The start of 2021 may feel a lot like 2020—life isn't anywhere close to normal, and won't be for a while yet—but we've all learned a lot in the past year, and our home fronts have never been more important.
So we asked some of the West's top designers what they think will take our interior worlds by storm in 2021.
Design by Gillian Segal Design, Photo by Ema Peter
“With the challenging year we all faced, I believe we will continue to see people gravitate towards a comforting style of living and drift away from the feeling of perfection. In terms of shapes we predict we will see more wavy shapes whether that’s on the back of a sofa or headboard.” - Gillian Segal, Gillian Segal Design Inc.
Experience the outdoors from your backyard. Design by Paul Sangha Creative, Photo by Brett Ryan Studios.
Intimate Outdoor Spaces
“As winter moves out and we welcome spring, I believe we are going to see continued interest in creating intimate, cozy outdoor spaces for everyday living and small group gatherings. We are all eager to get back outdoors and reconnect with nature, and there is an increasing interest in integrating outdoor gyms, yoga/meditation spaces and dining into the garden.” - Paul Sangha, Paul Sangha Creative
A custom sectional made locally by Red Eight Workshop with a memory foam core. Design by Mitchell Design House, Photo by Eymeric Widling
Living in the Living Room
“I’ve noticed clients are more eager than ever to create those comfortable spaces where they can take their minds off of the gloom and doom associated with the pandemic. I’m definitely seeing a shift away from those austere spaces that are merely for show. People need sanctuary and have started to actually live in their homes. There is definitely more need for a comfortable place to curl up and read a book or binge watch an entire series on any of the streaming platforms.” – Kevin Mitchell, Mitchell Design House
Sophisticated seating featuring the Ettore sectional from Flexform. Design by Falken Reynolds Interiors, Photo by Ema Peter
A Sustainable Situation
“We’ll start thinking about fast furniture the same way we think about fast fashion: what are the conditions of the workers making the products? How fast will it end up in a landfill? What type of energy is used to make it? What is the carbon footprint of the shipping and packaging? We ask these questions to manufacturers a lot and most don’t have a simple answer. That will begin to change this year, which we’re quite excited about!” - Chad Falkenberg, Falken Reynolds Interiors
The ornate piece of turned wood for a warm and welcoming feel. Design by Alykhan Velji Designs, Photo by Joel Klassen
“We are going back to traditional-inspired interiors and I could not be happier. A mix of art deco, French country and everything in between. The look is highly textural with tufting, linen, caning and soft warm wood tones being a very big part of the look. These styles really evoke a sense of comfort” – Aly Velji, Alykhan Velji Designs
‘The Completed Room.’ Design by Atmosphere Interior Design, Photo by Eymeric Wilding
The Finished Product
“We're seeing a major focus on furnishing the home at much more detailed and complete level. Gone are the days of rushing out and randomly picking up this and that, but being more thoughtful about the process and perhaps investing in more quality pieces for the long-haul vs. just for right now. So many people have said they really want to ‘do things right,’ by taking the time and completing various rooms in their home.” – Curtis Elmy, Atmosphere Interior Design
“Our design predictions for this year are high performance, high performance and more high performance! With the Step Code [BC’s incentivized compliance path for levels of energy efficiency] being adopted, we're seeing our design pushing the envelope on high performance energy design. We're having to bake in these requirements into our designs and our clients are now requesting it.” - David Arnott, STARK Architecture Ltd.
Tactile and texturized fabrics finish off a multi-sensory experience. Design by Space Harmony Interiors, Photo by Colin Perry.
Soothing the Soul
“Spending so much time at home has made people more aware of the importance of interior design and how it can affect their productivity, mood and mental wellbeing. Dealing with so much isolation and missing human touch in our everyday interactions will evoke a yearning for using cozier and more soothing, nature-inspired materials, colours and finishes via furniture and home décor to partially make up for it. That means using design elements like warm colours, plush fabrics, natural wood, house plants and scented candles.” - Negar Reihani, Space Harmony Interiors Inc.
A vintage touch - china hutch, accent chair. Design by Linger Design Studio, Photo by Amanda Lwanga
Va Va Vintage
“To get a handle on what the world of interior design will do next, I often look to the fashion industry. It's no secret that thrifting, vintage and the pre-loved clothing industry is rapidly growing. I feel that a room is not complete without a family heirloom or a rare vintage find. I like this trend, and I hope it becomes the status quo!” – Amanda Lwanga, Linger Design Studio
Powered by Plants
“I believe that people are more engaged than ever in creating an outdoor space that supports their needs both physically and mentally. There will be more veggie gardening, more outdoor living and a growing trend in people making their homes feel self-sufficient and supportive”
– Kelly Deck, Director, Kelly Deck Design
A sanctuary of shapes. Design by One Seed Architecture and Interiors, Photo by Ema Peter
“We are moving forward with a renewed understanding of the importance of wellness and balance. We see this manifesting itself in designs which incorporate sanctuary. A minimalist space, a corner of a room, or even a covered outdoor living space which is about ‘less,’ a retreat from screens and input, a quiet spot to connect to the outdoors or to look inward. At the Geometric House in North Vancouver, this stillness was created by blurring the line between in and out, as we had the privilege of a wild west coast forest right outside, creating moments of private and intimate oasis.” - Allison Holden-Pope, One Seed Architecture and Interiors
Design by Kalu Interiors, Photo by Aleem Kassam
“Taking spaces and challenging them to maximize their potential, while delivering a multitude of purposes, is very much 2021. Ambiguous spaces that no longer resemble a formal dining, kitchen and living, but rather groupings of areas that may serve a multitude of purposes from eating, sleeping, working and purely just living while we remain somewhat stranded in our interiors; I call them islands now.” – Aleem Kassam, Kalu Interiors
“Renovations are going to increase with a focus on creating a well-functioning home with a lot of personality, comfort and joy. I am seeing people being very interested in the use of colour – we are customizing colour choices to suit specific clients rather than just running with the latest trends. Clients want a very personalized interior that speaks to them and their families.” - Geralynne Mitschke, Geralynne Mitschke Design
Bringing the light in. Design by Pure Design, Photo by Janis Nicolay
“We are all dreaming of elevating our homes to fit our full lives into, spaces we can both work and live in. It is all about natural and interesting textures, like stone, herringbone wood flooring and encaustic tile, add open shelving… mixes of pattern and balance of materials. Bright, airy and full of light—2021’s design trends are like medicine for your soul.” – Ami McKay, PURE Design Inc.
Framed Pencil Crayon art by Angela Robinson. Design by SPEC Package, Photo by Janis Nicolay
“Going back to basics with simpler decor, more functional/organized spaces, natural earthy colour palettes and a less-is-more mentality. In decor, oversized interior plants and trees have become a staple. Bringing the outside indoors isn’t a new idea, but the fact that we have more time these days to enjoy and nurture them is. We have an opportunity to develop a green thumb! Dried floral arrangements are also making a huge comeback and are a way to bring nature inside without the maintenance.” – Angela Robinson, SPEC Package