From bold wallpapers to colorful kitchens and international-inspired style, designers share their favorite home design trends for 2021.

Along with resolutions for personal and professional growth, the new year sparks inspiration for renewed spaces to go along with a new attitude. Many of 2020’s hottest home design trends will carry over into 2021; however, there will be a greater focus on creating rooms that create a warm, nostalgic feel — no surprise after such a cumbersome and unsettling year.

Here are the seven design trends to keep an eye on in the upcoming year:

Go “Back to the Future” with 80s designs

The perfect terrazzo bathroom. (Credit: Getty Images and Ume Illus)

According to virtual design platform Modsy, 80s aesthetics will make a resurgence in 2021. For those who’ve been holding onto their favorite neon trinkets, don’t get so excited — the current takes on 80s design focuses on the glamour of the decade: sculptural furniture, bold lacquered colors, glass and brass decor, and a crowd favorite, terrazzo.

“To completely [integrate] this modern 80s trend into an exquisite space, the use of a statement piece in your decor couldn’t be a more perfect choice,” a Trendbook article read. “An accent sleek sofa or a contemporary cabinet completed with irregular shapes and bold colors are the elements required to display this style, standing as a striking addition to any living room.”

Escape to the countryside with cottagecore

Credit: Getty Images and Andreas von Einsiedel

Although this trend was on Inman’s holiday staging guide, it’s sure to stick around far past the winter months. Made popular by fashion Instagrammers and Tik-Tokers, cottagecore draws its inspiration from the English countryside with delicate floral prints, vintage fabrics, and wicker accessories. If flowers aren’t your thing, no worries — gingham, plaids, and other striped designs are a central part of creating the cottagecore design.

‘Due to the events of 2020, I think that cottagecore, nostalgia and the need for comfort are all here to stay,’ Instagram influencer and Hill House Vintage blogger Paula Sutton told Homes and Gardens. “Cottagecore is something that started off as very simplistic but I think it can also be mixed with touches of glamour to create a luxe traditional style.”

Activate your green thumb with plants

Photo by Croissant on Unsplash

If you’ve spent any time on social media, then you’ve likely come across plenty of millennials’ posts about becoming ‘plant moms’ or ‘plant dads.’ HGTV Canada predicts there will be plenty more plant moms, dads, grandparents, aunts, and uncles as everyone satisfies their wanderlust by bringing the outdoors, indoors.

“It seems like 2020 was the year that many of us went back to basics (hello, baking bread and green thumbs), and chances are that these primal habits will continue to grow in 2021 — especially when it comes to indoor plants,” the article read. “Incorporating house plants into your decor can help refresh your air and brighten your mood, and you don’t necessarily need to get too fancy (or hire a plant stylist) to create a green home.”

Fiddle leaf figs and Pileas are great places to start — check out this previous Inman article about how to take care of the plants.

Statement walls

Photo by DESIGNECOLOGIST on Unsplash

Wallpaper is making a comeback and there are more chic options than ever before. From vibrant, botanical prints to sensuous, velvet textures, there’s a wallpaper for every mood and design desire. Designer Marie Flanigan told Veranda that wallpapers are perfect for “highly-curated aesthetics” such as cottagecore, and are often the final touch that pulls a design together.

In the same article, designer Phillip Gorrivan challenged homeowners to create the home of their dreams and quit limiting themselves with antiquated design do’s and don’ts.

“Home has become our ‘everything’ space right now,” he said. “I see more interiors with authenticity and narrative as well as spaces with color, pattern and playfulness as the next trend. Color and pattern are one way to tell a unique story, and also lift up our moods and spirits”

“I think designers and homeowners alike will seek ways to make their interiors more unique,” he added. “Interiors will need to speak to the inhabitants and tell a story.”

International inspiration

Photo by Collov Home Design on Unsplash

Scandinavian design aesthetics are making a resurgence this year as Japandi — a mash-up of Scandinavian and Japanese design. Light-colored woods (e.g. birch, white oak, maple, ash, bamboo), sustainable and eco-friendly materials, warm neutrals, handcrafted furniture and decor with clean lines, and plants are at the center of Japandi style.

“Known as Japanese minimalism, to achieve this trend it’s all about mixing elements of Japanese and Scandinavian furniture,” Country Living article explained. “It’s been making big waves with interior designers this year, so expect to see the trend trickle down into homes around the country.”

If the simplicity of Japandi isn’t your style, designers said there’s an overall greater movement toward embracing design aesthetics from around the world to create a beautiful medley of styles.

“With a screaming desire for diversity and inclusion in the design industry on the forefront, I predict a brilliant mosaic of global designers and their work being more proudly displayed, supported, and sold!” designer Joy Moyler told Veranda. “This will add needed vibrancy to the industry. The result will be more cultured and interesting pages in the shelter magazines. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?”

Colorful kitchens are in vogue

Photo by Kam Idris on Unsplash

After a decade-long reign, all-white kitchens have (almost) met their end. According to Semihandmade founder and CEO John McDonald, homeowners and designers are finally embracing colorful kitchens with two-toned designs.

“From clients, we’re seeing a pretty even mix of two colors (black base and white uppers is common), along with blending wood with color to either lighten what otherwise might be a rustic feel, or to add a bit of pop (like on an island),” he told Forbes

If a black and white color scheme, also known as ‘tuxedo kitchens,’ doesn’t tickle your fancy, then check out 2021’s colors of the year for inspiration.

Grandma knows best with ‘grandmillenial’ design

Credit: Modsy

Now might be the time to ask your grandparents for a few design tips.

A favorite on most of the design roundups from publications such as Forbes, Veranda, Elle Decor, and Real Homes, grandmillennial design takes floral designs, lace finishes, velvet furniture, and antique decor and gives them a modern spin.

“This is basically a new 2020/21 name for granny chic,” a Real Homes article read. “There is a way to do it though to prevent your home from actually looking like your nan’s bedsit.”

“You’ll see that these grandmillennials do go big on the old fashioned prints and designs, but give spaces a modern twist by adding in some more contemporary pieces, say a Mid-century style velvet sofa,” it added. “Sure, the spaces are nostalgic but they don’t feel dated or stuffy.”

Email Marian McPherson

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