2021 Design Trends

When reflecting on the past year, it’s hard to ignore the complete and utter chaos we’ve been thrown into. A global pandemic, climate crisis, civil rights movement and highly publicized presidential election have left us all looking for a little bit of zen and tranquility. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that the trends for 2021 are demanding a focus on comfort and familiarity through a return to nature.

2021 has us looking for sanctuary within our homes more than ever before. More than that though, our homes now must strike a balance. Your space should be organized, uncluttered and functional enough to act as the background for a whole host of daily activities – office, gym, spa, restaurant, entertainment centre, coffee shop, wine bar, study area, storage facility, garden space and more.

How do we approach the finishes for such a place?

When it comes to the overall scheme, we need to be thinking of a balance between neutral and expressive. Too much colour and pattern will be tiresome, while not enough is boring. Colours and textures should easily blend into the background of everyday life,  incorporating neutrals as well as colours and patterns that express what you really love. 

Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore have both released their 2021 colours of the year, and this year’s palette is nothing if not a testament to the beauty of nature. For Sherwin Williams, Urbane Bronze is leading the pack, paired with warm neutrals, bone whites and modern, earthy greens. 

Meanwhile, Benjamin Moore is taking advantage of the calming effects of their Aegean Teal. Like Sherwin Williams, the rest of their 2021 palette calls for creamy whites, greys and beiges, bronze and ochre shades. 

When choosing your own colour palette, look for the sunbaked shades of fall, blue greens of the forest, bronze tones and don’t forget whites, taupes and greys.    

Be thoughtful about bold, energetic colours and patterns, possibly adding wallpaper and textiles to accomplish this. Add glass surfaces and a mixture of metals (shiny copper, stainless, gold). Try for a range of textures for a tactile experience in carpet, fabrics, furniture. Items like Karice Lighting’s Olo Mini Fuse Mix or Style in Form’s Cyclone Wire Coffee Table in Light Gold and Evan Chair in Grey Boucle will help to bring this variety, while still looking modern but approachable. 

Adding textures like wood, rattan, stone, water features and plants will create a soothing effect, playing into biophilic design. According to research, a connection to nature may improve psychological and physiological health. Why not take every opportunity to improve your overall wellness? A local piece that will help to bring the outdoors in is Autonomous Furniture’s Tillikum Torched Bench. A mix of Douglas Fir and acrylic, the bench appears to float in mid-air, keeping the piece from feeling heavy in any space.

The hard surfaces in your home should be highly washable and sustainable. Think of materials like glass, quartz or porcelain. Man made quartz materials are available in a variety of thicknesses. This allows these highly forgiving surfaces to be used for many applications, including cabinet fronts, floors, and counters thanks to their long list of resistance characteristics. Something like Caesarstone's Empira Black countertop would work well in many spaces.  Porcelain tile is also available in thick and thin gauges, in addition to being frost resistant, if not, frost proof. Porcelain is an excellent choice for outdoor living areas, and a good way to create an indoor-outdoor feeling when using the same tile in adjacent interior areas.

Keep your space minimalist and uncluttered by installing as much storage as possible. Closet organizers, benches and ottomans that double as storage, and additional baskets, shelves and cabinets will allow you to change up the purpose of a room as easily as putting away one set of items and pulling out another. The home gym becomes the homework room with a few quick steps. 

What could this look like for you? We’ve pulled it all together in the colour scheme below. Hardwood and leather meet soft textiles, nature inspired patterns and neutral colours to create a room that perfectly strikes the balance between sophistication and sanctuary. 

We love having the opportunity to explore new and exciting design innovations, and this year is no exception. Do you have questions about how to bring this look into your own home, or are you interested in making updates to your space? Send us an email and we’d be happy to chat!

Colour Scheme Materials:

Paint: Sherwin Williams

  • Elephant Ear SW9168
  • First Star SW7646
  • Moody Blue SW-6211

Carpet: Anchor Rug Company

  • Style: Temptation
  • Colour: Raven

Hardwood: White Oak

Fabrics: Maxwell Fabrics

  • Rear Window, colour: 704 Liquorice
  • Minnow, colour: 509 Zircon
  • Hokkaido, colour: 319 Teal

Furniture: Style in Form

  • Bree Chair, colour: Cognac
  • Evan Chair, colour: Grey Boucle