Decorating magazines and websites have already proclaimed the top (fill in the blank with your favorite number) home design trends for 2021.  Here’s a roundup of the top trends according to your favorite publications and websites.


Home Design


Open concept is giving way to closed floor plans and defined spaces as families spend more time at home and need privacy and rooms that function for specific tasks such as an office or quiet reading area. “Carving out a designated space for different activities, such as remote work or homeschooling, allows for more privacy and limits distraction,” says interior designer Gabrielle Santiago in the Better Homes and Gardens 2021 interior designs forecast. Designers at Southern Living agree, “While we certainly won’t see a complete departure from open floor plans, expect to see creative solutions for dividing space, like sliding barn doors or bookshelves. Reconfiguring furniture layouts with an emphasis on cozy nooks can also make a space feel more intimate.”

The Cloffice


If you thought the home office was a 2020 phenomenon, meet the “cloffice.” Southern Living predicts more families will look for innovative ways to repurpose spaces such as closets-turned-offices as they look to find a quiet, dedicated space for virtual schooling and Zoom meetings. Murphy desks and office alcoves in former closets are clever ways to create a cloffice.

The National Associations of Realtors® says flex spaces will be an important element of home design. “Your next DIY project may be designing your own yoga room, reading nook, hobby/craft room or just a space you call your happy place to find peace of mind.” After all, there’s only so much a dining room can handle.

Playing Around


You know the warning about all work and no play so, when the workday ends, homeowners are looking to head downstairs to a basement gym or upstairs to a rec room. Southern Living points out owners are looking for large spaces that can accommodate their additional time spent at home whether it’s for fitness, entertainment, crafting, or hobbies. If the current home configuration can’t be renovated to meet the homeowners’ needs, consider a separate building and let the man cave/she shed battle begin.

Outdoor Living


Since inside space is limited to a home’s footprint and lot size, outdoor spaces are more popular – and livable – than ever. Veranda and Southern Living suggest incorporating a fireplace or fire pit, television, outdoor kitchen and comfortable weather-friendly furnishings to create a place for living and entertaining outside the four walls of your home. Whether it’s a backyard, balcony, or roof deck, homeowners are looking to claim the often-overlooked outdoor space.

Home Décor


Every year, the Pantone Color Institute predicts the color we’re likely to see most in the coming year.  Given the pandemic, the Color Institute thought we needed a little something extra giving us two colors, Ultimate Gray and a vibrant yellow called Illuminating. Ultimate Gray is the first neutral color selected since the predictions began 20 years ago.

Not a fan of gray or yellow? Other promising colors for 2021 are ocean hues and earth tones. Southern Living says there’s renewed interest in beiges, warm taupe, and sand. Etsy selected Sky Blue as the color of the year based on searches for items in that calming shade. The website saw a 39 percent spike in searches for light blue items during the past three months over the same period last year, according to Better Homes and Gardens. Meanwhile, Sherwin-Williams selected earthy Urban Bronze as its color of the year.

Cozy Up


Spending more time at home means 2021 will lead homeowners to look for comfortable, casual-style living, says the National Association of Realtors® in its 5 Hot Home Design Trends for 2021. “Darker kitchens, Zen spaces, and even ‘cottagecore’ are being praised for their comforting feel as we seek to bring the outdoors inside and become one with Earth’s raw materials,” said Atlanta home stager Krisztina Bell. Cottagecore was a top British design trend in 2020 which House Beautiful describes as, “handmade, muted, mellow and above all, pretty things that spell pastoral pleasure.” The look incorporates reclaimed wood, exposed beams, and original floorboards for character. Think grain and texture instead of polished finishes.

Simply Clean


If the shortage of paper towels and disinfectants didn’t inspire cleanliness, the home décor trend toward easy-to-clean fabrics and surfaces might. Non-porous surfaces like metal and glass are less susceptible to bacteria growth, according to Better Homes and Gardens. Homeowners are turning to modern stain-resistant materials rather than soft surfaces like rugs and upholstery. Southern Living highlights germ-free kitchen trends including touch-free faucets and trashcans as well as surfaces in quartz and copper to prevent spreading germs.



Rounding out the trends for 2021 are the accents. Popular decorating magazines and websites agree that accent walls, decorative lighting, and statement furnishings such as headboards and houseplants make an impression and define a home’s style.

Design and décor trends are meant to inspire and there is no shortage of inspiration in print or online. The bottom line: The best designs and décor are those that give the homeowner pleasure or make a potential buyer feel at home.