texture of the chairs, table, and light fixture offset the lack of pattern in the rug. Plus the mauve tone on tone looks awesome.
Another really modern space. Why I think this solid green rug works is because there is so much movement and texture on the walls (roman clay? limewash? Not sure). So I think the moral of the story is that if you want a solid rug you need to have bold texture elsewhere.
First off, go look at this house, it’s incredible. Second, look at that solid yellow rug (that isn’t following our rules but still looks super cool:)). This works because again, lots of texture in the space, and this rug gives the room the bold pop of color it needed to feel vibrant. I’m very into this trend here.
Now, this solid rug has more texture than the others and beautifully contrasts the lighter tones of the rest of the space. Plus it’s has been deemed by the design firm “the healthiest condo in Canada.” So maybe there’s something to solid rugs and our health:)
Reeded Accent Walls
This trend is hot off the press because I just started to notice it after our incredibly talented contributor Malcolm created this DIY headboard (progress photo below). Then I saw it on another blogger’s site and she was inspired by Studio McGee. Now if you are curious what’s the difference between reeded and fluted wood go to this visual. So while dowels took over 2020 and have a similar look, we say that the reeded (the more delicate version) wood feature is here for 2021.
Here’s a close up of Malcolm’s AWESOME DIY headboard (still in progress) but will be revealed soon! It feels chic, current, but with a little traditional vibe to it. We can’t wait to see it all done!
Next, we have designer and blogger Fariha and her incredible reeded bedroom feature wall. Also, it’s a DIY! It looks so good and we hope to see more of it this year.
Fariha said she was inspired by Shea McGee’s bedroom hallway which is also so beautiful. We can see why she was inspired and why we think it has juice for 2021.
OOOOk that’s that. I have a few more trends that I’m keeping my eye on and will report further into the year:) But for now, let’s take about these. What do you think? Do you agree? Are you surprised? Any that you love or hate? Let’s talk.
Love you, mean it.