Home Design & Decor Trends to Watch for 2021

This past year has brought much uncertainty and even more change. We’ve all spent a lot of time at home recently. And with winter approaching, people around Chicagoland are sure to keep cozying up in the months ahead!

As we all spend more time at home, it’s a good time to start thinking about remodeling and repurposing the spaces we use every single day — especially as we look forward to 2021. Home experts agree that design and decor trends for the next year are going to center around creating a sense of calm at home — that is, creating a harmonious and comforting space that can be a sanctuary from the rest of the world.

Looking ahead, the overarching theme for 2021 seems to be “comfort and security” — with design and decor trends to match. From comfortable, cozy, and sustainable materials; to multi-functional spaces; to home elements that promote healthy living, here are some key trends to watch for the year ahead: 

1.) Making Your Home Feel Comfortable and Secure With Calming Colors

In 2020, our homes became safe spaces where we could relax, unwind, and refocus on the important things. And that focus on creating a comfy, secure space won’t change in 2021. In the year ahead, expect designers to continue finding new ways to make our homes into comfortable and safe getaways, where it’s easier to disconnect from the uncertainty outside. 

When it comes to wall colors, for instance, “calm” is the watchword for 2021. Many of the big paint companies have recently released their colors of the year for 2021, which all include shades of comforting, secure-feeling blue. Benjamin Moore’s color of the year is Aegean Teal, a rich mixture of blue-green and gray. Pantone’s color of the year list features multiple shades invoking colors you’d find in the sky, while Sherwin Williams expects to see “bold blues” trending in 2021. 

Research says that the color blue makes us feel peaceful, creating the feeling of looking out over a big blue sky or a deep blue ocean. Despite staying home, adding calming shades to your rooms can not only make you feel more comfortable but also help create the feeling of being outdoors and closer to nature. 

2.) Focusing on Sustainable Materials, Design, and Production

Green, sustainable design elements have long been a sought-after component in Chicagoland homes. In 2021, expect an even greater interest in sustainability both here in Chicagoland and across the country.

In 2021, look for homeowners and designers to do what they can to make sustainable choices when it comes to their furniture, bedding, appliances, cleaning products, and other home purchases. This might mean purchasing items made with sustainable manufacturing practices and renewable materials, or investing in repurposed or reused furniture — which helps cut down on consumer waste while also adding a welcome vintage finish to your home decor scheme. 

Along with sustainable choices and environmentally friendly products, experts anticipate that next year’s lookbooks will feature lots of nature-themed motifs and earthy colors, as well as an emphasis on natural materials — such as bamboo, rattan, wood, and stone — that will help bring a bit of nature inside.

3.) Creating Multi-Functional, Work/Life Spaces

Almost immediately after COVID sent many workers home to sit at their dining tables, people began to purchase desks, lamps, and webcams to make working from home feel as normal as possible. Even after the pandemic ends, research suggests that remote work is here to stay — and that means our homes will need to rise to the challenge. 

In the next year, expect to see lots of focus on creating clean and organized spaces featuring minimalist design and decor — as well as the continued rise of home offices and separate workspaces that give working adults and virtual students the space and quiet they need to get things done.

In 2021 and beyond, the rooms in our homes will continue to serve double duty as multi-functional spaces that can allow us to both live and work comfortably from the same location. This means we’ll not only be adding home offices and desks, but creating true multi-functional spaces that help creative quiet, productive areas for work and play. This includes investing in multi-purpose furniture that can be adapted and used in multiple ways, as well as looking for minimalist storage solutions that can help eliminate clutter and empower you to make the most of your space. 

Additionally, people are spending time and money on new organizing methods for their most-used spaces, to make sure they not only look professional but feel clean and comfortable, as well. This could be a good move, in the long run. In fact, did you know that research suggests that a clean space can actually help you save time and increase your productivity overall?

4.) Making Space for Healthy Living

The COVID pandemic has highlighted the importance of staying safe and healthy. In 2021, expect plenty of people to focus on new ways to bring healthy home — from creating separate spaces to work out, to investing in biophilic natural elements that can bring the health benefits of nature indoors. 

On the green side of things, expect houseplants and indoor gardening to continue to grow in popularity in the year to come. Many indoor plants are thought to help clean toxins out of the air, promote a sense of calm, and to make spaces feel more comfortable and healthy — while adding a vibrant finish to any room. Look for living walls, hanging plants, and indoor greenery to continue to flourish over the next year and beyond.

At the same time, homeowners will continue to look for ways to create spaces that they can use to enjoy their favorite healthy hobbies, from yoga to weightlifting. Designers expect homeowners to remodel and repurpose existing spaces to provide more room for the activities they love. Meanwhile, designers anticipate a renewed focus on bringing healthy and invigorating natural light into indoor spaces; outdoor kitchen and dining areas that can help you make the most of spring and summer nights; and an even bigger focus on sticking to regular home maintenance tasks like changing air filters and tackling minor plumbing issues.

Making The Most of Your Time at Home

At Baird & Warner, we’ve seen design trends come and go for more than 165 years — and right now, we know that home is more important than ever before. 

Looking for new ideas to make the most of your space as we head for 2021? Curious about what steps you can take to get your home ready to sell in the months ahead? Whatever your real estate goals may be, we get you — and we’re here to help make things easier, at every step of the way.