Home Colours 2021 Home decor trends

New interior design trends for the year ahead provide us with wonderful direction for home styling, renovation projects and new build design.  We continue to see interior design trends building more momentum from last year around personalisation of our homes, coziness, biophilic design, elegance in colour, wall to wall drama and sustainability. With the upside-down pandemic year of 2020 the trends have been shaped by these events and hugely influenced the way we design and decorate our homes.  Cottagecore is even more evident now as people are seeking a more simplistic and sustainable way of life which gives a nod to romantic English cottage nostalgia for interior design.

Take a look through the top home trends for 2021 and how you can creatively influence and soothe your home space for the coming year…


This broad cosy country theme influences fashion, home design, wellness and at-home-hobbies like home baking,  DIY and growing food for the table.  It’s all about finding fulfillment and coziness at home rather than more monied and high-tech interests. Think natural elements such as rustic wood finishes, jute, wool and hessian, strong Biophilic design with plenty of plant life, dried wreaths and fresh blooms from the garden alongside old-time elements mixing grandmas tea set or vintage chairs to your modern interiors.  The colours follow warm neutrals and muted tones with a pop of colour like blush, lavender, rusty orange, French navy and botanical greens.  Cottagecore can be seen throughout the home in wooden benchtops, rustic chairs, paneled walls,  hessian rugs, bold green or floral walls, window seats, coat racks, gumboot holders, reading chairs, curated clutter,  garden blooms, candle chandeliers, scents, layered beds and button back sofas.

Sustainability and personalisation

Given the year of pandemic hardship, one of the most important trends for 2021 is to personalise your space according to your style and needs and include all the elements that you love…after all it’s your humble abode and place of serenity during uncertain times!  This highly individual design trend can be as refined as …selecting a bespoke piece of furniture or art from a local designer, purchasing items from a small collaboration, browsing antique shops, laying out items collected from past travels, putting family heirlooms pride of place or upcycling old items into something crafty or useful.   Many retailers are offering ways to customise high street purchases such as lighting and sofas giving you the opportunity to buy what suits your space perfectly.  From a sustainability perspective there is a strong movement towards making the extra effort to upcycle or rejuvenate key furniture items, appreciating local designers and purchasing more eco furniture for our homes.   

Grand Millennial’s

We’ve come full circle from minimalist, architectural-led, urban or industrial decors with a nod to more traditional elements for statement pieces. Grand millennial’s, a phrase coined by House Beautiful U.K back in early 2020 explains the use of adding personality and flair through vintage and traditional elements including mid century.  Think generous colour, walls of art, antiques, brocade, fancy curtains, lavish wallpapers, antique mirrors, paneled walls, curved furniture pieces, lots of books, natural rugs, herringbone floors and jute …sitting alongside modern art and edgy furniture. A great balance of combining old and new. According to U.S Interior designer Caroline Pogue, Grand Millennial style is “fueled by a renewed interest in vintage fashion and an ethos for reusing items.” Just as people are looking for traditional styles to soothe during times of uncertainty, this style offers similar comforts.


Tropical paradise

The island paradise will help shape home trends for 2021 as our longing for secluded getaways are currently on hold!  This is all about bringing island paradise and the jungle inside and with that you’ll see…plenty of rattan, wicker, azure blues, tropical patterns, oversized plant life, ceiling fans and an eclectic mix of things from far away places! Justina Blakeney of the popular Instagram feed Jungalow is making a splash with her this colourful Boho interior design style.

Wall to wall drama

Creating the wow factor in your home space is becoming more important especially smaller rooms like lounges, dining rooms and bathrooms.  Texture, bold colour, botanical patterns and unusual finishes like leather and faux croc effect are proving a popular way to create the dramatic effect akin to a trendy hotel lounge!  The Victorian era showed off its bold and intense colour palates and now we’re spending more time at home we’re wanting to express ourselves by making a bold statement in our own space!   



Minimalist art

We’re seeing art blending more into the interiors of the home, less is more and our art becomes more purposeful and simplistic helping to create a calmer space.  Movements such as line art will become stronger along with black and white photography and Japanese ink murals of waterfalls, blossoms and birds.

Lighter woods

Scandinavian blonde or rustic light oaks… we’re seeing lighter-toned woods replace medium and darker shades. Light woods can work well in all spaces and are easy to design around.  Whilst there has been a shift away from scandi over the past few years these lighter woods are returning  given their versatility in creating modern, cosy and calming spaces.


Japanese minimalism is starting to take hold with its adoption by top interior stylists. This is all about mixing Japanese home design elements with Scandinavian furniture. We’ll start to see more of this trend filter down to home retailers this coming year so watch this space!

Organic materials

The use of diverse vegetable fibres and texture throughout the home which suits a broad range of interior themes from tropical, sustainable, biophilic to more traditional and Cottagecore- a form of refined farmhouse coming back in furniture, artwork, vases and lighting. A rich textural expression through raw wood, rattan, wicker, jute, hessian, cork, hemp, silk,  cotton and much more…


This was a strong trend in 2020 and continues as we strive to refresh our home and brighten our mood.  Biophilic design is all about elements of nature reflected through colour, materials and plants. Palates of green, botanical imagery, floral wallpapers, natural light and nature inspired fabrics and walls. Materials include macramé, wicker, rattan, jute, wood, cork, rope, stone. Inside… olive trees are still proving popular choices within the home alongside large potted plants and living walls. 

Rethinking open plan and creating functional spaces…

During 2020 whilst multiple family members we’re at home we craved smaller cosier and quieter spaces within the home.  More open plan homes with a lack of walls and more noise created some challenges for many so 2021 sees us look at important elements of home design to create more meaningful  and secluded spaces… this could be as simple as partitions, adding sliding doors along with planning varied work spaces.  This functional design trend goes hand in hand with claiming back hidden spaces and making the most out of what you have at home.  Multi rooms for office, exercise, media, backyard pods extending living areas and personalised nooks are all being thought about.   


Let in the light

Roof windows or skylights are increasing in popularity and can dramatically improve an inside space by making it feel lighter and more spacious. Similarly we’re seeing a trend to more classic textured, semi opaque fabrics and less patterned window treatments for more calming and serene spaces.  Light fittings like sconces and swingarms are on trend  along with eco lighting elements from designers like David Trubridge,  with his Coral, Kina and Snowflake designs all made from sustainable resources.

Kitchen Trends

We’re still moving away from a past trend of all white kitchens, and it’s no surprise to see the most popular kitchen colour for 2020 was dark blue and it still dominates kitchen trend imagery. There is a real shift to more coloured kitchens and appliances, soft pastels, cream,  all hues of blue, botanical greens, earthy tones and even bolder colours too! 

Strong trends for 2021 design include traditional meets modern style, kitchen islands at multi levels, curved cabinetry, lighter woods, stone top surfaces, hidden appliances, clever cupboard organisation, gold hardware, clean line cabinetry, woven lighting and well decorated shelves and nooks with artwork, books, plants and culinary items.   The “work trapezoid”  is a common theme for functional kitchen design which is all about creating a triangular workplace for multi kitchen tasks as we are spending more time home baking, entertaining or working from home straight off the benchtop!  Wooden elements are also coming back given our continued affinity to nature.   

Bathroom Trends

There are a number of inspiring new looks for bathrooms. With the pandemic year of 2020 we now wish for bathrooms that provide a restful, natural, spa-like pampering space.   For this reason it’s becoming essential to have a bathtub not just showers to enhance serenity along with extra elements like footstools, book storage, candles and over the bath wine glass holders!  Bathroom materials for 2021 focus on natural wood, terrazzo, oversize rectangular tiles to allow clean lines, tile features such as herringbone, hexagon or mermaid fish scale, marble or stone, gold metals and combining organic elements with modern.

2021 Colours

A warm and comforting colour palate comes in for 2021. We’ll definitely see more earthy tones and neutrals like warm taupe, beige, sand, browns, rust, wine, golden yellows, along with elements that are inspired by nature, botanical greens, sage and sky blues. Neutrals are softer undertones of white and can be the mainstay of walls and furniture still allowing you to add on trend statement-pieces, art and colour to define your own flair and personality. 

Dark blue as the new black which proved popular in 2020, continues to take center stage creating elegant and contemporary spaces throughout the home.  From Scandinavian inspirations, light woods will be on trend used not only for flooring but also for covering walls and ceilings.

Bolder colour choices are becoming popular for smaller spaces like bathrooms, laundry, media and dining. We eagerly awaited Pantones’ 2021 colour of the year announced in December, which is Ultimate Grey and Illuminating Yellow bringing fun and sophistication to the home… early selections from Pantones Spring/Summer palate are also fun-filled with Marigold, Cerulean blue, Rust, Illuminating yellow, and buttercream .  According to paint industry experts bold blues, muddy greens, muted reds, bright pinks, and warm whites will soon be showing up everywhere. 

Take a look at the Resene top colour picks for 2021…


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