Key interior design trends for your home this year

One of the things I enjoy with the start of a new year, is the opportunity to step back and explore some of the major interior design trends that we can expect to see in the year ahead.

With the year that we’ve just had, there are some clear, new macro trends driving these predictions.  The increased time at home over the last year has us re-thinking the way we use our homes, with an even greater focus on multi-functional living; and in how our homes support us emotionally, with security, tranquillity and comfort being key drivers.   It’s no wonder then, with us seeking calm and balance more than ever, that we are looking predominantly to nature for inspiration.

With that in mind, here’s my pick of the top interior trends to explore in your home for 2021.

Natural Earthy Tones

Nature inspired colours in calming palettes to create a sense of sanctuary and calm – think all things soft, warm and comforting.  Pigmented whites will soften and warm our walls (bye-bye stark white!), and we’ll see the earthy tones from 2020 continuing to grow in popularity, expanding out from terracotta to tans, rust and caramel, along with soft greens.

The other key change continues to be a shift away from the greys, which have been popular for the last decade, and which are now being replaced by warmer beiges and browns.

Earthy colour palette
Image: Dulux 2021 Colour Forecast

Plants and Natural Elements

With us all craving a bond with nature and the outdoors more than ever, plants will play an ever-increasing role in our nature-inspired design.  From indoor plants, internal courtyards, or garden walls we’ll see plants featuring throughout our homes, giving us interiors that connect to the outside.

Our interest in organic materials and textures is also not ending soon, with a growing focus on materials that embrace flaws and natural movement, from wicker, rattan and linen, to textile art and organic ceramics.

All things timber will be big too – from Scandi-oak to more rustic timber finishes such as farmhouse style beams which add warmth and texture.

Image: McMillan Design

Textures and Tactility

Our interest with nature extends to a tactility in design too with rough textures such as Stucco plaster and handmade tiles, like Terracotta and Zellige, adding character to our kitchens and bathrooms.  Stone and bricks are another feature we’ll see being used consciously inside and outside our homes.

We will also see more and more heavily textured fabrics, such as boucle, used in furniture and furnishings.

Image: Pinterest

Bold and Happy Colour Palettes

Whilst we are all looking for a bit of calm in the chaos, it doesn’t mean it has to be neutral and boring!  We’ll see it balanced out with hits of bold colour and large-scale décor and finishes, such as bold wallpaper, large artworks or even a coloured sofa or armchair to liven things up.  Shades of teal, aqua and sage green will become even more popular for kitchens, dining rooms and home offices (yep, no more all white kitchens!)

Pantone announced that its colour for 2021 is a fresh, happy ‘illuminating’ yellow to bring optimistic vibes.  And let’s face it, who doesn’t want to brighten things up just a bit?

Image: Dulux 2021 Colour Forecast

Curves and Arches

Driven by our increasing need for comfort, harmony and connection we’ll see more and more soft curves and arches in our interiors (and exteriors too) … see ya sharp lines and edges!

The arched doors and windows we spent so much effort taking out in the early 2000’s are now back. And the curves also carry through to our furniture with chubby, irregular and organic pebble-like shapes which soften and create interest.

Image: McMillan Design

Multi-functional Spaces

The need for more efficient use of space in our homes has driven a need for multi-functional rooms, rather than open plan spaces.  With the increased time at home thanks to COVID, its driven the need for rooms to play more than one role – living areas as relaxation spaces, work spaces and home gyms.  We’re needing more individual spaces, and therefore there is a growing move to have interiors that can be connected or closed (eg with sliding doors) to provide privacy and flexibility as needed.

Working from home looks to be here to stay, at least in part, as many people embrace the balance of being able to work from home.  Clever small home design and creative solutions are needed to create functional work zones – from repurposing the corner of a living room, creating a study alcove under your stairs, converting a spare wardrobe by removing the doors, to making your kitchen bench end double as a work or study base.

Image: McMillan Design

Mindful, sustainable choices

Conscious consumerism is another macro trend that is influencing our interior design decisions. With a growing focus on our environmental impact and more recent challenges sourcing from international suppliers thanks to COVID, it’s got us supporting local, independent designers and manufacturers, such as locally made furniture and hand-made accessories.

We are also seeing an increase in the reuse of existing and vintage pieces and one-of-a-kind items which can give a more layered and liveable feeling.

Kim Wallace Ceramics

The Finishing Touches

As we’re spending more time at home, we are seeing more and more people finally finishing off those interior design or renovation projects that they might have started and abandoned some time ago. It’s common for the finishing touches to be forgotten once the build or renovation is complete, or the main furniture is installed, but now we are seeing people use the time to finish off their spaces and make them feel more personal, liveable and homely with the addition of artwork, rugs, decorative items.

After all, if we are spending so much more time in our homes, then why not make them as ‘perfect’ and complete as we can.

Pops of red
North Bondi Project | McMillan Design

If these 2021 interior design trends have you inspired to make some changes in your home, but you’re not sure where to start and want some help, then please click here, or email me, to arrange a time to discuss how I can help you.


Anna x