Design Trends to Break Up with in 2021

Say Goodbye to these 10 Outdated Interior Design Trends

Interior and architectural design trends have changed drastically in the new decade. With the rise of COVID and social distancing, families have been spending more time at home realizing which design elements function and provide comfort and which do not. As we enter 2021, the architects and interior designers at our San Antonio, TX studio have decided to break up with and say goodbye to these 10 outdated design trends.  

1. Modern Farmhouse 

This year, we are seeing the modern farmhouse trend go away to pasture. Say goodbye to overutilized barn doors, shiplap paneling, and color schemes anchored in white walls and black fixtures. The modern farmhouse was popularized in the early 2010s, but its oversaturated application has resulted in matching interiors across the country from actual farmhouses to city apartments to suburban mansions. Homeowners are leaving this trend that favors uniformity and are moving on to expressing their own style and personality in their homes. 


2. Single-Purpose Spaces 

Families experiencing remote work and learning have quickly realized that single-purpose spaces are no longer functional or practical for the new demands of their home lives. Now when we design for couples and families during COVID, we are hearing the need for multifunctional spaces. Home offices need to convert to home gyms in the evening, and playrooms need to also function as study spaces. This year, defining distinct zones in the design scheme will not only be a trend but a necessity.  

3. Open-Concept Floor Plans

Along with realizing that workspaces need to serve multiple functions, families are also learning the cons of the once-popular open-concept floor plan. While open-concept living spaces provide an airy and spacious feel, they lack the practicality and separation we now crave in our homes. For example, an evening in an open-concept great room will be filled with noise from the living room TV, smells from the kitchen, clutter from toys, and a very distracted family member trying to finish a project at the dining table. Families are presently seeing the benefits of having separate spaces for their activities, and architects are designing more homes with defined rooms. 


4. Accent Walls 

At Amity Kett, our interior designers always say that if a material or color is good enough for one wall, it should be good enough for the entire room. It is predicted that accent walls won’t be as trendy in 2021. Accent walls can be distracting and feel disjointed from the overall design plan of a room. If you truly love a color or wall covering, make the bolder choice to clad the entire space in it. This will help to create a cohesive and cozy look.  


5. Neutral Color Palettes 

Homeowners and designers are both excited to say goodbye to limited, bland, and impersonal neutral color palettes in 2021. Color scheme trends limited to black and white, all white, and all grey are officially on the way out in the design world. People are acknowledging their love of color and realize that the shades used in a space can affect the mood, giving the home tranquility or energy. Feel free to experiment with your favorite hues or try out a new and exciting color palette this year. 


6. All White Kitchens 

It’s time to part ways with the impractical and sterile all-white kitchens that have dominated design remodels over the past decade. Homeowners are leaving white quartz and white cabinets for unique marbles and custom cupboards finished in striking colors and wood stains. Colored appliances are even starting to upstage stainless steel. Now that homeowners are spending more time at home and in the kitchen, they are looking for a space that reflects their own personality rather than a blank canvas of white.   


7. Minimalistic Decor 

Minimalist decor can feel barren, cold, and unwelcoming. Plus, sticking to a minimalist scheme can be difficult for many homeowners who enjoy collecting and showing off their prized possessions. In 2021, we are seeing a shift away from austere interiors and a move towards embracing cozy comforts. Custom built-ins are quickly becoming a popular way to display collections and show off those personal items that were once deemed as clutter.   


8. Soft Pinks 

In the 2010s, millennial pink, blush, and rose dominated color palettes with their dreamy cotton candy hues. We’re now seeing a move towards embracing bolder colors, ditching light pinks for warmer trending shades. In fact, we have all grown to love warm colors so much that Pantone picked two for their 2021 Pantone Color of the Year. The colors are Ultimate Gray, a warm gray tone, and Illuminate, a vibrant yellow. Together they are meant to symbolize resilience, hope, and uplifting positivity. These colors send the perfect message to start off the year right.    


9. Mass-Produced Furniture

2021 design trends are leaving behind the convenience of mass-produced furniture. Online vendors have made the decorating process seem as easy as a click, but these offerings typically lack originality, craftsmanship, and comfort. Homeowners are recognizing the value of investing in quality pieces that will last for decades and offer timeless style. It is also becoming a popular option to repurpose old items and incorporate antiques into the home to give a layered and curated feel to the design scheme.  


10. Faux and Synthetic Decor Pieces 

In 2021, we’re focusing on being a little more real. Faux plastic succulents, synthetic fiber textiles, and plastic furnishings are being traded in for real houseplants, natural and cozy fabrics, and organic elements inspired by nature. Bringing in natural elements, like a plant or a live edge wood table, can create a connected feel with the outside and offer some of the peaceful imagery of the natural world. 

Implementing the New 2021 Design Trends

With so many new trends out there to consider, it can be hard to decide upon a new style. This year, designing your home is all about getting in touch with what you enjoy and expressing your unique personality. Think about what brings you comfort and let that be your starting point. Of course, one of our Texas-based interior designers or architects would love to help bring your vision to life. 

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