Hungate Showhome Bedroom 1

Interior Design Trends 2021

Every decade has its design trends with which it has become inextricably tied. Going back just 40 years, you have the maximalist, block-colour designs of the 80s, for example. Yet 100 years on from the world-famous Art Deco style of the 1920s, what the 2020s hold in store has the design world on tenterhooks. During the 2010s, minimalism reigned supreme in the world of apartment decorating ideas. Yet is its time up? Consensus certainly seems to be heading that way.

Regardless of your budget or personal style, we’ve created a rundown of five undeniable emerging trends from 2021 with which to mix your own, personal apartment decorating ideas. 

1. Statement Wallpaper

After falling out of fashion in the midst of minimalist design that saturated the 2010s, statement wallpaper has returned with a vengeance this year. Many designers have given spaces character and depth with loud, modern patterns. This trend calls back to the sophisticated prints of William Morris and the like and has the power to recontextualise your space entirely. For example, a bright wall covering can give the illusion of space, whilst prints based on exotic flora or fauna can hint at the vast outer reaches we’ve all yearned for during multiple lockdowns. See trompe l’oeil style – meaning to fool the eye – for more on this. A rise in graphic and textured wallpaper is also well in motion, often used by those wanting to tell a story through their decor.

Many online wallpaper retailers, such as Tektura, let you take a close look at all sorts of styles. You can also receive free samples. Or check out Vescom for textured wallpaper.

2. Warm, painterly colours 

As well as tackling the oncoming winter weather the UK undoubtedly has in store over the winter months, warm colours can bring a sense of drama to any room. These work best as part of a wider complementary colour scheme that can make one feel they’re stepping into an oil painting imbued with the richness of a Van Gogh. White walls have dominated for too long and should surely be seen for the blank canvas that they are. The alternate possibilities are endless.

Colours don’t have to be loud or sickly sweet either. Subtle navies and bottle greens make for great understated choices, whichever season it may be. 

A Nordic-inspired living room at  Lendlease's Park Central East
3. Refined curves

Obvious recent factors have put a spotlight on wellbeing-led design. Many are looking for a retreat from the stress and anxieties of the outdoors when they step through the door, though how to achieve this can prove elusive. Yet refined curves may just be the answer.

The subliminal impact of reducing sharp corners in one’s home can be huge. In their place, statement sofas or armchairs offer endless possibilities.

interior design trends 2021
4. Textured furniture

Textured cushions, vases and sideboards can bring instant vitality to a room. Velvet, linen and rattan may be seen as daring, but that is exactly why their popularity is on a steep upward trajectory. They’re a confident, impactful choice for the home-owner who isn’t afraid to divide – though not all need be so controversial. Many contemporary takes are simply restrained and elegant. Velvet in particular has made a huge comeback in fashion of late, particularly in men’s blazers and women’s 70s style flares. Rattan, meanwhile, is the perfect coolant while still amplifying that vintage feel.

Check out these Rattan mirrors featured in Vogue.


5. Feature Lighting

Lighting is the beating heart of any home, with the ability to change the ambience completely. Not only is it important on an aesthetic level, as any photographer will attest, but scientific studies have cemented its position as a great contributor to mood and overall mental health. As such, it’s important to get the right lighting; something made easier when not having to hide fixtures or lamps away. Rather, the evolving trend is to pull the focus towards lamps and lighting fixtures, which for too long have been regarded as simply functional. 

Bold, statement ceiling lights have been popular for a while. There’s still room to be innovative with them though, through unexpected placement which plays with eyelines. LED lighting around shelving units and kitchen units also adds a sense of occasion while staying easy to clean and out of the way.

This small-yet-stylish lamp from John Lewis is a great place to start. For more apartment decorating ideas, see all of our buyer’s guides.

interior design trends 2021