2021 Interior Design Trends

Tips & Trends

Whether it’s adding pops of color through pillows or personality through paintings, there’s sure to be a design trend you’ll want to try this year. Read on for inspiration from local interior designers on what the top design trends are for 2021. 

Kimberly Varner HeadshotKimberly Varner, ASID 

Kimberly Varner Interior Design 

Think about the ‘80s; many design trends used then would never be repeated today. At some point, a collective decision was made that these trends looked dated and, in certain applications, hideous. The same thing may eventually be said for many current design trends that have become ubiquitous. Just because a look is featured on a popular design show or seen on social media does not make it a good choice for everyone from an aesthetic or even functional standpoint. One to avoid would include all-over gray tones. Instead, utilize a warmer French gray layered with other colors that will lend themselves to more versatility. Tropical print or themed design overload can also easily date an interior. Try using an accent wall, or accessorize with curated pieces of art, pillows, and décor in a tropical look. Seek to make style choices that are fresh and also stand the test of time.  

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Gretchen Ruvo HeadshotGretchen Ruvo

Gretchen Ruvo Designs

Now more than ever, we are looking to our homes to provide us with a sense of tranquility, and what provides more tranquility than nature? Bring the outdoors in by relying on the materials, colors, and textures found in the world beyond your windows. Use natural light to create a cheerful mood, and including various shades of white in your space can reflect light back into the room. Natural stone finishes and wood grains give a room a spa-like feel, and they can be incorporated in a number of ways, from mantels and side tables to artwork and décor. Mix leather and metal for even more depth, and focus on natural materials that have a pattern for a little more interest. Using these materials isn’t just for rustic homes. They can be added to an already chic design for a relaxing twist!

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Garrett Henson-Hinck headshotGarrett Henson-Hinck

Henson-Hinck Designs

As the year 2020 increased the hours that we spend in our homes, we have all learned that our homes are our sanctuary. Out in 2021 are those rooms that only get used during special occasions and pieces that do not serve purpose or spark joy. More so than ever, we have found that our homes should offer us 24/7 livability. A trend is to create interiors with comfort, practicality, and sustainability. Dining rooms are being furnished for more than just dinners and now cater to business and homework. Sitting areas require quality frames and performance fabrics. Kitchens are being designed with utmost function and durability. This is not just a trend, but a renewed emphasis on interior design.

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Marsha Yessick headshotMarsha Yessick, ASID, NCIDQ

Yessick’s Design Center 

We have changed, times have changed, trends have changed. While everyone was at home, they realized how important interiors are in their lives. With the desire for comfort and multiple seating spaces, sectional sofas have become the norm. White fabrics against white walls seem to have encapsulated deep feelings of something pure. Now, the white fabrics must be stain-resistant – better known as performance fabrics! Sunbrella and Crypton are two trade names that are now used indoors and outdoors. But, where is the needed color? Pop colors for pillows, abstract art, and colorful rugs bring in the energy. The most popular color now is yellow – the Pantone color of the year. It is sunny, warm, and conveys a feeling of cheerfulness that we are all desiring at this time. This past year changed our lifestyle needs, and outdoor gatherings around fire pits with comfortable seating are on the rise, too. Relax, enjoy your home, and know that there is hope for the years ahead. 

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Jason Flaherty headshotJason Flaherty

River Valley Blinds Shades & Shutters

People are spending more time than ever in their homes. This year, the trend we are seeing is a shift toward traditional, but with a modern spin. The comfortable, casual, Lowcountry style is really making headway, and understandably so. The cool gray walls that have been so popular for the last decade are giving way to whites accented with soft neutrals. Plantation shutters with wide louvers, wider panels, and hidden tilt rods beautifully complement this open and airy look and feel. For more of a minimalist look in this same style, roller shades that softly filter diffused light when down and virtually disappear when up are another great choice. Smart automation is also on the rise and can be easily integrated into most window covering options to truly combine technology and convenience.

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Kristy Steele headshotKristy Steele

Mango’s Décor & Co.

Spending more time at home has given us time to visualize a new look for our homes. There are three main things to keep in mind. Gray will be around for a while, but many are moving toward soft white and neutrals but bringing in a pop of color. Use pillows, lamps, art, and other décor items for your colored accents. Another trend that is gaining popularity is a combination of minimalist design with natural, modern clean lines, which delivers a cozy feel. Find spots where you can add greenery and natural wood accessories to the room. This will keep your room fresh and updated. The last trend that I feel is the most important is loving the space you live in. What are you interested in? Where have you traveled? Bring in some old with the new. Your spaces need to represent you and make you happy. This is always the best trend.

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leafy green plants in simple pots in front of a white wall




Julie Blesdoe headshot

Julie Bledsoe

Dwell Designed Construction

After a crazy past year, my clients and I have been ready to change things up in 2021. With an ample supply of requests for outdoor living spaces and home offices, it has been the perfect time to showcase pops of dark accent colors. Personally, I love that black is the new neutral. Whether it’s blending black cabinets with white, painting an accent wall, or having all-black finishes, this paired with some natural wood tones or natural rattan accents really brings a space to life. After a year of living inside, another popular trend is adding touches of green to the space through plants or accent pieces. This year and a half has included a lot of sitting and waiting for life to return to normal. Some people have found joy by updating their interior design, nurturing house plants, or creating new outdoor spaces!

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Ryan Kirk Kopet headshotRyan Kirk Kopet

Miles and Kirk Design, LLC

We are ready to bring joy back
into our world! We are encouraging the use of color to create moods in spaces. Whether it be to soothe or excite, we are thrilled to see clients depart from the grays of the last decade. If you’d like to try color in your own home, start with paint, accessories, and fabrics. As interior designer Hutton Wilkinson said, “We have so many choices today that if it’s not fabulous, it’s meaningless.” We love today’s lean toward furniture with caning, rattan, or grass cloth, and fabrics and wallpapers with tropical patterns. It lets you bring your vacation home with on-trend accessories! The inside-outside feel can really punch up your space and can be accomplished with a tray, a bar cart, or a few pillows.

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Cassie Courtney headshotCassie Courtney

featherlane design co. llc 

While introducing texture in your space is always a good idea, trending now is the idea to incorporate texture across entire spaces. Texture isn’t limited to drapery anymore – it’s being used on windows and walls, ceilings and focal points (think fireplaces and accent furniture). Rattan light fixtures, Roman shades, and even clay-like wall paint from vendors like Portola Paints are excellent options to create more depth in a room. You can find smart ways to introduce more interest without relying on traditional methods like accent tables, décor, and accessories.

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Chris Stephens headshotChris Stephens

Total Concepts Furniture

It’s time to refresh, remix, reimagine, and reflect your home’s interior. Refresh your paint by warming your space. Change from cool blues and grays to the warmest grays and taupe browns. Mix your metals. Gold lamps are playing nicely with brushed silver on wood and glass furniture pieces. Cabinet hardware is now serving as jewelry accents and is no longer just for functionality. Reimagine your family space by adding a small “work from home” area that includes a desk for writing, reading, or video calls! Enlarge your rugs to add visual size to your space. Artwork becomes wall candy for color accents and should reflect your personal style. The current style is authentic, traditional charm with a modern classic edge. The look will be fresh, timeless, and aesthetically pleasing, because “home is where we live again.” 


brushed bronze pendant lights

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Dolores Wolfe headshotDolores Wolfe, IDS

Wolfe Studio Interiors

Nowadays, everyone is leaning more toward clean lines with a modern twist, but warm touches are emerging too. We’re seeing more dark colors on furniture, and tufted backs on sofas and chairs are making a comeback. Warmer woods are being paired with clean-lined lamps and overhead lighting, and rugs are taking a turn from oriental patterns and are being used to deliver a more modern look. I still love plantation shutters, but simple panels on beautiful rods are very popular. They add a clean look that still has warmth. At the end of the day, use what you love and find ways to bring in heirloom pieces which will make the look entirely yours! 

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Lindsey Frost headshotLindsey Frost

Frost Designs, Inc. 

The past few years have been a testament to less-is-more when it comes to design, but 2021 is holding fast to the idea that more is more! Just as we saw ‘80s pastel colors, scrunchies, and undulating shapes make a comeback in the past two years, we are now going to see inspiration from the 1970s post-modernism era take the lead. A sharp contrast of bright colors, such as red and pink, geometric patterns, and rigid lines in furniture and art are hot in 2021. People are going after heavy textures, such as boucle, corduroy, quilting, and mohair. We are so excited to be inviting friends and neighbors back into our homes, and we want to be certain that all who come in feel comfortable, happy, and experience a “Brady Bunch” welcome with our playful interiors!

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Vicki Runge headshotVicki Runge

Fowler Brothers Co.

The use of performance fabrics has escalated tremendously during this tumultuous time in our lives. With so much time spent at home, a boom has been created in refurbishing existing spaces, and now even more so by escalating residential home sales. The desire for textiles that not only wear well, but also give permanent protection from soiling while offering a wide selection of colors, including shades of white, remains one of the main criteria requested by both the design community and the ultimate consumer. Heavy protections have been available in the past, but due to the fact that many would change the way the fabrics felt once applied tended to limit usage to the healthcare industry. That fact is certainly no longer the case. Crypton, Inside Out, Sunbrella, Revolution, Breathe, Wearsmart, and Wearproof are just a few of the names that many have come to know, allowing us to create homes that can be lived in and remain fresh and clean.

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Miriam Thompson HeadshotMiriam Thompson

The Rug Rack

Today is the largest confluence of styles in a very long time. On the horizon is the use of color, while accents of white and other neutrals in accessories will keep interiors fresh and alive. Texture is always teasing the eye with its vast interest, regardless of the finish or material. Whether a live-edge table teamed with epoxy or a smaller teak planter, natural textures will win every time. Richer saturated colors such as marine blue, inky indigo, smoke-filled grays, or bursts of bold yellow or orange revive the mind and comfort the soul. Room interiors are blending styles using a beautiful oriental rug paired with a contemporary sofa in calming yet full-bodied colors with fabulous pillows. Art continues to be prominent in size.

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Michelle Workman headshotMichelle Workman

Michelle Workman Interiors

Ultra-modern, stark, harsh, or overly cold colors (gray, stark black, and ultra-white) are being eschewed for something softer and more inviting. With stressful times over the last year, people are wanting to relax and decompress in a welcoming and warm environment. As a result, the top trend I am seeing is a rugged beach vibe – think Slim Aarons’ photos of life in the French Riviera. The tendency is toward dusty, soft pastels such as rose, sage, and duck egg. Neutrals are going soft white, cream, and sand, with small injections of chocolate or forest green. The shapes are mid-century modern in nature with an addition of rattan or jute to give them a casual, relaxed feel.

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