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2020 was a year like no other, and more than ever people are looking for fresh decor ideas to energize their homes in the new year. “After a year marked by distance and uncertainty, the 2021 trends are all about creating connections—to each other, to ourselves, to nature, and to our communities—and restoring balance to our homes and lives,” says Dayna Isom Johnson, a trend expert at Etsy. “I’m constantly on the lookout for new and emerging design trends by tracking what shoppers are searching for, what sellers are making, and what’s happening in the larger retail industry.”
With a new year comes a renewed sense of hope, which is why Johnson says uplifting pale sky blue design elements will be everywhere in 2021. “Shoppers are feeling hopeful for what the new year will bring, and that’s so much of what Etsy’s 2021 Color of the Year, sky blue, is all about,” she explains. “Sky blue evokes feelings of optimism and tranquility, and I predict that shoppers will be incorporating the color into everything from throw pillows to accent walls in the new year.”
Move over gallery walls! Swasti Sarna, insights manager at Pinterest, says there’s a new wall decor trend in town. “Shelfies, especially in the kitchen, will be the new favorite display in 2021,” she says. “People will be collecting and investing in eye-catching appliances, from colored glassware to handmade clay plates, to liven up their shelves in the new year.”
After spending so much time at home in 2020, Johnson says many people will be looking for design-savvy ways to streamline their spaces and make them more purposeful in the new year. “Shoppers will be restoring balance to their spaces next year, opting for items that offer boundaries between work and living, like foldable wall desks and stylish room dividers,” she explains.
In order to maintain a healthy work-life balance while working from home, Sarna believes carving out designated personal spaces for ourselves at home will be more important than ever. “Specialized rooms are the new open floor plans,” she says. “People are transforming spaces in their homes to work double-duty and serve special purposes, like computer gaming rooms, mini home libraries, and closets turned offices.”
With kitchens getting so much use in 2020, blogger and designer Athena Calderone of Eyeswoon predicts small but impactful upgrades, such as painting cabinetry, updating the countertops, or adding a window or skylight will be a priority for people in 2021, based on search data from Yelp. “It’s amazing how much a little paint and new materials can completely transform a space,” she says. “I plan on adding a skylight to my Amagansett kitchen to bring more natural light and warmth into the space.”
If you aren’t already hip to the Nordic lifestyle trend “friluftsliv,” now’s the time to smarten up. “As many of us spent more time indoors than ever in 2020, I anticipate that next year shoppers will take inspiration from the Norwegian concept of ‘friluftsliv, ’what I like to call the new hygge, which focuses on getting outdoors,” Johnson says. “In order to incorporate this concept into design, I predict shoppers will be bringing indoor elements outside, such as lighting and seating, to create cozy yards, patios, stoops, or balconies.”
Along with brightening up your home, neon lights and signs can cast a colorful, ambient glow in a room without having to paint your walls. “Neon rooms will get the spotlight treatment in the new year, especially from Gen Z,” Sarna says. “Pinners will reinvent their bedrooms with bright, color-drenched lighting for majorly moody looks. LED lighting is a 2021 vibe.”
Our bathrooms transformed into our in-home sanctuaries this year. Whether it means re-glazing your bathtub or installing brand-new fixtures, Calderone predicts bathroom upgrades will be all the rage in 2021. “Self-care has taken on an entirely new meaning this year with many of us retreating to our bathrooms to seek out solace,” she says. “Yelp has seen a 2,000 percent increase in search and review mentions for re-glazing bathtubs, and I can understand why—reglazing a tub can bring it back to its glistening glory.”