I’d like to preface this blog post by mentioning that this wasn’t a topic I necessarily wanted to discuss. Don’t get me wrong, I could study interiors all day long because it is absolutely a passion of mine. ‘Trends’ just aren’t something I like to pay a lot of attention to. Each year, I strive to continue to finesse my skill set and challenge myself to improve. That said, putting out a ‘what I think will be cool this year’ post seemed somewhat narcissistic and not to mention, a bit trite.
I realized that in order to challenge myself, I needed to really consider previous ‘trends’ and put some thought into where interior style was headed. What are some things that have legs and what design elements aren’t worth keeping around.
I think it is exciting to take risks, but within reason. I don’t think it’s smart to make huge investments based on trends that are for the most part, temporary. Most clients I work with are making long-term investments into their homes. I am hired to help guide them in the decision making process for long-term appeal. Trends often don’t really come into the equation with that mindset.
Historically though, major design shifts have occurred after time periods of cultural change. It is undeniable that our lifestyles have been altered over the past year, and just as undeniable that this will have a major impact on how we utilize and style our personal spaces. For what it’s worth, here’s what I think:
I think our days of layered neutrals might be numbered (for now). Color is something that has always been a hard sell for clients. It is a statement making tool, that is often a commitment of some sort. So my advice to clients has frequently been to invest in neutral pieces while injecting color with pillows and accessories. This gives your space longevity and adaptability. However, I think folks are coming out of the cloud that 2020 was with fresh eyes. Color has an emotional response, and I think people will find that surrounding themselves with certain hues will positively impact their spaces.
Even personally, this proved to be true. Being in our home for three months straight gave us the push we needed to re-tile our fireplace in a lush, emerald green. I’ve consistently found myself gravitating towards color (and lots of it) in ways I haven’t before. I’ll also say I don’t think there is any specific color that will reign supreme in 2021. I think we’re headed into a ‘do what feels right’ phase, so if a yellow ceiling or mint green cabinets brings a smile to your face – BY ALL MEANS DO THE DAMN THING.
I don’t think this is limited to paint either. I’m seeing color through wallpaper, furniture and of course artwork too.
I joked through 2020 that while everyone else was baking bread, I was propagating plants. Now that people are home way more than they used to be, bringing some low maintenance life into your home is more important than ever. I’ve always felt like every room needed some green, and I don’t think this idea is changing anytime soon.
Plants also remind me of vacation and I think we’re all craving that these days.
Our homes quickly became offices and schools last year. Multi-purpose is the name of the game. Formal dining rooms now have transitioned to offices or home school pods. It has become a normal occurrence for me to brainstorm with clients on how to combine functions in their existing rooms. However, don’t think for a minute that means our spaces need to become less stylish. I just think our spaces have and will continue to become more approachable. Stuffy and fussy no longer work. We are all looking for comfort and functionality in our homes, so expect to see more durable materials and inviting furniture.
Obviously this is near and dear to my heart. I’ve been doing this for quite some time, but I’m noticing that the trend of Facebook Marketplace sourcing is catching on. I think people are wanting more unique pieces and spaces and are realizing that the most cost effective way to do this is by purchasing second hand. There is a wealth of wonderful pieces out there that will take on a whole new life in a fresh space.
I’ll also say that they do not make furniture like they used to. Dovetail drawer details, carvings and hardware are just not as prevalent as they are in antiques. Often, I’m more apprehensive of the durability of the new pieces in my home versus the old things. That 100 year old dresser will likely outlast you, no matter how many times you move it. You can’t say that for Ikea products.
Additionally, I think sustainability is becoming something folks consider when purchasing any product. The challenging part here, is that it’s often more expensive to buy sustainable products (light bulbs, organic produce, cleaning products, etc). That isn’t the case with buying second hand furniture, decor or clothing too. You generally end up saving money if you spend a little bit of time sourcing something previously loved.
One of my current clients happens to be the people we used to put in our pool. When I initially met with them last Fall, I asked how his business was doing. BOOMING. It hasn’t slowed down. Three houses around us have put in pools since last year. We put pools in our AirBNBs and they were booked solid all summer for people wanting a stay-cation. People aren’t traveling as much as they used to, and as a result – are making their backyards their oasis.
I think this trend will continue over 2021. And surprisingly, I get asked A LOT about outdoor spaces. Actually, I am currently working on a patio renovation project. Interior design often extends to outdoor living too.. and luckily for me, this is a concept I am pretty passionate about. Our family lives outside, so our backyard is truly a living space and we treat is as such.
It will be interesting to see how much of this comes to fruition! More than anything, 2020 further proved to me that our home was our sanctuary. I am so thankful for our health and a roof over our heads.