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4 Interior Design Trends for 2021

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Ed Hawes
interior design trends

There’s no doubt our surroundings have had a huge impact on how we view and dress our homes. Lockdown 1.0 meant we started to think differently about our living spaces. Not only did we have to accommodate our work life sitting within our personal space, we had to spend large amounts of time confined to our homes. This change in our behaviour has had a huge influence on the trends we’re seeing in 2021.

In 2021, we will see four main trends pop-up throughout the year; from rustic elements that celebrate furniture’s manufacturing process to tranquil colour palettes, eclectic colour clashes and elegant retro. These styles promise to have something for everyone, reflecting societal trends we’ve seen explode over the past twelve months.

Honest modernism

Honest Modernism celebrates industry and the skills involved in building furniture. Manufacturing, specifically where an item is made, is high on the agenda for many, resulting in a large emphasis on natural materials that expose their raw form.

Honest modernism is a take on Rattan, which became a staple in many homes last year. At its core are organic, natural materials with visible stitching and woven or textured fabrics. The upholstery lacks structure in terms of shape, anything goes - curved edges, hard edges, clean lines, oversized arm and back cushions, rounded edges etc. Flanged edge detailing is also a prominent feature within upholstery (check the Model 03 collection for inspo).

The geometric prints are still unstructured, like we saw last year, but the shapes are strong and the patterns are organic.

When looking at hard surface furniture, the wood is left on show, it hasn’t been covered up. This is so you can see the wear and tear of the tree, continuing the organic look and feel of the style. It’s about being smart with the way the wood is shown and innovative with other materials used. Contrast materials against each other, show the joinery in the woods used or mix plastic and other manmade or organic materials together.

Styling a room to fit this new trend isn’t rigid. It‘s minimal, but not perfect. Move away from styling rooms to look symmetrical - they need to find a minimalist messiness.

Reflective refuge

Due to the impact of the pandemic and changes in working conditions, mental health has become a priority. The need to have a clear and calm mind is highlighted in Reflective Refuge. With a bigger focus being on overall wellbeing; exercise, healthy eating and mental stability, having a zen-like space protected from the outside world is important. This style accommodates all of this.

Reflective Refuge's colour palette is very calm, neutral and natural. The tones are muted and pastel-infused (especially in the bedroom). The use of dried flowers and natural fabrics push this trend into an almost blissful ambiance.

As we’ve seen in the first style the furniture is not structured - rounded furniture, seating and flange detailing are key components to this trend. Reflective Refuge also sees huge focus on Boucle fabrics because of its messy and unforgiving nature. Previously, Boucle was restricted to the higher luxury setting, but as its popularity increased so has its affordability, making it accessible to retailers. Due to its organic nature, linen is also featured heavily. In terms of prints, big prints are gone and replaced with textured patterns that continue the organic look, as well as small repeated patterns.

Again, hard surface furniture is curved and the woods are exposed to show their organic and relaxed nature. In terms of styling, Reflective Refuge is easy on the eye, it’s neutral, modern and slightly rustic. For inspo ideas, check out interior designer Luke Arthur Wells, he does this look well.

Kitsch creative

We’ll see this trend come through in the Summer. It’s ugly fun. It’s in your face and has pop-arty styling with child-like concepts. The trend is playful, awkward and unique. It uses clashes of colour dotted with different textures.

Kitsch Creative endorses multi-coloured sofas (fyi, possible with our sofa builder) and, as we’ve seen in the previous trends, features curved shaped furniture. The detailing on the fabric is stitched or comes with contrast piping - it’s an easy way to add a bit of touch and texture.

The trend is mostly seeing flat velvets used with interesting fold, fluted or flange detailing - reinventing the way we look at and use velvets. Kitsch Creative also introduces two or three tones of textured linens, changing the way we use linen. In terms of prints and patterns, they’re small, stripes and repeated but in a fun and playful way.

On hard surface furniture, we’re seeing a type of Terrazzo, but it’s been reinvented with resins and colour. The styling of Kitsch Creative includes splashes of colour, there isn’t a singular colour palette and no matchy matchy. Artwork and imagery can be used to help emphasise the splashes of colour. The trend also uses different shapes throughout, sometimes clashing shapes and colours with overlapping pieces of furniture.

Purposeful elegance

Purposeful elegance will make its way into our homes towards the end of the year. The trends come off the back of us spending more time at home entertaining. It brings glamour and retro into the home, much-like mid-century modern, but slightly different. Imagine disco balls, luxury and immersive elegance and you’ve got the look.

The upholstery will be bold with printed fabrics and strong prints. The detailing will feature brass and golden elements. The fabric will see a re-emergence of cord and retro colours, it will also introduce deep button detailing throughout. The patterns are fun with geometric prints and styles, re-using old trends and a nod to Art Deco.

Hard surfaces feature bleached, dyed woods and brass, but will continue to show their natural roots, as per the first two trends. Again, the styling is quite retro with rich, dark, elegant colours featured throughout - and magnolia making a comeback.


If our interior trends for 2021 are anything to go by, this year promises to be an exciting and interesting one, complete with a mix of elegance, fun, calm and rusticity. Sounds perfect.

If you enjoyed this article and you’d like to learn more about styling, you might like: 6 ways to dress your sofa, 10 ways to make your room feel bigger or mid-century modern living room ideas.

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