See how Living Spaces designers weigh in on what’s in for the new year – and what’s outdated.
We invite you to take a break from the chaos and join us for a fun read on the most hyped-up styles you’re bound to see everywhere in 2021. What follows is an analysis of the latest interior design trends, sourced by data from Google Trends. The report includes brief breakdowns from the Living Spaces designers themselves – what they have to say about the findings, and their simple tips for making the most out of home redecorating.
Ready to de-stress? Commencing the full report in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . !
IN: Transitional Decor (OUT: Industrial Style)
Since the peak in the beginning of 2017, we have seen a drop of 22% in interest in 2021. “With the rise of more cozy-centric living, 2021 is seeing an emphasis on softer, warmer, more comforting designs, and that means one of the first styles to fall of the list is industrial. This year, expect fewer metals and more touchable textiles. What to try instead: Swap out iron furniture legs for wooden furniture legs; bronze and silver wall art for wall tapestries and hanging quilts.” – Satsha Lopez-Jaimes, Interior Designer
IN: Grandmillennial (OUT: Shabby Chic)
Since the peak in the beginning of 2016, we have seen a drop of 43% in interest in 2021. “Shabby Chic goes along with farmhouse style in a way, with weathered pieces and a collected worn-out look. What to try instead: Replacing is Grandmillennial design. As millennials are growing up and appreciating design in their own way, we are putting a twist to eclectic style and steering away from monochromatic. It is a different kind of granny chic, with more classic and timeless pieces and bright and airy rooms.” – Shelby Greene, Studio Operations Stylist
IN: Minimal Stripes (OUT: Floral Pattern)
Since the peak in the middle of 2016, we have seen a drop of 28% in interest in 2021. Shelby explains why: “Floral pattern was part of the granny chic trend, making florals on wallpaper and upholstery trendy and not so old fashioned. What to try instead: Replacing it is minimal stripes and lines. You’ll see this trend in rugs and drapery to add some spark of pattern, but not too heavy, making it very versatile to work with.” – Shelby Greene, Studio Operations Stylist
IN: Grand Canvas Art (OUT: Botanical Print)
Since the peak in the beginning of 2017, we have seen a drop of 14% in interest in 2021. “Botanical Print in art is becoming too expected and not so unique anymore. What to try instead: This year, try grand, hand-painted art pieces on canvas or moody photography prints blown up in frames. This trend goes along with the grandmillenial approach, booting out shabby chic.” – Shelby Greene, Studio Operations Stylist
IN: Geometric Tile (OUT: Subway Tile)
Since the peak in the beginning of 2018, we have seen a drop of 10% in interest in 2020. “Subway Tile has had a long stay; however, we are getting more creative with our tiling techniques.” What to try instead: Instead, try a geometric honeycomb or octagon tiles with a marble material or metallic hints. This trend will be used in kitchens and bathrooms, and even seeing it expand into restaurants. This brings warmth and character to steer away from a simple style.” – Shelby Greene, Studio Operations Stylist
IN: Tiled Borders (OUT: Mosaic Tile)
Since the peak in the beginning of 2018, we have seen a drop of 3% in interest in 2021. “Bold, intricate and high-contrast tiling is, along with intricate patterns in general, giving way to cleaner, simpler aesthetics. What to try instead: 2021 trends are turning their noses up to big bold statements; instead of mosaic tiling in countertops or furniture, try a small mosaic art piece or picture frame. Downsized, mosaic can look and feel handcrafted, and actually pairs well with grandmillennial, a 2021 ‘in’ trend.” – Emilie Navarro, Interior Designer
IN: Herringbone-Inspired Pattern (OUT: Terrazzo Tile)
Since the peak in the middle of 2018, we have seen a drop of 10% in interest in 2021. “Terrazzo continues to show up, and while its simplicity makes its ubiquity a little easier on the eyes, it’s definitely a pattern that just feels tired at this point. What to try instead: Try herringbone; it’s basically chevron, but with a subtle, sophisticated edge. In soft, earthy colors, herringbone, with its charming rows of rectangles – bolder, but not as random as terrazzo – will surely fit in with the ‘simple and natural’ motifs in 2021.” – Emilie Navarro, Interior Designer
IN: Cozy Accents (OUT: Wabi-Sabi)
Since the peak in the middle of 2018, we have seen a drop of 4% in interest in 2021. “According to the data, fewer and fewer people are talking (and typing) about wabi-sabi. What to try instead: Wabi-sabi means being okay with an “unfinished” look. While it’s a very nice philosophy to live by, it’s taking the boot (at least in home decor). In its place, decorators are turning to all sorts of cozy accents and additions, like high-pile rugs and galleries of soft wall art, to make a home feel complete.” – Emilie Navarro, Interior Designer
IN: Layered Colors (OUT: Monochromatic)
Since the peak in the middle of 2016, we have seen a drop of 30% in interest in 2021. “2021 decorating will be all about comfort, and while monochromatic palettes are simple, they can also feel boring. What to try instead: Add layered hues through texture, like throw pillows, blankets and a statement wall. You can even mix different color families: an earthy green wall, for example, mixed with a terracotta pillow, will feel very 2021.” – Emilie Navarro, Interior Designer
IN: Textured Wood (OUT: Tile Countertops)
Since the peak in the middle of 2017, we have seen a drop of 7% in interest in 2021. “Here’s the thing about tiled counters: they look nice, but can be a hassle to keep clean and free from crumbs, especially in the small spaces where each tile meets. What to try instead: Light-colored quartz. It’s not as expensive as granite and easy to clean. It also fits in with every style. If going for a wood material, try a distressed finish to add the same amount of ‘texture’ you would have gotten with tile, without the tile.” – Kathy Perez, Visual Stylist
IN: Warm Tones (OUT: Millennial Pink)
Millennial pink: everyone’s favorite color, for a while. Since the peak in the beginning of 2018, we have seen a drop of 53% in interest in 2021. While there’s no denying its ‘chic-ness,’ its ‘pink-ness’ definitely limits how and where one can incorporate it. What to try instead: To get on board with 2021 color palettes, go straight for richer, warmer tones (like red earth tones). Instead of big upholstery pieces, look to accents; a rust figurine or terracotta vase is all you need for an on-trend statement.
IN: Scandifornian Style (OUT: California Style)
Since the peak in the end of 2017, we have seen a drop of 12% in interest in 2021. “California style is going away. For a while, it was the way to “relax” a space, but it’s definitely had its moment. What to try instead: As for what’s coming, expect to see Scandifornian! It’s a mix of Scandinavian and Californian, so you don’t have to say goodbye to California style completely. As for Scandifornian, think cozy, relaxed – and with a touch of mid-century modern.
IN: Cottagecore Textures (OUT: French Cottage)
Since the peak in the beginning of 2016, we have seen a drop of 19% in interest in 2021. “French cottage styles with formal gravitas are slowly moving out. Today’s generation likes simpler settings. What to try instead: Think mixed woods and metals, greenery, lace wall decor, shag rugs and throws – or cottagecore. Cottagecore trends are becoming more popular for their relaxed and inviting auras. The soft furnishings and simple mix of textiles and textures make for a simple yet aesthetically appealing environment.
IN: Abstract Art (OUT: Word Art)
Since the peak in the beginning of 2017, we have seen a drop of 33% in interest in 2021. “Okay, word art, you had your time in the spotlight, but the fact is, you came on a little too fast, too hard. Our hearts now belong to our new decor mate: abstract canvas art. What to try instead: Let the pictures do the talking. Try abstracts in soft, warm colors, or photographs of scenic places. You can also experiment with fiber wall art (or wall tapestries). Really, try anything – as long as it’s not word art!” – Jessie Harris, Production Designer
IN: Sofa Beds (OUT: Futons)
Since the peak in the middle of 2016, we have seen a drop of 20% in interest in 2021. “In 2021, futons are now kind of like that houseguest who overstays their welcome (which, ironically, is what futons are most associated with, in the first place!) What to try instead: The sofa bed. On a shallow level, it just sounds nicer than the word ‘futon.’ On a real level, quality sofa beds offer what futons never could: a high-comfort mattress designed for a great night’s sleep.” – Jessie Harris, Production Designer
IN: Rustic Italian OUT: Tuscan Style
Since the peak in the beginning of 2016, we have seen a drop of 44% in interest in 2021. “Tuscan style was fun while it lasted! In hindsight, though, the vintage vibes seemed just another rung in the ever-growing ladder to ‘farmhouse fever.’ What to try instead: Just as with farmhouse, Tuscan style is easy to overdo (which probably led to its downfall). In 2021, keep the heart of it (weathered surfaces, warm, neutral color palettes and natural stone elements) and ditch the novelties (Italian calligraphy, images of gondolas, etc.).” – Jessie Harris, Production Designer
IN: Selenite Lamps (OUT: Himalayan Salt Lamp)
Since the peak in the beginning of 2017, we have seen a drop of 68% in interest in 2021. “One word: overexposure. There are just too many salt lamps going around, and people are starting to turn the other way. (Don’t blame us, blame the data!) What to try instead: Selenite lamps. They’re a refreshing change from the pink Himalayan counterpart – they’re not pink, and they’re not salt. They’re just beautiful, clear gypsum crystals that give off a subtle glow.” – Jessie Harris, Production Designer
IN: High Pile Rugs (OUT: Shag Carpet)
Since the peak in the beginning of 2019, we have seen a drop of 9% in interest in 2021. “Shag carpet is comfy, but it doesn’t really offer a lot of room for style personality. What to try instead: Instead of carpet, go for a large, high pile area rug, since it’s less permanent. Rugs also give you a chance to contrast with the floor underneath, and you can place one strategically under a furniture set to help pull the look together.” – Brynna Evans, Interior Designer
IN: Quartz & Light Counters (OUT: Granite)
Since the peak in the beginning of 2016, we have seen a drop of 19% in interest in 2021. “Granite may feel like the home you grew up in, but that’s probably precisely why it’s no longer trending. What to try instead: Shiny quartz. It’s less porous than granite and so requires less care; it’s also sleeker and more unique. Plus, on a quartz countertop, decor and objects are more likely to stand out (whereas on a granite countertop, decor and objects are more likely to get lost in the pattern).” – Brynna Evans, Interior Designer