1stDibs conducted its annual survey of interior designers to gauge what trends the new year will bring. Including a drastic shift toward remote consulting and online buying, skyrocketing demand for home offices and a return to nostalgic colours, below are the top four 2021 interior design trends.
1. 1970s Colours Are Back: The expected hottest colours for 2021 include emerald, cobalt blue, burnt orange and mustard.
Following the popularity of deep blue palettes in 2020, designers expect to see a similar interest in 2021 in robust jewel tones, with 24 per cent reporting emerald green as their top colour choice and 23 per cent choosing dark blue. Burnt orange and mustard yellow have made significant gains, with 22 per cent of designers selecting each of them as the top colour for 2021.
2. Flexible Living Spaces Are in Demand: Expect an increase in demand for kitchen, home office and home gym revamps.
As COVID-19 turned our lives upside-down, the need for flexible, innovative interior design became apparent. After all, most of us now work, exercise, eat and relax within the same four walls every day. And although the global situation will hopefully be improved in 2021, for many, the shift to full-time remote work is likely to be permanent.
For that reason, the biggest reported trend in 2020 was a renewed interest in home offices and flexible workspaces. Sixty-six per cent of designers also reported home offices as the dominant expected project in 2021, up 38 percentage points from last year’s report. In addition, there is a 16 percentage point increase in projected interest in home gym design as people continue to prioritize at-home wellness.
3. Nature Comes Indoors: Floral, organic and large-scale patterns are expected to be increasingly popular, along with natural materials like wood and stone.
As we spend more of our time in one place, designers are reporting a desire to bring natural aesthetics into the home. Especially during the winter, these motifs remind us of the wider world outside our walls and create a peaceful, soothing atmosphere. Wood is the top predicted material for 2021, at 34 per cent, and natural, organic and floral patterns are expected to be the most popular motifs.
4. Designing for Health and Wellness: Prioritizing social distancing measures is a must, as is a focus on wellness and comfort.
Unsurprisingly, given the climate of this past year, 2021 interior design trends are expected to focus on creating a health- and wellness-conscious environment. For commercial spaces, an overwhelming 47 per cent of our designers reported the need for distance-friendly design in the new year.
With all the tumult of 2020, the majority of designers feel positive about the prospects of the design industry during COVID-19. The ability to design virtually and find quality items online means designers still have access to the resources they need. In fact, 73 per cent reported a shift to buying online instead of in stores or galleries in 2020, and 65 per cent expect to continue buying online in 2021.
Interior designers and architects certainly faced their fair share of challenges, with the top three issues reported being delayed procurement and delivery timelines (76 per cent), project delays or cancellations (62 per cent) and lack of product availability (57 per cent). However, many also noted that the pandemic has made people more aware of the need for good design and that designers have a role to play in solving some of the critical issues concerning the way we live and work — at home, in the office, in public spaces and outdoors.