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2021 Interior Design Forecast

February 10, 2021
Master bedroom in Harvest 8 at Solterra in Lakewood, CO by Brookfield Residential

Saying 2020 was a challenging year may be one of the biggest understatements we could make, but it was a year that helped many of us reconnect not just with our family, but our homes. Life in quarantine has allowed us the time to start making our homes a more functional, beautiful place that reflects our own histories, experiences, and design aesthetics. During this time of the pandemic, we’ve all learned the importance of our home and the need to find joy in it.

Pantone Yellow and Grey bedroom in Residence 2 at Broadway at Boulevard in Dublin, CA

The Pantone Color Institute has taken up its annual task of forecasting the color that will best reflect the year ahead. In a decision that fits the complex time we’re in, they’ve chosen not one but two hues for its Color of the Year: the neutral Ultimate Gray and vibrant yellow Illuminating. Their vice president said, “It’s a combination that speaks to the resilience, the optimism and hope, and positivity that we need as we reset, renew, reimagine, and reinvent.” It’s a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting.

2021 is the reset we all need and the perfect opportunity to help our home become the ultimate refuge, a space to spark creativity, a healthy and sustainable environment, and offer better ways to make the most of the space you have.

Let’s take a look at the top interior design trends we’re seeing for 2021:

Floral wallpaper in the den at Regatta at Auburn Bay in Calgary, AB by Brookfield Residential

1. Nostalgia

After having our world turned upside down in 2020, there’s been a desire to feel safe and comforted which has led to one of the newest design trends – “Grandmillenial” or “granny-chic.” It’s a modern take on the homey design elements found in your grandparent’s house all meant to evoke comfort, nostalgia, and tradition. Think floral wallpaper, antique paintings, delicate china, crocheted throws, and vintage touches with a whimsical flair. Rather than being a direct copy of what grandma has, this take is a blend of the old and the new, the classic and the modern. The key is to reference the look rather than outright copy it with a less-is-more approach. This look needs layering so mix new buys with vintage market finds. Decorative pieces such as chandeliers and mirrors that haven’t been perfectly restored, chipped paintwork and blemishes all add to the charm. Infuse some touches of glamour to create a luxe traditional style with elegant vintage inspired barware, gilded cutlery, and statement gold accessories.

Gallery Wall in the flex bedroom in the Grandin in Calgary, AB by Brookfield Residential

2. Personalization & self-expression

This year will be a shift from the matchy-matchy, magazine-look décor to spaces that showcase personal style and speak to the residents and their story. It’s time to forgo the narrative that our homes have to fit one design motif throughout and curate your own interior identity by adding personal touches to your rooms. Homes are now being viewed as spaces meant to be fulfilling and memorable by styling interiors to tell a story and choosing furniture and objects to act as souvenirs of our lives. A great way to do this is with a statement headboard or canopy – think of it as art above your bed. Don’t be afraid to choose a more outlandish style as this only adds more character.

Bedroom details in homes by Brookfield Residential

Another great design option is the use of wallpaper or geometric woodwork for the walls. This is a great way to showcase your personality while injecting some drama, warmth, and visual interest into your space. This shift to creating more authentic spaces continues in the kitchen as well. Rather than using the traditional smooth tiles, we’re seeing colorful, handcrafted ceramic tiling that makes your backsplash feel like an art piece. These handmade, hand painted tiles redefine all expectations of what a tile is and how it can transform a space.  

Tile detail in the kitchen of Residence 1 at Mulholland at Boulevard in Dublin, CA

3. Connection to nature & wellness as a design imperative

It’s well-known that nature has a calming effect so it only makes sense that we’d be looking to bring some natural calm into our homes after the chaos of last year. 2021 will bring earthy, grounded shades like rust, moss green, deep reds, golden beige, and rich browns all meant to be comforting and welcoming. We’ll see these colors coupled with calming fabrics like matte velvet, boucle, and linen and textures such as wicker and rattan. Sustainability will be another big focus whether it’s with sustainable home fabrics like organic cotton and recycled polyester or sustainable artisan-made materials. This, coupled with the renewed importance of shopping small, will increase the demand for pieces that reflect the talent within our communities and shift back to viewing pieces as heirlooms rather than something that will get tossed when it inevitably goes out of style.

Art and headboard details in a Brookfield Residential home

Wellness will also take focus in home design for 2021. Houseplants are a great way to bring vibrancy and color into our homes as well as freshening the air by filtering out pollutants and releasing oxygen. We’ll see the creation of special nooks for moments of quiet retreat and calming spaces to help prioritize mental health. Living spaces will become more personalized and casual and we’ll see a greater prioritization of bedroom design to cultivate healthy sleep habits. The goal will be to incorporate natural elements to add warmth and lightness to create a cozy and inviting look that will not only lift your home, but your spirit as well.

Gallery wall in Gardens at Lantana @Beach in Stanton, CA by Brookfield Residential

4. Great diversity in design inspiration

With travel being so limited, there will be more global influence within our homes. These spaces will reflect our travels, the sea, the distant shore, and a world we can’t wait to explore again. Taking influence from nature and the desire for an exciting getaway, living spaces will embrace familiar patterns that create a sanctuary in any home. There’ll be inviting beach sunsets, tropical leaves, soft lemons, pops of coral, and ocean hues. There’ll be a great exploration of ideas, materials, and artistry offered by people of other cultures and origins.

Outdoor room at Residence 1 at Hacienda at Escaya in Chula Vista, CA by Brookfield Residential

5. Multi-functional outdoor spaces

Just as our homes now have to function a variety of ways, so do our outdoor spaces. Inside has now become the office and outdoors is the space meant for connecting with nature and entertaining friends and family – safely. 2021 will be the year to invest time and money into cultivating our outdoor spaces. We’re going to see a demand in complete outdoor living with furniture, fire places, fire pits, pizza ovens – anything that makes the outdoor space more livable and exciting throughout the four seasons.

Tropical kitchen in Residence 3 at Poppy at New Haven in Ontario Ranch, CA by Brookfield Residential

One thing that has become incredibly clear during this time is a deeper understanding of self and the need for connection with others. 2021 design will embody individual personalities in spaces designed to connect with others and the world around us.

We’re looking forward to a better, brighter 2021. Let us help you find your new home to design to be yours.