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Design Talk is a blog started by award-winning Swedish interior designer Henriette Kockum.

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I geek out about the latest interior and decor trends, ideas, designers and also have a passion for stalking products.

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A couple weeks ago I asked my Instagram followers which interior design and home decor trends from 2020 would make it or break it in 2021. I am SO intrigued by the results and cannot wait to revisit them at the end of the year to see if we were right or wrong about our predictions! I want to share them here on the blog too and elaborate a bit further on these trends. And as a bonus, exclusive to the blog, I’m also sharing some runner-up trends I never mentioned before! Okay let’s walk (and talk) through this.

Trend 1 : Bouclé Furniture Fabrics

If you’re not familiar Bouclé fabrics, they are thick textiles with a nubby texture due to the way the yarn is looped. “Boucler” in French means curled. You might assume that the nubby texture is uncomfortable, but these fabrics are actually super soft. The simplest way to describe it, is that it’s almost like a smaller scale of a curly sheepskin or other furry fabrics. The best kind of bouclé is made of natural fibers like alpaca or wool. More affordable options are generally made of a mix of polyester, viscose and other artificial fibers.

Via  Emily Henderson
Via Emily Henderson

Ok, back to the main topic. These fabrics have been around for a WHILE, but have come and gone in the design world in waves. They’ve even been popular in fashion! Prime example is when Coco Chanel created the first Bouclé Tweed jacket back in the 50’s, which is now a timeless classic piece. Personally, I think bouclé fabrics in interiors are timeless too, they’re not going “away” per se. However, they’ve hit a stride in recent years. We can now even spot big department stores like Target selling faux boucle pillows. I mean, when even the big brands jump on it – we all know it’s a trend at its peak. Am I right!?

The most popular combo we’ve seen is a curved chunky armchair with a white bouclé fabric. I’m not gonna lie, it’s stunning. I love it. But we’ve seen A LOT of it. At least me, cause I’m on IG and Pinterest way too much. My followers still love the look, 70% said this fabric will remain a strong trend. However a pretty significant chunk of people disagreed, 30% think 2021 will be year where it’s going away. I’m definitely keen to see what happens. If anything, I hope we’ll see it used in more colors than white!

VERDICT: Going strong

Trend 2 : Arches in Interior Design & Products

Interiors by  And And And Studio
Interiors by And And And Studio

Obviously arches have existed since what, the dawn of time? I know I’m stretching it by calling it a “trend”. BUT hear me out. For the past decade, most architecture and design products have hardly been curvaceous. I’m thinking of the mid century revival that’s been going strong, particularly by stores like West Elm. Most furniture pieces have very angular, at most we’d see a kidney shaped side table, or a hairpin leg. However recently, we’re spotting curves everywhere. And Arches are included in this. Modern buildings are including arched windows and doorways. We see them in artwork. They’re featured in furniture. It’s super popular.

I remember how we had this one arched doorway in my childhood home (built in the 70’s), and how much my mom hated it. But I always thought it looked cool cause I hadn’t seen it in many houses. I asked her recently why she disliked it so much, and she said that she felt it didn’t belong in a Scandinavian home. It would be a forgivable look if the house was somewhere near the Mediterranean. But alas, I grew up in harsher climates. She also thought it looked outdated. She said that arches were a huge trend back in the 70’s so for her it looked aged.

It’s interesting because my generation haven’t seen much of them so we love it. I wonder if us too will hate it after 20 years? In terms of lasting through 2021, a hefty lot of 89% of my followers said yes and 11% said no. Arches are definitely sticking around for a while!

VERDICT: Going strong

Trend 3 : Curved Sofas

Via  Canvas Contract

On the same note as the trend of arches and the curvaceous moment that’s been happening recently – curved sofas have been super sought after in 2020. I know this is somewhat of a divided topic among designers.

I got some comments relaying that these are classic European pieces of furniture, they’re timeless. Others, for example @kevinbell made an IG reel about how curved sofas have a time and place, i.e. not in a center hall colonial home in Connecticut. I kind of agree with both sentiments. They are definitely a perennial shape that goes beyond the realm of trends. BUT they are also having a massive moment right now. You just can’t escape detecting a curved sofa on the Explore page these days.

Curved sofas used to be unusual and unique, something that was either bespoke or vintage. But now they’re starting to feel easy to attain. I mean they still might be pricey, but you can easily find somewhere to buy them if you wanted to. And it didn’t use to be like that. That being said, what’s going to happen with curved sofas in 2021? 66% said this trend lives on, and 34% believe we’ll see less. Personally, I think we’re just before the peak of this trend right now. I think in 2022, or 2023 it’ll start to go away.

VERDICT: Going strong

Trend 4 : Rattan, Wicker, and Cane Materials Trend

Those natural woven fibers. That boho chic look. Throw in some pampas grass, a terracotta bowl, linen bedding, and maybe some tapestry art and you’re good to go. Oh and let’s not forget the fig tree.

From left to right: Via hellohello.fr / Via Scout & Nimble

Gosh the rattan, wicker and cane materials have been having a MASSIVE comeback for while now. Look, I’m happy about it. It’s fantastic that we’re using natural materials. I SO prefer that using to plastic, fake leather or laminated woods. I always loved cane weaves too, for as long as I remember. BUT (there’s always a but) – I am tired of seeing it in every corner.

Definitely use some natural woven fibers to warm up an interior and create some texture. But it’s all about balance, we don’t need it on every surface! You don’t need a caned door media stand, a jute rug, a wicker chair and rattan lamp shade – all in one room. I personally think this trend has gone overboard. Time to calm down, you know what I’m saying? My followers were divided about this! 54% thought the trend will remain strong in 2021, and 46% believe this year is the last of it. Well I’m dying to see what happens!

VERDICT: Could go either way

Trend 5 : Pleated Lampshades Trend

Never did we think we’d see the day of pleated lampshades again… Or I didn’t at least! This trend caught me TOTALLY off guard. One day casually scrolling through the World Wide Web, I stumbled upon this lamp by Oscar Piccolo and fell in love. What a beauty to behold.

Next thing I know, I see some pleated lampshades selling away like butter in sunshine on Etsy. Then vintage pieces auctioned for a fine dollar. Well, ladies and gentlemen – we have a trend. And not just that – unique lampshades in general are getting very popular. We got tapered lampshades, wide like plates and skinny like cones, we got curved ones, and we got wavy ones. I mean you name it.

I think people are OVER the mid century style drum shade – they’re getting boring! Time for something fun. I can’t quite tell if the pleated lampshade will be the star of the show of funky lampshades, but it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.

63% argued this is a trend about to go big in 2021, and 37% think it’s a fluke and it’s going away. I think it’s just beginning. The big retailers haven’t quite caught up to the trend yet. The best place to find these lights is on Etsy, and CB2 has a couple.

VERDICT: Going strong

Trend 6 : Wabi Sabi & Neutral Interior Design

Interior by  Lorna de Santos
Interior by Lorna de Santos

Alright this is another somewhat controversial topic. I got some feedback that Wabi Sabi is not a trend and I agree a thousand percent that it’s more than that. It truly is a classic, timeless design aesthetic. HOWEVER… We’d be fools to ignore the aesthetic of minimalism, neutrals, natural materials and irregular forms have become increasingly popular in recent days. To be honest, it’s kind of a mashup of some of the other trends listed above. So Wabi Sabi may not be a trend, but this vibe of neutrals/naturals/organic forms definitely is, and could arguably be a subcategory of, or stem from Wabi Sabi. Where does that leave us though? Well 87% think this is only beginning, and 13% believe it’s the end of it. Safe to say most people love the aesthetic and far from over it.

VERDICT: Going strong

Trend 7 : Squiggles, Scallops & Waves in Home Decor

On the note of arches and curved sofas, the curvaceous moment is bleeding over to other objects. Millwork/joinery details, mirrors, candle holders and lamp bases are all showing off their curves! It seems to be a trend that’s been slowly building up over the last couple years. For example even as far back as 2018, Pierre Yovanovitch shared a project featuring a curvy yellow doorframe.

It’s fun and playful – but is it a blip in the interiors of 2020, or will it last through 2021? 47% believe it’s a trend that’ll continue to bloom this year, and 53% think it’s checking out.

VERDICT: Could go either way

From top to bottom: Interior by Tamsin Johnson / Interior by Pierre Yovanovitch

Trend 8 : Pastel Interior Design

I can’t quite tell where this trend started, but my best bet is somewhere in Scandinavia because that’s where it’s the most popular right now. It’s kind of a spin-off of the Memphis interior design style, but with a softer and contemporary touch. Designer Gustaf Westman’s home and aesthetic is a great example of this. We can also spot it in Fabrek design shop in Copenhagen alongside a bunch of Scandi influencer homes.

It’s a bit of a niche trend, which I haven’t seen too much overseas. But I have spotted it in some non Scandi influencer homes that have a particular 80’s vibe to them. So I believe the aesthetic is growing and will become a key part of 2021 interior design and home decor trends. The question is how much it’s growing! 42% believe it’s a trend that’s staying put in 2021, and 58% believe it’s fading away.

VERDICT: It’s going away

Trend 9 : Pierre Jeanneret Style Chairs

via  Habitually Chic
via Habitually Chic

Before you decide to hate me, please know that nobody is sadder about this than me. I actually used to adore this chair. It’s a stunning piece of furniture. SO perfect and truth be told, it reads really classic. And I think many people feel the same way. Thus a lot of similar versions have come out. The overall look remains the same, with the cane and the angular legs being the core focus. But after literally seeing it everywhere, like every 3 posts in my social media – I’ve grown tired of it. I know. It’s heartbreaking. But just because I’ve seen it a lot and personally feel over this chair – doesn’t mean that the moment is gone. 60% vouched that this trend will reach it’s heights in 2021, whereas 40% think it’s slowly going away. So most likely, this isn’t the end of it!

VERDICT: Going strong

Trend 10 : Grandmillennial Interior Design

Interior by Ashe Leandro. Photo by Stephan Julliard
Interior by Ashe Leandro. Photo by Stephan Julliard

I keep talking about this trend, which is also known as Granny Chic, waiting for it to actually take off. I feel like I’m alone loving it. I’m not sure why because I don’t think I’d design my own house this way, or I love designing other spaces like it necessarily. But to me it feels really fun and whimsical. I love looking at it, it bring a smile to my face. I think I’d love staying at a place like this for a weekend or something. Just as an escape. Maybe not everyday, you know?

So in the past year, we’ve seen it pop up here and there. But will it actually come back? I’m starting to believe it’s just empty talk at this point. 46% believe it’ll continue to pop up, and 54% say it’ll never go hard. Personally, I’m thinking this trend is either a couple years away from truly making it, or it’s just a micro trend that’ll simmer endlessly into eternity. How sad if it’s the latter.

VERDICT: Could go either way

Trend 11 : Mushroom Lamps

I think the main place I’ve spotted these lights are in influencer homes. Especially the swirly Murano style ones. No hate though, I actually think Mushroom Lamps are kind of classic because there are so many variations of it. The possibilities are endless and they can kind of merge with any style. For 2021, 56% believe these lamps will be EVERYWHERE, whereas 44% think they’re on their last leg. Pretty divided actually but I draw the line at 55%, so it’ll survive 2021!

VERDICT: Going strong

Image courtesy of @orionvanessa


coming to a screen near you in 2021

Now that we’ve covered some of the big boy trends. Let’s dig a little deeper. I think these design trends have had a little sneak peek in the past year and are going to come out fully in 2021… Cue “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross! If anything, I BET you’ll at least start spotting them more often over this next year.

Pleated Skirts

Interiors by  Pierre Augustin Rose

No I’m talking about clothing! I’m talking about bed, table and sofa skirts. And BEFORE someone starts commenting “but these are traditional design elements that have existed for milleniaaaaa”. Yessss I agree … BUT … Let’s be real for a second. For the past decade nobody in their WILDEST dreams would’ve put a skirted item in their house unless they lived in a French Chateau. But low and behold, they’ve been popping up recently. I think there’s a big moment waiting to happen. I’m obsessed with this sofa by Pierre Augustin Rose. What a modern yet classic piece.

Interiors by Pierre Augustin Rose

Toile Fabrics

Did anybody say… Grandmillenial Style? Okay I’m going to be honest. This is my wishful thinking because we actually haven’t seen a ton of it in interiors recently. It’s popped up here and there, for example at H&M Home. But guess what, we HAVE seen it a lot more in fashion. The Epoch clothing store in London have a ton of pieces featuring this style print… SO – in my mind – it’s just a matter of time until this starts overlapping into interiors. And similar to the above point about pleated skirts – we are not just talking about French Chateau’s. I think this type of print would look super cool on a really modern chair. A little bit of contrast never hurt nobody!

Stainless Steel / Aluminum / Mirrored Chrome Furniture & Materials

This feels long overdue. I’m probably not alone in feeling that brass has been oversaturated. I don’t think brass will necessarily be going away. But we’ll most likely see more mixed metals. Particularly steel and chrome furniture and accents will become more popular. Also, this is my wishful thinking as I haven’t spotted as much of it – but I hope to see oil-rubbed bronze finishes come back alongside these other metals. IN with the new plsss!

La-Z-Boy Chic Furniture Trend

Okay these are not actual pieces from La-Z-Boy furniture company. But you know the style. The puffy leather, the oversized scale of the seat and armrests… You wouldn’t be surprised to find a built-in cup holder or a footrest popping out. A.k.a. my husbands dream chair but it won’t be allowed through the door of our place until I’m dead. BUT… some of the types of pieces I’ve been spotting recently feel different. Why? The proportions are more balanced, and they have a cleaner lines. They read less like a blob and more like a statement piece of furniture. Pro-Tip: it’s all about scale, you can’t match this type of piece with anything – the chunkiness needs to be counterbalanced with something lighter.

I honestly could go on forever about more design trends and details. But I think this post is long enough for now! If there’s anything you want to hear more about, see more inspo of, or product sourcing – please let me know in the comments! I would love to do a deep dive into a topic.



January 15, 2021

2021 Interior Design & Home Decor Trends according to Instagram

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