7 interior-design trends that will start to disappear by 2021, and 8 you’ll see everywhere

Insider
Insider
Dec 27, 2020 · 7 min read

From shiplap to wallpaper, interior designers weighed in on what home trends will stick around in 2021, and which ones have gone out of style.

Shiplap is out and wallpaper is in for 2021.
Shiplap is out and wallpaper is in for 2021. ocwarfford/Shutterstock; 3523studio/Shutterstock

By Sophia Mitrokostas

Interior-design trends are always going in and out of style.

Insider spoke to professional interior designers to find out which decorating trends will be everywhere in 2021, and which styles will fade away in the new year.

Shiplap is falling out of fashion.

Shiplap was popular throughout the 2010s.
Shiplap was popular throughout the 2010s. ocwarfford/Shutterstock

Interior designer Rachel Street, host of DIY Network’s “Philly Revival,” told Insider that shiplap is one of the fastest fading trends.

Once used to waterproof boats, shiplap siding became a trendy way to decorate interior walls in the 2010s.

“Shiplap appears in nearly every TV home-makeover show, but there are so many other emerging ways of bringing texture into a space,” she said.

Street added that tile, plaster, rattan, or living walls of plants are set to become more popular in 2021, instead.

Gray kitchen interiors may become less popular.

The all-gray look is going out of style.
The all-gray look is going out of style.
The all-gray look is going out of style. onurdongel/Getty Images

Dennese Guadeloupe Rojas of Interiors by Design told Insider that the trend of having all-gray kitchen cabinets and walls will fade in 2021.

“Gray kitchen interiors can look cold and lack distinction,” she said. “Instead, I foresee bolder colors gaining popularity.”

Rojas mentioned that indigo blue may be a particularly trendy kitchen color in 2021.

All-white interiors may start to date themselves.

Like all-gray designs, all-white rooms seem to be falling out of favor.
Like all-gray designs, all-white rooms seem to be falling out of favor.
Like all-gray designs, all-white rooms seem to be falling out of favor. Royalty-Free / Getty Images

Street predicted that the age of minimalistic, all-white interiors may be coming to an end.

“For a few years now, we’ve been making everything from walls to countertops bright white,” she told Insider. “Next year, I predict people will return to creating visual interest through color.”

Those looking to give their all-white interiors more pizzazz without adding bright colors can try combining different light-colored patterns and textures.

The mid-century modern furniture trend may finally be over.

The 1950s and 1960s designs have been popular for the last few years.
The 1950s and 1960s designs have been popular for the last few years.
The 1950s and 1960s designs have been popular for the last few years. united photo studio/Shutterstock

Mid-century modern design borrows from style elements that were popular in the 1950s and 1960s, and it’s been everywhere in recent years.

Heather Goerzen, interior designer with Havenly, told Insider that this trend may finally be fading away.

“We’re shifting away from the ‘Mad Men’ look and spaces dominated by walnut wood, spindle legs, and geometric prints,” she said.

Barn doors could be replaced by other types of statement entryways.

Like shiplap, the barn-door trend was influenced by home-makeover shows.
Like shiplap, the barn-door trend was influenced by home-makeover shows.
Like shiplap, the barn-door trend was influenced by home-makeover shows. Breadmaker/Shutterstock

Barn doors exploded onto the interior design scene in the early 2010s, but they may not retain their popularity as we head further into the 2020s.

“The trend for barn doors, often painted in drab brown, will be replaced by pocket doors or classic French doors,” Rojas told Insider.

Pocket doors slide directly into the adjacent wall, and French doors normally open outward and feature large panes of glass.

Accent walls likely won’t be as trendy in 2021.

Accent walls can add a pop of color to a room, but they can also be distracting.
Accent walls can add a pop of color to a room, but they can also be distracting.
Accent walls can add a pop of color to a room, but they can also be distracting. PlusONE/Shutterstock

An accent wall is one that’s painted or wallpapered differently than the others in a room.

The trend started as a way to make a space more interesting, but Rojas said that the age of the accent wall is drawing to a close.

“Accent walls can look childish and be too distracting,” she told Insider. “We’ll hopefully be returning to monochromatic walls that blend seamlessly with the decor without the startling drama of an accent wall.”

Matching furniture sets may start to look dated.

A matching bed and dressers.
A matching bed and dressers.
Having everything match doesn’t allow people to let their personal style shine through. Shutterstock

Kobi Karp, principal designer at Kobi Karp Architecture and Interior Design, told Insider that matching furniture sets may soon be considered unfashionable.

“Identical furniture and matching sets don’t showcase personal style,” he said. “I believe matching sets will soon be seen as a design flaw.”

Instead of coordinating all your furniture or buying a complete set from a showroom, consider selecting nonmatching pieces with complementary colors or designs.

On the other hand, the “grandmillennial” or “granny chic” style may rise in popularity.

Floral wallpapers are considered “granny chic.”
Floral wallpapers are considered “granny chic.”
Floral wallpapers are considered “granny chic.” 3523studio/Shutterstock

Goerzen described the rising “grandmillennial” trend as a modern revival of homey design elements that you might find in your grandparents’ home.

She told Insider that the style is meant to evoke comfort, nostalgia, and tradition.

“Think floral wallpaper, antique paintings, delicate china, crocheted throws, and vintage touches with whimsical flair,” she said. “This trend will certainly be one to watch in 2021.”

Peel-and-stick wallpaper will likely be trendy in 2021.

Wallpaper is having a bit of a resurgence right now.
Wallpaper is having a bit of a resurgence right now.
Wallpaper is having a bit of a resurgence right now. PhotoMavenStock/Shutterstock

Self-adhesive, removable wallpaper is gaining popularity with people who rent or are looking for a low-commitment way to upgrade their living space.

“Peel-and-stick wallpaper is perfect for an easy and dramatic room change,” Rojas said. “You can get creative and simply peel it off when you get tired of it.”

If you’re wary of covering an entire room in wallpaper, try adding it above the chair rail in dining rooms, above the molding in bathrooms, or even in closets.

Rustic ceramics may edge out smooth tiling in the kitchen.

Interesting, handcrafted designs are becoming popular for kitchen tiles.
Interesting, handcrafted designs are becoming popular for kitchen tiles.
Interesting, handcrafted designs are becoming popular for kitchen tiles. Fotoluminate LLC/Shutterstock

The kitchen designs of 2021 may swap smooth, uniform backsplashes for colorful, handcrafted ceramic tiling.

“Gone are the days of smooth porcelain or glass subway tile,” Street told Insider. “I’m starting to see a lot of hand-thrown ceramic tiling that shows some natural variation, like Moroccan zellige tile.”

You can use ceramic tiling to create backsplashes or cover entire walls. But handmade tiles are often more expensive than manufactured ones, so individual pieces can also be added as accents to cut costs.

Green cabinets could be one of the biggest kitchen trends of 2021.

Designers think green will be a big color for 2021.
Designers think green will be a big color for 2021.
Designers think green will be a big color for 2021. Shutterstock

Anyone looking to add drama to their kitchens may want to consider painting their cabinets green. Street told Insider that both lighter and deeper shades will be popping up in kitchens everywhere in 2021.

“Because green is a mix of blue and yellow colors, it works with both cool color palettes and warm, cozier kitchen designs,” she said.

The designer added that pairing green cabinets with Carrara-marble counters can help highlight the gray veining in the stone.

Industrial styling may be the next big trend in 2021.

Mixing wood and metal in the home is becoming more trendy.
Mixing wood and metal in the home is becoming more trendy.
Mixing wood and metal in the home is becoming more trendy. Westend61/Getty Images

Industrial interior style often incorporates elements such as exposed stonework, high ceilings, wood and metal elements, and neutral colors.

Karp explained that this fuss-free style may be a rising trend in 2021 as people continue to spend more time at home.

“Industrial style has a mix of modern and traditional design and works for interiors that have to serve as places to live, work, and play,” he said.

Plaster walls may make a comeback.

Plaster is more difficult to install than drywall, but the effect is nice.
Plaster is more difficult to install than drywall, but the effect is nice.
Plaster is more difficult to install than drywall, but the effect is nice. Syda Productions/Shutterstock

Before the invention of drywall, interior walls were often created by layering plaster over wooden strips called laths.

“Drywall is quicker to install and provides a more uniform surface, but the depth and texture of plaster is making a comeback,” Street told Insider.

To explore this trend without ripping out your walls, she suggested coating your drywall with a thin layer of plaster.

Wicker and rattan furniture will likely be trending.

Natural-looking furniture is coming back in style.
Natural-looking furniture is coming back in style.
Natural-looking furniture is coming back in style. brizmaker/Shutterstock

Ross Thompson, interior designer at QE Home, told Insider that woven furniture styles will be popular in 2021.

“Rattan and wicker details are on their way in,” he said. “These natural materials add warmth and lightness to home decor.”

Rattan furniture is made from woven palm stems, and wicker pieces are typically made of woven willow twigs. Both styles are lightweight and can work indoors and outdoors.

Natural fabrics may gain popularity over synthetics.

There’s a trend shifting toward more sustainable home fabrics. Golubovy/iStock

Synthetic fabrics such as polyester, nylon, and rayon may lose ground to natural and recycled textiles in 2021.

“With the growing awareness of environmental issues, I foresee a trend for using more sustainable materials and natural fabrics in the home,” Thompson said.

He singled out textiles like organic cotton, recycled polyester, and low-impact linen as prime candidates for 2021 trends.

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