- Insider asked five interior designers for their take on fading and emerging home-decorating trends in the run-up to the new year.
- Certain rustic features, like shiplap and barn doors, are starting to date themselves.
- Cosy “granny chic” designs and handmade tiles may soon be trending.
- Designers also said peel-and-stick wallpaper and plaster walls are coming back in style.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Interior-design trends are always going in and out of style.
Insider spoke to professional interior designers to find out which decorating trends will be everywhere in 2021, and which styles will fade away in the new year.
Shiplap is falling out of fashion.
Interior designer Rachel Street, host of DIY Network’s “Philly Revival,” told Insider that shiplap is one of the fastest fading trends.
Once used to waterproof boats, shiplap siding became a trendy way to decorate interior walls in the 2010s.
“Shiplap appears in nearly every TV home-makeover show, but there are so many other emerging ways of bringing texture into a space,” she said.
Street added that tile, plaster, rattan, or living walls of plants are set to become more popular in 2021, instead.
Grey kitchen interiors may become less popular.
Dennese Guadeloupe Rojas of Interiors by Design told Insider that the trend of having all-grey kitchen cabinets and walls will fade in 2021.
“Grey kitchen interiors can look cold and lack distinction,” she said. “Instead, I foresee bolder colours gaining popularity.”
Rojas mentioned that indigo blue may be a particularly trendy kitchen colour in 2021.
All-white interiors may start to date themselves.
Street predicted that the age of minimalistic, all-white interiors may be coming to an end.
“For a few years now, we’ve been making everything from walls to countertops bright white,” she told Insider. “Next year, I predict people will return to creating visual interest through colour.”
Those looking to give their all-white interiors more pizzazz without adding bright colours can try combining different light-coloured patterns and textures.
The mid-century modern furniture trend may finally be over.
Mid-century modern design borrows from style elements that were popular in the 1950s and 1960s, and it’s been everywhere in recent years.
Heather Goerzen, interior designer with Havenly, told Insider that this trend may finally be fading away.
“We’re shifting away from the ‘Mad Men’ look and spaces dominated by walnut wood, spindle legs, and geometric prints,” she said.
Barn doors could be replaced by other types of statement entryways.
Barn doors exploded onto the interior design scene in the early 2010s, but they may not retain their popularity as we head further into the 2020s.
“The trend for barn doors, often painted in drab brown, will be replaced by pocket doors or classic French doors,” Rojas told Insider.
Pocket doors slide directly into the adjacent wall, and French doors normally open outward and feature large panes of glass.
Accent walls likely won’t be as trendy in 2021.
An accent wall is one that’s painted or wallpapered differently than the others in a room.
The trend started as a way to make a space more interesting, but Rojas said that the age of the accent wall is drawing to a close.
“Accent walls can look childish and be too distracting,” she told Insider. “We’ll hopefully be returning to monochromatic walls that blend seamlessly with the decor without the startling drama of an accent wall.”
Matching furniture sets may start to look dated.
“Identical furniture and matching sets don’t showcase personal style,” he said. “I believe matching sets will soon be seen as a design flaw.”
Instead of coordinating all your furniture or buying a complete set from a showroom, consider selecting nonmatching pieces with complementary colours or designs.
On the other hand, the “grandmillennial” or “granny chic” style may rise in popularity.
Goerzen described the rising “grandmillennial” trend as a modern revival of homey design elements that you might find in your grandparents’ home.
She told Insider that the style is meant to evoke comfort, nostalgia, and tradition.
“Think floral wallpaper, antique paintings, delicate china, crocheted throws, and vintage touches with whimsical flair,” she said. “This trend will certainly be one to watch in 2021.”
Peel-and-stick wallpaper will likely be trendy in 2021.
Self-adhesive, removable wallpaper is gaining popularity with people who rent or are looking for a low-commitment way to upgrade their living space.
“Peel-and-stick wallpaper is perfect for an easy and dramatic room change,” Rojas said. “You can get creative and simply peel it off when you get tired of it.”
If you’re wary of covering an entire room in wallpaper, try adding it above the chair rail in dining rooms, above the moulding in bathrooms, or even in closets.
Rustic ceramics may edge out smooth tiling in the kitchen.
The kitchen designs of 2021 may swap smooth, uniform backsplashes for colourful, handcrafted ceramic tiling.
“Gone are the days of smooth porcelain or glass subway tile,” Street told Insider. “I’m starting to see a lot of hand-thrown ceramic tiling that shows some natural variation, like Moroccan zellige tile.”
You can use ceramic tiling to create backsplashes or cover entire walls. But handmade tiles are often more expensive than manufactured ones, so individual pieces can also be added as accents to cut costs.
Green cabinets could be one of the biggest kitchen trends of 2021.
Anyone looking to add drama to their kitchens may want to consider painting their cabinets green. Street told Insider that both lighter and deeper shades will be popping up in kitchens everywhere in 2021.
“Because green is a mix of blue and yellow colours, it works with both cool colour palettes and warm, cozier kitchen designs,” she said.
The designer added that pairing green cabinets with Carrara-marble counters can help highlight the grey veining in the stone.
Industrial styling may be the next big trend in 2021.
Industrial interior style often incorporates elements such as exposed stonework, high ceilings, wood and metal elements, and neutral colours.
Karp explained that this fuss-free style may be a rising trend in 2021 as people continue to spend more time at home.
“Industrial style has a mix of modern and traditional design and works for interiors that have to serve as places to live, work, and play,” he said.
Plaster walls may make a comeback.
Before the invention of drywall, interior walls were often created by layering plaster over wooden strips called laths.
“Drywall is quicker to install and provides a more uniform surface, but the depth and texture of plaster is making a comeback,” Street told Insider.
To explore this trend without ripping out your walls, she suggested coating your drywall with a thin layer of plaster.
Wicker and rattan furniture will likely be trending.
“Rattan and wicker details are on their way in,” he said. “These natural materials add warmth and lightness to home decor.”
Rattan furniture is made from woven palm stems, and wicker pieces are typically made of woven willow twigs. Both styles are lightweight and can work indoors and outdoors.
Natural fabrics may gain popularity over synthetics.
Synthetic fabrics such as polyester, nylon, and rayon may lose ground to natural and recycled textiles in 2021.
“With the growing awareness of environmental issues, I foresee a trend for using more sustainable materials and natural fabrics in the home,” Thompson said.
He singled out textiles like organic cotton, recycled polyester, and low-impact linen as prime candidates for 2021 trends.
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