In design, as with most things, the future is shaped by the past. 2021 interior design forecasting can be viewed as a summation of all of the ways in which our homes didn't quite serve our needs in 2020. In the face of COVID-19, our lifestyles were forced to rapidly change, leaving our homes to catch up. Now, with several months of practice behind us, we have a better idea of what we need from our apartments in 2021: comfort, functionality, and interesting details to admire.
Trends in decor have closely mirrored our desire for comfort, nostalgia and coziness, with so-called "Grand-millennial" aesthetics being predicted to take over homes in 2021. Insider defines this trend as "vintage touches with a whimsical flair" — a modern take on all the best parts of your grandparents' house. Floral wallpaper, carefully curated china, crochet pieces, and woven wicker details will all be making a major comeback this year. Trade your sleek glass for some creamy ceramics, leave modern minimalism at the door, and take the plunge towards nostalgic "Grand-millennialism".
Source: Resident Objects
Move over mid-century modern, postmodernism is back. Since the New York Times first noted the trend in 1998, homages to a '50s and '60s era industrial, clean-lined, low-lying aesthetic have been the dominant characteristic of every 'how did they put together such a cool apartment?' apartment. However, the trend tides have finally shifted, with everyone from Architectural Digest to Apartment Therapy determining that this call-back to spaces from seventy years ago is officially done. More and more, we're seeing a renewed appreciation for postmodern aesthetics reminiscent of the '80s circulate in mainstream interior design. Think neon lights, playful furniture silhouettes, loud prints, and well-curated kitschy decor.
Home Office as Focal Point
In 2021, the home office will officially be the centrepiece of the home — an antidote to the unremarkable desk space many of us shabbily threw together out of necessity in late March of last year. Rather than merely a place to do work, an office needs to be an intentionally designed zone to foster deep, creative thought. Instead of trying to hide the workspace within home life, interior designers such as Martin Waller argue that in 2021, the home office will be a multifunctional, cleverly organized space that should include three things: flattering light, comfortable seating, and interesting pops of colour or prints to create an aesthetically pleasing backdrop for video calls.
For the past decade, minimalism has been the guiding light of interior design, characterized by sleek, modern silhouettes, neutral colour palettes, and unseen clutter. While previously this approach allowed the home to be a relaxing refuge to return to from days spent in the chaotic outdoors, today's world is a little different. We're less concerned with keeping up an image of "having it all together" for visiting guests and more interested in creating spaces we enjoy being in. Interior designer Domus Venus told Forbes that the future of design looks more like "an exodus from that perfect world to the profit of imperfection," predicting more colour, bold textures, and unique statement pieces in 2021. In other words, don't shy away from individualism — embrace your space as a reflection of the inner you.
The most effective interior design integrates hobbies and habits with aesthetic preferences. There's no better example of this principle than indoor gardens, and deconstructing the distinction between the indoors and outdoors will continue to be a dominant feature of decor in 2021. As Danielle Blundell of Apartment Therapy puts it, "nature has really been our big[gest] refuge..it's an expansion on the idea of bringing the outdoors in." Not only are indoor plants beautiful, caring for them is also an incredibly easy outlet for stress relief and healthy habit building. Integrating nature into everyday life has proven to be one of the most effective strategies to combat the inevitable claustrophobia that can crop up when you spend your time at home.