Discover the new design trends for 2021
31st December 2020
When the clocks changed from British Summer Time in October and we gained an extra hour that first morning, many felt that we didn’t need even an extra minute of 2020 let alone a whole hour.
Now is definitely the time to look ahead to a better 2021 for all and to be inspired by some of the trends which are appearing for kitchen, bathroom and bedroom in the months to come. Bring on the colour, the glow of metals – and the satisfaction of designing, visualising and creating spaces which enhance the lives of your customers.
Green is the new dark blue. Although having said that, dark blue will probably just have to share its top spot colour choice with shades of green, rather than face relegation. One mainstream magazine, focussed on living in the country, is asking whether its readers are bold enough to go for dark blue. But as they are also predicting in 2021 the return of dried flowers and macrame, maybe we can just put their views to one side. At least for the time being.
Most trend forecasters are keen on green. Not only does it come in a huge range of different shades, but it complements the desire of many homeowners to bring the natural world inside. This desire can also influence a move towards organic, eco-friendly and sustainable materials. Dark looks partnered with the plethora of different metal finishes available for taps and sinks can create a truly beautiful look. Combined with smoky glass and latte colours, the look becomes more opulent.
Dark themes can also be translated into dark worktops with bright pops of colour on cabinetry and tiles to create a luxurious and sophisticated ambience. Industrial style, still popular amongst some homeowners, works well with these colours and really comes to life with amber, gold, brass, rust and copper metals.
There has also been an early mention of other dark tones gaining a foothold in the kitchen, with jewel colours such as plum. Luscious and definitely something to bear in mind.
For those who really do not want dark blues or dark greens, a palette of serene lighter colours is also very much on trend for 2021 including dusty pinks, soft greys – and sage greens.
Lighting becomes more important to offset these heavier hues. For larger kitchens which incorporate a living area (perhaps with sofas), lighting can be more delicate to differentiate the zones. And pendant lights can be grouped together for a more dramatic look.
Getting rid of clutter and looking for the kitchen to be an efficiently used space highlights the need for clever storage. A bank of cabinetry along one wall can help achieve this streamlined look, as well as really tall units. Larders are extremely desirable and a must-have for 2021 if a suitable location or space can be found.
The love affair with islands, if space allows, continues. Floating islands, which are either movable or where they give the impression of floating as the top is much wider than its base, are becoming more popular. Dining islands, which have an extension to the more traditional model, clearly demand even more space, as do double islands.
If space is not an issue, then 2021 is the year to invest in a double dishwasher (to complement the double island, of course).
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to remember when a tap just produced either hot or cold water. Maybe the increased number of people working from home has helped fuel the demand for multifunction taps that do a lot more, including those that produce hot water on demand for drinks, sparkling water, and more. Their functionality needs to be complemented by their looks – ensuring that they are truly statement items within the overall kitchen design.
The colour of the metal chosen for taps can also be picked up by using it on knobs and handles to create a more coordinated look.
Extractor fans have been statement objects over recent years. Now those which use downdraft technology and are integrated in the hob to remove odours at source are becoming increasingly sought after, especially in large open plan rooms.
And on the subject of large rooms, broken plan kitchens (which use free standing shelves or breakfast bars, for example to divide a space into different areas) are on the up. Zoning can also be helped with the use of statement flooring to delineate the purpose of each area – whilst also treating the floor as a major design feature.
The focus on dark colours means that painted kitchens remain dominant. However, putting in an appearance for 2021 is walnut cabinetry, its rich dark colouring denoting warmth and luxury. Others look towards pale ash to accompany some of the darker colours.
For those homeowners who are keen to have individuality and character injected into their kitchen, glazed cupboards and open storage provide the opportunity to display collections and favoured possessions.
Technology appears in various guises in the kitchen in, for example, taps, fridges and lighting. There are coffee machines which are programmed to make your first cup when you wake up (surely Teasmade did that over fifty years ago?!), and device monitors which let you know when your eggs have gone bad. Really.
Colour is making a real splash (!) in bathrooms. White is no longer the safe, default option. Colour brings personality and individuality to a bathroom, and that certainly seems to be the overriding desire at the start of 2021.
Whilst vivid colours are available, those making the spring headlines are more subtle with sage green, dusty rose and hazelnut featuring high. These are complemented with gold accents to add points of brilliance and luxury.
Baths, basins and toilets can be chosen from an increasingly wide range of colours. This range of choice also extends to the finish, which doesn’t have to be smooth. Fluted and ribbed patterns on basins can be continued onto fluted glass for shower enclosures. And baths – with freestanding ones continuing to be the first choice if room allows – available in different shapes to suit the style and the overall design theme of the room.
Colour also extends to taps and other metal fixtures. Whilst brass remains popular, this is now joined by black and nickel.
For an industrial slant in the bathroom, the variety of metals can be combined with concrete and terrazzo for a strong, clean-lined look.
Tiles continue their bid to be statements, rather than just functional wall or floor coverings. Geometric shapes, strong patterns and dramatic grouting add a new feature to the bathroom. Tiles, however, have a rival in some situations with bathroom-friendly wallpaper being a great way of creating a statement wall or mural, at relatively low cost which can easily be changed as the homeowner wishes, unlike the much more static, long-term investment of tiling.
Marble seems perennially popular, offering so many different colourings.
Circular mirrors are now being introduced to soften the space, as are plants to fulfil the desire for nature indoors.
Whilst in the past storage in the bathroom has focussed on vanity units and similar, shelves are definitely on trend for 2021. Floating, ladder and round – all of them providing space for the display of items that are wanted on show (rather than hidden away), together with somewhere to put the increasing number of plants that are making their way to the moist warmth of the bathroom.
It is often difficult to pinpoint specific trends in bedroom design and styling – maybe because it is one room in the house where the homeowner can opt for whatever look they choose without fear of it being judged by friends, neighbours or visitors!
Despite this there are, however, some more general trends for 2021 which really capture the mood of the times.
Upholstered headboards, which have appeared before in our style trend reviews, continue to be popular. Now they are matched with statement walls – paint, gloriously patterned wallpapers and murals – complement the headboards to create richness and luxury.
Oversized pieces of artwork are also being used – and all this focus around the bedhead is being further showcased with the arrival of above bed hanging pendants. These replace the traditional lights on bedside cabinets or attached to walls – providing not only the right level of light, but also objects of beauty rather than just pure functionality.
Nature and greenery have been increasingly important throughout 2020 and their role in providing a calm, peaceful, organic ambience continues with bedroom styling and colours.
As well as bringing actual plants into the bedroom, shades of green are increasingly popular. Sage green, for example, is a relaxing calming shade. Others from the same palette include dusty pinks, sapphire, moody blues and warm browns.
The aura of calm in a bedroom is helped by avoiding clutter – with the careful choice of clever, innovative storage options, designed to meet the specific needs of individual homeowners.
Rustic and industrial styles are coming together with darker wood tones and black metal. This more minimalist look can also be created with a mix of cement and wood surfaces, using marble and accents of metal to provide shimmering contrasts.
Sources: mydecortrends.com;mydomaine.com;decordesigntrends.com;wallsauce.com;designhunter.co.uk; nkba.org; countryliving.com;thedesignsheppard.com;edecortrends.com;indecortrends.com;homesandgardens.com;idealhome.co.uk