2020 Home Design Trends In Review And What They Mean For 2021/22

Are you wondering what are the top home design trends from 2020?

At MC&Co Trend our researchers review hundreds of thousands of images per year so we can deeply understand what the top decorating and design trends are each year. This year we travelled from the comfort of our desks to the biggest virtual trade fairs. Immersing ourselves for days in Maison & Objet, High Point Market, Atlanta Market, Heimtextil, Ambiente, and more.

We also explore the stores, feeds, websites, catalogs, and posts from the best designers, brands and retailers from around the world to forecast which trends are evolving, emerging, and declining.

We’re so passionate about home and lifestyle trends that we even have trend scouts, whom we call our Explorers. They hit the streets of the most inspiring cities to report back on the shops, hotels, and happenings of the influential places.

All of this research comes together and we filter it through our proven Trend Intelligence System to tell you which trends matter and why. 

In case you missed our webinar on Thursday, we’re sharing our top trends from 2020 and what they mean for 2021. This post will outline 4 of the macro trends we presented. If you’d like to get an invite to our next webinar sign up to our mailing list here – you’ll also get regular trend inspiration and our monthly I+O Trend Magazine. 

2020 Home Design Macro Trends

In 2020 we observed several macro trends in the Home and Lifestyle Industry including;

  1. Grounded Aspirations
  2. Mature Energies
  3. Classic Styles
  4. Non-Binary Structures

1. Grounded Aspirations heavily influenced decorating styles for 2020 and will continue in 2021

top design trends for 2021

Yoga, mindfulness and wellness have been surging in popularity for the past few years. This has been strongly exemplified in 2020 amid the pandemic. TechCrunch reported in April that Meditation and mindfulness apps like Calm grew by over 30% from January 2020 to April 2020 and the app Relax: Master Your Destiny grew by 218% in the same period.

Last week we talked about why it’s important to appeal to consumer aspirations. It goes to show that the wellness movement is here to stay and this is being reflected by the aspirations of consumers who want to reflect this grounded emotion in their homes.

  • 33% of all 165 mood assessments are grounded
  • Almost double of any other Aspiration
  • A continuing increase from previous years
  • There is still opportunity in the other 5 Aspirations (Opulent, Ordered, Escape, Nostalgic, and Playful, read more about aspirations here)
  • Some aspirations influence the Grounded Aspiration
  • Grounded aspirations influence all others

For example, from our High Point Market Trend Report we observed Farmhouse Style is out for 2020 and being replaced by the New Southern for 2021.

Four Hands and Hudson Valley Lighting x Becki Owens showed us that this take on a Farmhouse aesthetic continues to strengthen the contemporary styling of American Interiors through;

  • Spindle elements
  • Neutral palette
  • Black as an anchor colour
  • A sense of slow living
  • Animal hides
2021 home design trends

At Maison & Objet, Bloomingville and 101 Copenhagen continued to show how the Grounded Aspiration will endure through 2021 and beyond with the Eastern Village trend that included;

  • Sunken treasure finishes
  • Matte oxidised glazing
  • Medicine cabinets
  • Hand forged locks and bolts

What does this mean for Grounded Aspirations
in 2021 and beyond?

A strengthening obsession with “unplugging” from technology will position this aspiration as the most popular . It will be the most commercially viable expression but will become more competitive.

Simplistic desires will drive a more minimal (classic aesthetic) approach to decoration.

2. Mature Energies were the top decorating colours for 2020 and will endure for 2021

We saw maturing energies become the core colour palettes for 2020 and we predict this will endure in 2021.

Mature colours are more relaxed, classic and timeless as opposed to youthful colours are energetic, joyful, and bold.

colour trends for 2021 | MC&Co Trend

When we reviewed all of our moods and past reports we found that 65% of all mood assessments reflect a mature energy. This is a continuing increase from previous years which points to an enduring movement towards mature palettes.

2021 colour trends

At High Point Market we saw warm and rich palettes from Alden Parkes, Crypton Inc, Diamond Sofa, Julian Chicester, Theodore Alexander and Modern History.

The important maturing elements to takeaway are

  • Warm jewel tones
  • Rich velvets
  • High pedestal arm chairs
  • Self piping
  • Patterned floor coverings
warm tone colour trends 2021

At Maison & Objet in January 2020, Bloomingville and Cozy Living Copenhagen showed us that warm mature energies are strong in the warm toned palettes. The key elements to this grounded and romantic trend are;

  • Linen and ceramics
  • Potters wheel artisanal accents
  • Candle terrariums
  • Practical vignettes
  • Soft lighting

What does this mean for colour trends for 2021?

We predict to see a continuing base of tonal, mature palettes will continue to underpin most schemes with pops of optimistic mid tone colours predominately in a warmer spectrum.

We also predict to see a protesting pivot to high colour, high energy contrasting tones containing a joyful expression, whilst still retaining a classic subtly will emerge.

3. A welcoming classic aesthetic will replace minimalism in 2021

minimal boho aesthetic design trends

Minimalism will always endure as a polarity within aesthetics, with maximalism at the other side. So, minimalism will never be entirely replaced. Minimalism as we know it will move to a welcoming place of wellness underpinned by classic style that’s easier on the eyes than romantic layered looks.

2021 interior design trends

When reviewing all of our reports we found 56% of mood assessments reflect a classic style compared to romantic styles, showing continuing growth towards classic looks from previous years.

Classic styles include less layering and are easier on the eye, which means the styles will have more longevity.

2021 design trends

At Maison & Objet September 2020 we saw Manutti bring out classic elements of;

  • Contrasting shadow lines
  • Cylindrical shapes
  • Radial corners
  • Contemporary hurricanes
modern penthouse design trends for 2021

High Point Market 2020 highlighted the Modern Penthouse trend which had important classic elements of;

  • Winged Upholstrey
  • Contemporary Mahogany
  • Curio Shelving
  • Burnished gold
  • Radial furniture

We’re seeing a rise in classic aesthetics across all of our aspirational segments – especially in Opulent, Grounded, Ordered, and Escape.

One of the opportunity areas will be appealing to the grounded aspiration through mature palettes and classic aesthetics to create earthy looks that have more longevity than boho trends of the past. 

What does this mean for 2021?

Classic styles include elements that last longer on the eye. Less layering, less pattern, more order and structure. These styles can emerge in more whimsical moods, but the looks will have more longevity and maturity to the styles.

We think that sustainable desires and a focus on longevity, products that consumers invest in for life.

We think there may also be a polarised backlash which will include lots of layering in romantic styles with bold accessorising, but potentially at a lower price point.

4. Non-binary attitudes emerged in 2020 and will be the top furniture design trend for 2021

non binary furniture design

Normally, in furnishings and homewares we find a strict definition between masculine and feminine structures – sharp and angular vs. soft and curved.

We saw a combination of strength and softness coming through in 2020 home design trends, which we predict will emerge gently in 2021. This will especially become more normalised as consumer mindsets shift subconsciously around  genderisation.

2020 design trends and what they mean for 2021

At High Point Market we reported on Contemporary Curves from Thayer Coggin + EJ Victor x Ellen Degeneres + Bernhardt + Diamond Sofa where we saw important elements of;

  • Low backs
  • Plinth Metallic Bases
  • Curved Front Panels
  • 70s Waves

What were the rest of the top home design trends for 2020?

There were plenty of other design trends from the year, we assessed hundreds and we reveal new trends every month in our I+O Magazine, make sure to subscribe to get more trends from 2020 in our December issue.

2021 home and interior design trends

We covered many more trends in our webinar which included;

5. Artisanal Value

6. Forward and Reverse

7. Extreme Polarities

8. Thumb Stoppers

Plus, we talked about key moods, palettes and patterns from our 2022/23 Signature Trend Forecasts which are launching in January 2021.

Here is a sneak peek of a few slides from our 2022/23 Signature Forecasts. 

colour trends for 2021 and beyond
orange colour trends 2021
pattern trends 2021
animal print trends for 2022/23

Want more trend insights and observations? Don’t miss our next webinar.

It was a pleasure to host the webinar and we hope you don’t miss the next one. Follow MC&Co Trend on LinkedIn to stay in the know.

If you’re interested in getting trend analysis and insights, subscribe today for our monthly magazine and to stay tuned for the launch of our subscription service which will provide monthly reports, members only content, and regular webinars for only $79/month.

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