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What's New in Interior Design: Style Streams for 2021

by Philippa Radon

One of the most popular questions I get from my clients is: what are the new trends for the upcoming year? First and foremost, I love discovering what's new and fresh in design; however, I choose to refer to them as “style streams” rather than “trends”. They are design styles, ideas and inclinations that enter the picture...some simply trickling in; others opening a floodgate that etch themselves on our hearts and homes forever.

My overriding theme for 2021 is: Start the Year With a Plan, Not a Wish. Now, more than ever, we must be diligent about the steps we take to create a home and life we desire. Perhaps some of these style observations for 2021 will help take you there:


1. Japandi

Japandi style: clean and minimal meets warm and cozy. Image via Italianbark.com

The Japanese ethos of clean lines and wabi sabi (the perfection of the imperfection) also introduces us to the traditional techniques of charring wood in a process called Shou Sugi Ban. Not only visual appealing, it makes the surface repel water, prevent sun damage and make it rot and insect resistant. Interlacing this Japanese style with Scandinavian minimalism and a Nordic muted colour palette merges into a perfectly simple yet profound style for 2021.

These odd couplings exudes a unique, calming energy with fluid  lines—often quite angular—paired with squares that seem to support our will to thrive against the odds with grace.

2. Rustic Vogue

The Soho Farmhouse in the UK is a perfect example of this upscale cottagecore style.

Rustic Vogue is a more sophisticated take on the popular Cottagecore/Prairie style that made headlines in 2020 (thanks, David Beckham!). It's a blend and balance of old and new, eclectic, nostalgic, and "lived in"—a curation of interesting pieces, where everything has a story that contributes to a loose overall theme. Rustic Vogue highlights vintage fabrics, rough-hewn wood, and repurposed pieces cleverly restored with a craftsman's hand, and a concerted effort to reverse the dominance of machine made, synthetic, landfill products.

The UK Soho Farmhouse fits so well into this and is on my travel bucket list!

David Beckham shows that real men can be whimsical, too! Image via theguardian.com

Consider a vintage-inspired tabletop setting for your next dinner party, with touches of baroque gold with checks and plaids for a right touch of British quirkiness! 

I love using my vintage tableware collection to create unique settings

Craftsmanship and quality are the core tenants of the C2 Paint brand. Learn why they choose artistry over automation. 

3. Shape Shifters

Image via bocadolobo.com. Photo by Joe Fletcher

We'll be seeing a diversity of colour and shape in highly stylised contemporary, pristine rooms that lack accessories, often choosing to showcase colour blocking and clever plays on colour pairings. This is about creative expression through colour, shape and form. Soft, curvy, sensual shapes with robust materials, like marble and metal as a counterweight, will influence a more fluid feel in furniture and architectural design. Lower profile furniture and atmospheric lighting bring this edgy modern, tailored, minimal look into the forefront. 

4. Haute Global

Riad Jardin Secret, Marrakech, Morocco

Gypset, Nomadic, Colonial. Pick your favourite destination and bring it home aesthetically! From the misty mountains to a European cafe, an exotic island, or the quirky coffee shop down the street, it's within your grasp to create your own escape in your home. With current stay-at-home restrictions, there is a greater desire to bring travel and culture into our daily lives. Large scale scenic wallpapers, animal prints, oversized plants, and custom fragrances awaken our senses and can transport us to faraway lands.

5. Classic Traditionalism

Kit Kemp Interior via House and Garden UK

Time travelers in design like the revered Kit Kemp, Alegra Hicks, Billy Baldwin and the late Albert Hadley, have always provided the foundation of good design. Perhaps now, it also encompasses a luxe hotel vibe that brings a sense of order and historical reference into our abode where "the past is ever-present." If there is such a thing as a timeless design, this is it. The look favours symmetry and order, following a more classic floor plan and playful juxtaposition and blend historical colours with contemporary finds. 

What "style streams" are you feeling connected to? Let us know!

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