10 Home Design Trends: 2021

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We close the books on the year 2020 and look forward to what 2021 brings in the real estate market.  Once the holidays wind down, we might take a look at our current homes with the intention of upgrades.  Inspiration to renovate, update or move into a new space is limitless.  But what has changed to bring new styles to 2021?  In some cases, 2021 has brought new choices due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  More people are home for longer periods of time due to the lockdowns.  Let's look at some design ideas and trends that could transform your home into a space that is eye candy, forms more to function or both.


1.  Devoted Home Office Space

Home Office

In many households, 2020 brought work life home.  Individuals and families alike were often unfamiliar with the task of providing a living from home.  Laptops, telephones, computer screens, notepads scattered throughout the kitchen, living room, play areas.  This is a common occurrence as 72% now work from a non-dedicated office space.  70% of large cap CEOs plan on downsizing office space (Forbes).  This means that work from home will continue.  Homeowners are looking to convert unused rooms to clean and updated spaces.  Fresh paint, lots of light, clean design, and contrasting accessories are the focus.  Some have turned storage rooms, old unused office rooms, extra bedrooms, or even hallways to create this transformation.  A quiet office away from family roommates are key to this sought after change.


2.  Closing Off Open Floor Plans

Room Dividing

Open floorplans have been a necessity for some over the past few years.  Many new homeowners have requested contractors to knock down walls to open up kitchen, dining rooms and living rooms together.  Many structural changes are needed at the desire to accommodate more livable space, light and aesthetics.  But 2020 threw another curveball when many families work from home or attend online classes.  The need to divide rooms are back!  Households are installing dividing curtains and panels to add privacy in the new form of living.


3.  Houseplants and Indoor Greenery

House Plant

In 2020, people brought the outdoors, indoors.  2021 will continue this trend where airy plants are planted inside living spaces.  It adds color and life to a cooped up work/living environment.  A leafy green planting for consumption may increase as well.


4.  Rattan Accents


Rattan is a natural material from climbing palm.  It is interwoven to make furniture, baskets, purses or accessories.  Rattan is making a comeback because it is a natural material.  It continues the plant trend discussed earlier.  Rattan can be overdone, so don't go overboard.  Use it as the ends of bed, chair, table or single centerpiece to brighten up the room with this neutral contrast.


5.  Wood Grain Kitchen Furniture

Wood Countertop and Kitchen

You're starting to see a continuing pattern into 2021.  Bringing in natural aesthetics into the kitchen are part of the idea during the lockdown.  Households really do want to bring the outdoors inside with hardwoods.  Wood cabinets with a neutral tone may have a comeback.  Grainy, character grade countertops are the centerpiece.  If you are considering wood countertops, ensure that the finish or top coat are durable.  It needs to withstand long-term abuse.  And remember, it's not as strong as other materials such as granite or quartz.


6.  Upscale Playgrounds


Staying indoors, at home for extended periods of time can take a toll on children.  In 2020, they were home at school and in some cases with little outside the home interaction.  Homeowners will hire or take on a project themselves to enhance outdoor play areas.  They have the intention to keep their children outdoors and away from the dreaded cabin fever symptom.  It's not just posh playgrounds, but integrated treehouses, ziplines, climbing walls and community clubhouses.


7.  Outdoor Kitchens

Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchen and dining will continue to grow, adding to the 2021 trend of bringing outdoors to home living.  Patios will be transformed into airy eating areas to those concerned about social distancing.  Cooped up families will renovate their three seasons room with wide opening windows to let fresh air in.  These spaces will be renovated to accommodate stoves, fridges, grills and countertops.  Some may go with installing electronics such as speakers, televisions and soft lights.  Canopies decorated with wood accented frames will not be short in demand.  I personally turned my patio deck area into a kitchen cooking steaks, smoking meat and taking in the fresh air with the family.  Not to mention, it's a better warm weather alternative as to not have the lingering smell of preparing food indoors.


8.  Smart Bathrooms

  Smart Bathroom

 In are modern and convenient features for the upcoming year.  The main reason: households are conditioned to not touch as many surfaces during to Covid-19.  Bathrooms will sport more touchless faucets.  Bidets will be added due to the toilet paper scare of 2020.  It might take longer for Americans to adjust to the idea of a bidet, but other households originally from other countries may adopt this feature with ease.  Integrated smart mirrors are just a touch.  They will connect us more and more while we stay home.


9.  Retro Designs

Vintage Wallpaper

The lockdown of 2020 brought creativity back into people's living areas.  Grays might be a thing of the past in 2021.  Poppy colors can take part from the 60s, 70s and 80s found in wallpaper, furniture and accessories.  We'll see how busy or simple people will take this uptrend into the new year.


10.  Layers Upon Layers


2021 will show that households will not shy away from multi-layered designs.  Two layers of draperies on windows, multi-layered blankets on sofas, stacked mismatched blankets, all in the name of form.  While sacrificing function, the new volume of accessories will see colors others have shied away from the past.  I believe that white, grey and dark blues will continue its 2020 trend into the new year.  However, don't be surprised to see multi-colored pastels thrown into the mix.  Washed pink, blue, green, purple may pop in households.




In my opinion, away with the modern clean walls of the recent trend.  Walls will become busy.  More family portraits will be integrated, reminiscing on years past trips and experiences.  Bookshelves will make room for more picture frames.  We'll need more color and vibrant vibes in often neutral homes of today.



Sieben, Lauren. “It's a Shake-Up! These 10 Drastically Different Design Trends Will Be Everywhere in 2021-and Beyond>.” Real Estate News and Advice | Realtor.com®. Realtor.com, December 16, 2020. https://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/2021-design-trends/?_cldee=am9obi5jaGlzbW9yaWVAY2JleGNoYW5nZS5jb20.

Westfall, Chris. “Statistics Show Remote Workers Are Frustrated, Many Still Unprepared For Working From Home.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, August 26, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/chriswestfall/2020/08/25/statistics-show-remote-workers-are-frustrated-many-still-unprepared-for-working-from-home/?sh=7d49094848b3.