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Out With the Old: Interior Design Trends in 2021

2020 is over … (collective sigh). The new year is laid out before us fresh with promise and possibility. A fresh set of months also brings new ideas, fresh perspectives and interesting concepts, including in the world of interior design. We scoured some sources — Architectural Digest, Veranda, Good Housekeeping — to see what interior designers expect as trends in 2021. Big themes? Versatility, outdoor living and self-expression. Here are a few possibilities we’re particularly excited about.

Dark Hues

We see a lot of light and airy concepts at the beach, but make room for some darker hues in 2021. We’re not suggesting painting your living room black; rather, it’s about refined usage of dark colors in kitchen cabinetry, accent pieces, etc. Incorporating darker notes in your kitchen, for example, can help build a distinction in open concept living or make a space more visually interesting.

Versatile Spaces

With more people working from the kitchen table and all of us spending more time at home, it’s important to maximize the use of space — whether you’re in a 4,000-square-foot house or a two-bedroom townhome. How can you repurpose a less-used space? Are there pieces of furniture that can be used in multiple ways? Maybe a breakfast nook can serve double-duty as a virtual learning space for kids with floating desks that fold up when not in use. Look for furniture concepts that can be chic as well as versatile. If you’ve already maxed out your versatility, look to add pieces that restore balance to a multi-purpose area.


Why are you waiting to paint that wall/replace the flooring/buy that royal blue sofa? If there’s anything the past year taught us, it’s to live in the moment and do all the things you’ve been putting off.

Some of those might be interior projects you’ve been delaying. Go for the lush jewel tones, add wallpaper to your

bathroom, throw some patterns on your living room sofa. More than ever, our homes are an expression of who we are and what we love.

Peel-and-stick wallpaper looks to be a trendy option, thanks to its easy installation/removal and quick way to let your personality shine, even in rented spaces. Another area that could use a burst of life is the ceramic tile in your kitchen. Decorative options will make preparing all those meals at home more palatable, in more ways than one, and can easily be chosen to coordinate with an existing color scheme.

Edible Gardens and Indoor Plants

The addition of trees and edible plants inside a home is a great way to bring the outdoors in. The benefits they provide are undisputed: They freshen the air, help reduce stress levels and may even boost your productivity. (Don’t believe us? Check these facts from WebMD.) Edible plants, in particular, will be a popular addition in 2021, allowing you to have fresh herbs and vegetables at your fingertips for all that cooking you’re doing. They also just look lovely sitting in a kitchen window.

Natural Palettes and Textures

We’ve been experiencing this trend for a while, thanks mostly to the natural elements of sand, salt, water and sunshine we experience along the Emerald Coast. Now it appears the rest of the country might be taking notice.

Statement light fixtures, such as those with knotted rope or shells, add visual interest to a neutral palette. The natural nod continues with furniture (think rattan tables) and other decor pieces, all of which bridge the gap between the indoors and the great outdoors.

Outdoor Spaces

We’re fortunate to live in an area where outdoor living is almost an afterthought, but it appears to be high on the trend list for the coming year. Entertaining in confined spaces presents a new host of concerns, so cozy outdoor areas not only give us a break from being inside all the time but also offer a safer space to meet with friends and family.

Elements such as outdoor televisions and fire pits add to the usability of a space, and don’t forget that balconies, backyards and rooftop decks can also be transformed with new furniture.

Joyful Hues

Last but certainly not least, we have to give a nod to Pantone’s color — or shall we say — colors of the year. Gray and yellow (specifically, “Ultimate Gray” and “Illuminating”) were chosen as a symbol of happiness and hope. It marks only the second time in nearly two decades that Pantone has chosen two colors instead of one.

Experts call it a “dependable gray” and a yellow reminiscent of sunshine.

“The selection of two independent colors highlight how different elements come together to express a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting, conveying the idea that it’s not about one color or one person, it’s about more than one. The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude,” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said in a press release.

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