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{Trend Report} What's 'In', What's 'Out': Interior Design Trends As We Move Into 2021

Updated: Apr 1, 2022

Recently, I came across an article by Elle Decor where they a design element or approach with correlating in and out trends, and I thought this would be a fantastic way to think about design as we move ahead into 2021 and leave behind 2020. Below I have grabbed some of their correlations and am expressing my take on them. Join me as we dive in to the trends I am embracing and the styles to leave behind.

In: Integrated hardware

out: Oversized pulls

If you are not familiar, integrated hardware is minimalistic and clean lined, applied to appear as though it is a natural part of the cabinet door or drawer itself. It blends in and in some cases, hides within the details. This fresh approach to hardware gives your cabinetry a real custom look, which is a trend I can get behind!

In: Grand Milennial Style

Out: Grey on Grey

Grand Millennial Style is traditional elements with a contemporary edge. This style is essentially transitional style, which we do all of the time. Pulling in elements of classical design but with features that make it modern and current. We have seen the grey on grey trend making its way out for awhile now & in fact wrote about it several weeks ago here, so yes, I completely agree here.

In: Bold monochromatic

Out: Pale monochromatic

Amen! Bold monochromatic-we are playing with this as we take a color and saturate it and see different levels with that one color where the ceiling, millwork, the walls, and wallpaper everything is within that tone. With the pales, we aren’t seeing that as much , if we do that, it’s a traction of color. Open up your Restoration Hardware catalogue and you’ll see this very simple analogous color schemes done really well. Neutrals will always be in style and sought after because they are comfortable and a lot of people don’t want to take a risk but more and more we are asked for more editorial or risk taking designs. Color is a great answer to that.

In: Layering old with new

Out: Perfection

I’ve always loved layering the old with the new & is one of my main tenants of approach to design. It’s more interesting and diverse to create a more full-bodied space. Perfection is less personal and more stark. It’s the showroom approach to living-perfectly made bed.

In: Dark painted doors

Out: standard white painted doors and trim

Given the right architecture and environment, this could work well but this trend seems very specific and not for every situation. White will always have a place for casings but obviously I am totally willing to create an environment with color and complete the story, depending on what’s happening in the rest of the rooms.

In: Classicism

Out: Industrial Design

Agreed! Buh-bye iron pipe. Sayonara Edison bulb. Industrial design feels too contrived and sterile for me.

In: Real plants & flowers

Out: Faux plants & flowers

Hard no, here. Of course, I like the real. But there’s so many clients, including myself, who can not keep a real plan alive. Many stems and trees that I source are so life-like, that no one is the wiser. Also, no one has time to change out their water and stems. Getting real flowers is the ultimate luxury. I have one client that gets new arrangements every week from her husband, so that’s #marriagegoals, but aside from that one off, I design for clients in real life, and many times that means a great realistic faux foliage. But either way, plants, stems and trees are a fantastic way to inject texture and organic shapes into a space.

In: Multi-functional

Out: formal, separation of spaces

As a general rule, I agree, but I do think there is a time and place for formal separations. People are opting out on the dining room and saying “add that space to the great room”. Let’s all live in one big, happy space. For generations, we’ve had delineated space and now that we have a connectivity like never before it feels like an epiphany in time. I hope that this movement of connective experience remains.

To me a lot of the “ins” feel like a reaction to the movement that happened before it (the out). We want something different. A new season. So cheers to 2021, design movement, and realistic design trends.

Now that you have no excuses, here is your formal invitation to take a dive into the trends of 2021. You won’t be disappointed!


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