Are These the Interior Trends Coming Our Way in 2021?
How will we be furnishing and designing our homes next year? Some of these trends might surprise you...
White kitchens had a huge wave of popularity at the start of the century, but our love affair with this pale, pale palette had waned somewhat… Until recently.
Now, it seems, this neutral, light-enhancing choice for the hardest-working room in the house is back with a bang, and searches on Houzz for ‘white kitchen’ rose significantly this year compared to 2019, perhaps reflecting a pandemic-fuelled desire for clean-looking cook spaces.
We’re spotting lots of newly uploaded kitchen projects featuring white worktops as well as cabinets, such as this all-white design by Rencraft, which is also among some of the most-saved photos on Houzz in 2020 so far. The addition of bare wood as an accent material is popular, too, whether in furniture, as here, or in cupboard or drawer handles or feature cabinetry.
Unsurprisingly, given the restrictions in place over the summer, there’s been huge interest in outdoor spaces on Houzz.
Our lockdown survey showed that, hands-down, the garden was the area most of us wanted to improve this summer and, as restrictions lifted, Houzz landscape architects and contractors reported huge increases in enquiries.
More specifically, ‘summerhouse’, ‘firepit’, ‘hot tub’, ‘outdoor bar’ and ‘outdoor kitchen’ have all risen in popularity as search terms this year, proving we’re investing long-term in our gardens, and not just for the summer months.
Searches for ‘home gym’ and ‘garden gym’ have both risen dramatically in popularity this year on Houzz, so look out for stylish or discreet ways to incorporate these features into our homes and outdoor spaces.
For example, not only might we want exercise equipment to fit seamlessly into our interiors, we may also need our furniture to double up and become suitable for performing push-ups, yoga or other exercises. These pieces might potentially have stain-resistant, waterproof, warming or anti-odour properties.
While white kitchens grow in popularity, we are going in the opposite direction in our bathrooms, it seems. Among our 20 most-saved bathroom photos so far this year, there were only a couple of white schemes. Meanwhile, ‘pink bathrooms’, ‘navy bathroom’ and ‘gold bathroom’ are brand-new search terms for 2020.
We’ve seen a variety of examples of colour in the bathroom, from the pink cabinetry and dark walls seen here to rich green and blue zellige tiles, coloured sanitaryware, and clay-coloured metro tiles. Two shots from our tour of a tiny teal bathroom by Edinburgh-based interior designer Amy Shirlaw also feature in our top three most-saved bathroom photos.
Sustainability continues to be a big theme for next year and part of that is a growing interest in high-end second-hand furniture.
These sheepskin-covered vintage Halabala chairs feature in a tour of a project by interior designer Claudia Dorsch, published earlier this year on Houzz. The client’s brief was to be as sustainable as possible and the finished project gave several original design classics pride of place.
A talk on the growth opportunity for brands of Neo-vintage and Second-hand Goods at the Maison & Objet Digital Fair this year put this example into a broader context. “Amid economic troubles and a lack of meaning, consumers will be focusing on products whose design and aesthetic are top-quality and are recyclable, or can even take on a new life second-hand,” read the summary of the discussion.
There were further examples at the 3 Days of Design event in Copenhagen earlier this year. One exhibition featured a house in the capital furnished entirely with antiques and original design classics dating from 1850 to 1950. Elsewhere, the Danish high-end radio and TV manufacturer, Bang & Olufsen, launched a new offering whereby it buys back and restores some of its most iconic design pieces from previous decades to re-sell.
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Another talk at the Maison & Objet fair focused on the continuation of the established trend for incorporating nature into our interiors, this year homing in on colour.
At the event, trend forecaster Elizabeth Leriche defined the spectrum of colours of the year as “warming and muted”, where warm tones (saffron, terracotta, garnet) are contrasted with forest colours (sage, pine and turquoise) and punctuated by neutrals (chalk and slate grey).
Reflecting the idea perfectly, this soothing bedroom, designed by Balance Interior Design, features in Houzz’s top 20 most-popular bedroom images this year.
The search term ‘murphy bed’ (a pull-down design) rose in popularity this year on Houzz. It suggests a need for bedrooms or spare rooms to double as offices while many of us work from home for the foreseeable future. The bed in this home office by Kia Designs is a particularly flexible model – it’s a sofa as well as a single or a double bed.
Open-plan living, too, will potentially need to adapt to accommodate additional functions. “Open-plan isn’t suiting everybody,” designer Natalia Miyar said at this year’s virtual Designscape event, referring to the ways in which households have had to live, work and play together in one space during lockdown.
Speaking at the same event, Susie Rumbold of Tessuto Interiors talked about how designers will need to come up with clever solutions to help zone a space at different times of the day. “It could be a physical zoning, such as an internal door, or perhaps a storage solution that means that when function A is finished, everything goes away so function B can commence.”
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The search term ‘smart home’ has seen a dramatic rise in popularity on Houzz this year and has been growing as a priority for homeowners in recent years, according to Houzz research.
As technology continues to innovate and more household items can be controlled remotely, we may begin to see voice recognition tech used more commonly in the home, avoiding the need to touch switches, household appliances and remote controls, all common germ hotspots.
No-touch technology is likely to become more sought-after for the bathroom, too, with professionals on Houzz reporting sensor-controlled taps and lights rising in popularity.
To see more from any of the designers whose photos are featured in this article, click on the image, then on Learn More if you’re in the app, and follow the links to the professional’s profile.
Standard chrome tapware was noticeable by its absence among the most-saved bathroom photos on Houzz this year. Instead, brass and matt black dominate.
Ripples Bathrooms predicts this deviation will only continue, and suggests matt white as a finish for fittings will gain popularity in the coming year. “Following the increase in demand for calmer, more peaceful bathrooms, white brassware has seen a surge in popularity,” a spokesperson says. “We love how versatile it is, particularly in modern bathrooms with contrasting painted or tiled walls.”
Watch out, too, for the use of more hygienic tap materials, building on the touch-free trend already mentioned.
Did you have a go at growing vegetables or fruit for the first time this year? If so, you’re far from alone as ‘vegetable garden’ has been a brand new search term on Houzz in 2020.
With the lockdown keeping most of us at home for months, the garden – or whatever outside space we have – has become more valuable, and better used, than ever and we’ve seen a rise in interest in the topic editorially, too. Two stories on the topic – ‘How to Squeeze a Vegetable Patch into a Small Garden‘ and ‘Which Fruit and Veg Can I Grow in a Tiny Space?‘ made our ‘most popular’ category and a piece on composting had tips flying in the Comments section.
Many of us have also been doing a lot more cooking than usual – turning the prospect of a glut of courgettes, whether used or swapped with neighbours who are also growing their own, into a bonus rather than a challenge.
We expect to see this trend continue into next year, as those with even the smallest amounts of outdoor space make use of windowsills, balconies and planters to enjoy the benefits of home-grown produce.
Just to throw in a curveball, two of the top three most popular tours on Houzz so far in 2020 have flown in the face of formal trends, instead banging the drum for homes full of their owners’ unique likes.
One of the tours was a project by architect Trevor Brown; the home’s character-packed reading room is pictured here. “The homeowners had a really great input into this project and worked very closely with our interior designer, which I think is why it’s such a success,” he says. He and his team very much built the design around the furniture and accessories the family already owned.
The other popular characterful tour was a gorgeous little cottage in the Cotswolds, where wonky beams and second-hand furniture were allowed to shine.
Which is your favourite trend here, and have you spotted any others? Let us know in the Comments.