earth tones incorporated into home decorDécor  by Pamela Hope Designs

Timing, Budget, Key Considerations for 2021 + Delays

Pamela O’Brien in Oregon

I was recently featured in an article on the REDFIN blog.  REDFIN is a real estate company that we see frequently in the Pacific Northwest.  We often refer to them for information about the Seattle area and also Bend, Oregon  where Jon and I bought a home a few years ago.  I was happy that they contacted me to provide details on what I am seeing in interior design these days.

You probably recall, I’ve already addressed some design trends in the last two blogs (“Paint Colors for Home and Office in 2021” and “Feel Empowered with these Interior Design Trends for 2021“).  I enjoyed submitting my ideas to REDFIN and then reading the article. Twenty other designers also submitted their ideas and I think it’s worth reviewing together. The article with photos is here.  I made notes on some of the top trends below.

Interior Design Ideas to Bring into your Home in 2021

Natural textures
Using natural textures such as cane, wood, rattan, leather, ceramics, matte metals, aged brass, bamboo, etc. are hot trends in interior design this year.  Incorporating natural textures also brings depth and visual interest as your eyes glance from texture to texture. Working with natural design elements also helps tie together the entire room, as Porche & Co points out.

Note, I agree!  I saw lots of organic materials the last time I attended market in 2019 and enjoyed the nostalgia that rattan, cane, bamboo and rope fibers provided in home décor.  I also love natural color schemes as shown in a client’s master bathroom at the top of this page.

Cozy corners
Pre-pandemic, it seemed everyone craved the open floorplan. Those wide open areas were great for entertaining and even emphasizing spaciousness. “Many newly built spec homes are designed this way but more and more custom builders are trying to create cozy corners in their builds,” AMR Design explained. “The pandemic is teaching us that we all need our own little space and adding in these creative little nooks helps achieve that.  We expect to see many more homeowners seeking cozy, private spaces within their homes in 2021.”

Note:  We are seeing many homeowners needing and wanting to create small spaces to study, work or pursue a hobby.  I think this is a trend that will last a long time.

Décor by Pamela Hope Designs

Darker ceiling colors
Alluring Designs Chicago stated: “I expect to see more risks and creativity with paint colors this year. A simple (and inexpensive) way to give a room a quick facelift is with paint. A really bold ceiling color can completely transform a space while adding lots of interest.”

Note:  We are doing more interesting ceilings these days and often specifying wallpaper for ceilings as well, especially in small spaces like under the stairwell nooks and small powder bathrooms. In the above photo. we used a gorgeous teal on the bookcases that is repeated on the ceiling in the breakfast area. Check out our blog post on this topic in “Create a Statement with Ceiling Treatments”

Décor by Pamela Hope Designs

Big, bold artwork

“If you want to create a well-designed home that reflects your unique personality, the artwork is key, specifically artwork that you truly love,” said  Interiors by Jacquin. “Bringing in the right art selection can truly transform your space and it’s a great way to show your personal style.”

Note:  This isn’t just a trend at PHD, it’s a necessity. We have also suggested larger art versus lots of small pieces for years.  Larger art provides interest and makes a statement in any space. In this bright sunny game room, we added bold artwork on the wall and incorporated those colors in fun accents throughout the room. We also added a teal chandelier above the room, which is another alternative to darker ceilings. 

Dusty saturated tones for walls or cabinets
Think smaller rooms like dining rooms, bedrooms, or dens. – De Lavenne Design

Note:  Last year many clients wanted navy built ins.  This year we are receiving requests for dustier dark blues and blue greens. We loved working with a Houston family on their kitchen remodel, shown below, with the gorgeous dark blue kitchen island and the bright white (and timeless) cabinetry and counter.  It’s still one of my favorites. 

dark blue kitchen islandDécor by Pamela Hope Designs

 More durable fabric and furniture

high-performance fabrics are always in style

Décor by Pamela Hope Designs

We’ve never squeezed so much out of our spaces; we are expecting a gym, a conference room, an office, an art studio, a preschool classroom, and a trendy bar without growing the footage. Of course, the multitasking of rooms is on-trend but I think the next real trend is going to be intensely durable fabrics indoors and furniture that wears better; more quality items but also just less delicate, hardworking pieces. – Allie Wood Design Studio

Note:  Another PHD staple.  Since my earliest days of design I have been specifying workhorse fabrics such as Sunbrella for busy households.  The good news is that there are more and more family-friendly options that allow you to have a luxurious feel as well as easy clean up.


More colors
Since people have been quarantining, they seem to be craving more color — perhaps as more visual stimulation since they aren’t seeing a variety of settings these days. “Color is a fun way to inject joy and happiness into a space. A way people can do this successfully is to just go for it and use color everywhere – on walls, furnishings, rugs, pillows, even your ceilings, and trim.” – Sarah Stacey Interior Design

Note:  We had so much fun with one of our clients who LOVES color.  We sometimes choose 5-6 paint colors in a single space and you just can’t help but smile when you enter that home! Be sure to read the article highlighting this project in the magazine Houston House & Home.

Bringing color and texture inside with house plants
Home décor with real plants is also getting more attention this year with more people staying home to care for them as well. “They are an easy and inexpensive way to bring color and texture to a space,” Interior Design Alchemy said. “Add a few different plant variations of differing height and fullness to a room and watch it come alive. Mix and match container styles as well for extra visual interest.”

Note: The team at Pamela Hope Designs enjoys discovering unique plants and planters or vases that introduce color and texture both indoors and outdoors. For those of us who live in mild climates, the extension of outdoor living (which of course interweaves real plants into the setting) is another trend that we expect to continue.

Sustainable, high-quality pieces
As our commitment to conscious and intentional consumerism continues into 2021, I foresee a focus on adding well-made, sustainable, and high-quality pieces to our home. Pieces that will last for years to come and create long-lasting memories. – Jessica of Oh, I Design Studio & Blog

Note:  At PHD we love helping people make the most of the furnishings they have and love.  We frequently rescue old pieces and repair, reupholster and refresh them.  These give a home personality and help tell your story.  When buying new, we encourage clients to purchase good quality pieces that will last and if necessary, space out the purchases so that you can afford the pieces you want.

unique home offices are trending in 2021

Décor by Pamela Hope Designs

Statement offices
Up until recently, many home offices were just a pretty mini-library or an afterthought. With the current number of people working from home, a statement office has become a necessity rather than a trend. Pamela O’Brien of Pamela Hope Designs expects there to be more focus on ambiance and efficiency in home offices this year. Not only do they need to be functional, they often must be video-friendly which may create additional needs for lighting, acoustics, and attractive backdrops. – Pamela Hope Designs

Note:  The above was my submission, so I certainly concur 😉

Earth tones and warm colors
Designers are moving away from cooler colors and are looking for more warmth and comfort in their color palettes. Earth tones are becoming very popular which we can see from the Sherwin Williams 2021 color of the year. I think we will see a rise in warm grays, creams, earthy greens, and muted blues. This will be present not only in wall paint but also in fabric selections for furniture and cabinetry colors in kitchens and bathrooms. – Sheer Interiors

Décor by Pamela Hope Designs

Note:  While we haven’t painted a whole house terracotta yet this year, we are getting much fewer requests for gray.  When gray is preferred, it’s a much warmer gray than a few years ago.  I’m happy to see the multiple warm hues of wood that are currently used. These touches of warmth ground us and make our homes feel friendlier and more welcoming as well as providing a link to nature. Another example of earth tones is shown above in a master bathroom we designed in Richmond, Texas. We also played with a variety of textures.

In conclusion, you can see that as designers we are well aligned.  We have numerous examples of all of these design trends and think that they have staying power.

Learning about design from other designers from coast to coast always inspires me.  Until next time, find your inspiration or call us and we’ll help you discover it.

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