5 home decor trends in 2021

1
Maskot/Getty Images

At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here’s an explanation for

The past year saw a surge in home remodels and updates as homeowners reimagined the spaces they were suddenly spending much more time in. More than half of homeowners invested more in home-related purchases in 2020 compared to the prior year, according to a recent survey by Cinch Home Services, a home warranty provider.

That rush to renovate is continuing this year. If you’re planning to revamp your home, here are some of the top home decor trends, and a few that are on their way out.

5 home decor trends in 2021

1. Large wooden surfaces

More homeowners are embracing wood surfaces, and especially looking to incorporate sustainable materials, explains Sabrina Beaumont, chief marketing officer for Passion Plans, a home building platform.

“One of the things we have noticed in the house plans we’re selling, and from working with people wanting to build their homes, is that everything needs to be able to be built in wood,” Beaumont says. “We’re seeing people installing treated wood on countertops in bathrooms, as well as beautiful wooden floors.”

2. Boho gallery wall

A gallery wall showcases artwork and collectibles in a cohesive way. While the concept isn’t new, there is a twist gaining popularity: a boho gallery wall.

This type of gallery wall is defined by variety, according to Andra DelMonico, author at home decor website Trendey, bringing together pieces for an “organic feel as if someone collected the items over the course of their life,” along with boho elements like delicate flowers or natural wood carvings.

“Gallery walls will remain popular because they are an easy way to decorate a large blank space on the wall,” DelMonico says. “Creating a boho feel to the arrangement can reflect your multidimensional personality.”

3. Outdoor inspiration

The same organic theme of a boho gallery wall is also cropping up throughout the home, with homeowners looking for ways to align decor with the outdoors.

This can include neutral, earthy tones, potted plants or even a skylight, says Georgina Borneman-Street, CEO, director and principal designer for Cobalt Blue 1802, a Los Angeles-based design firm.

“The biggest design trend for 2021 is going to be bringing the outside in,” Borneman-Street says. “After a year spent mostly indoors while working from home and social distancing, people seem to be craving fresh, green spaces more than ever.”

Natural materials like “cotton, bamboo, seagrass and jute” also reflect this trend, adds Tyler Forte, co-founder and CEO of Felix Homes, a Nashville-based real estate brokerage.

4. Warm-colored cabinetry

A bright, airy kitchen with white or off-white cabinetry has been the dominant aesthetic in recent years, but cabinetry in warmer tones is making a comeback, especially in the luxury space.

“Kitchens seem to be trending more and more away from the all-white kitchen,” says Steven Gottlieb, a real estate salesperson with Warburg Realty in New York City. “We are seeing more warm-colored cabinetry, with tones like Hague Blue coupled with a white or gray stone countertop and gold-colored hardware.”

5. Bolder colors and patterns

The design warmup isn’t just limited to cabinetry. Homeowners are also adopting warmer, brighter color palettes in general, including through design elements like patterned wallpaper.

“Jewel tones are in right now. Patterns are in right now,” says Michael J. Franco, licensed associate real estate broker with Compass in New York City. “People want color. Grays [and] muted neutrals are out. Wallpaper is very in style.”

Gottlieb agrees: “Warm paint colors are returning, along with exciting, patterned wallpaper.”

The trend is emerging in the kitchen, especially — think “painted cabinets, a brightly colored island or a bold backsplash,” Forte says.

3 decor trends on the way out

While the past year reignited the desire to remodel and refresh, some decor and design trends aren’t making it into homes this year.

  1. Neutral colors – “The trends of neutral tones like beige and gray seem to be phasing out, with bolder statements and accents being adopted by many people decorating or redecorating their homes,” Gottlieb says.
  2. Open shelving – “It has become painfully obvious that open shelving doesn’t work because it ends up looking cluttered and messy while also lacking the storage capacity of cabinets,” Forte says.
  3. Open-plan kitchen – “We are also seeing more and more closed kitchens again, and less often the open-plan kitchens in the ‘great room’ which we saw so very much of for the last two decades,” Gottlieb says. “I think that households with young kids still love the open kitchen, but the open kitchen seems less of a ‘must’ these days.”

Learn more:

Written by
Dhara Singh
Mortgage reporter
Dhara Singh is a mortgage reporter for Bankrate. She is a former data analyst turned financial journalist who previously worked at Yahoo Finance, CNET, Cashay.com and JPMorgan Chase covering the housing and retirement beats.
Edited by
Mortgage editor