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Home Décor Trends

Michelle Jackson has studied art and interior design since 1983. She attended design school and has worked as an artist/visual artist.

2021: The Year of Personality!


The new year is going to spur four distinct style trends: Personal Heterogeneous, Earthy Flora, Dramatic Vintage, and Metropolitan. While there is nothing new under the sun, decorating is about combining objects for a desired effect. New combinations of textiles, furniture styles, and finishes create trends that either last or do not last. I’m sure you are anxiously awaiting the hottest new trends of 2021.

Creativity is intelligence having fun.

— Albert Einstein

Personal Heterogeneous Décor

In 2021, people are going to personalize their spaces using items in which they have a connection. “Personal Heterogeneous" style will take a huge share of the decorating magazines for 2021. Before you look it up, heterogeneous means mixed. We are going to see people painting interior doors and molding wild colors, using mixed furniture styles, and choosing accents and accessories that scream “this is me”. Cookie cutter design is out. Matchy-matchy is not 2021. People are starting to see their personal space as an extension of themselves. As such, you will see a mix of colors, patterns, and art. I hate to say it but, wallpaper is making a comeback in 2021. Not just any wallpaper; murals, patterns, and florals. Wild tile is going to turn up everywhere. Bold colors and patterns will be in everything from entryways to bedrooms. Mixing materials is in, think mixed metals, and mixed patterns. If you like it, it’s in at long as it’s presented well. We are no longer matching everything to the drapes.

Personal Heterogeneous Style

Personal Heterogeneous Style

“Every room needs a touch of black, just as it needs at least one antique piece,”

— Jan Showers

Earthy Flora

Nature has always been a design element. This year “Earthy Flora style” is going to push the natural forest elements into design. Lots of earth tones, raw/stained wood, rocks, and metals will present is more natural ways. Stacked rocks as art, driftwood on the walls, crystals, cotton, dark evergreen, taupe (yep, I said it taupe is back), and more live plants. You will see natural stone take over the bathrooms where subway tile once was the hot trend. Hand crafted design items are the rage in 2021. People want that feeling that their space has “one of a kind” items. Artisans are going to have a great year. All those burl wood tables and handmade textiles will be in high demand. If you went gray last year you can incorporate the earthy elements as accents and not appear behind the trends.

Earthy Flora Bathroom

Earthy Flora Bathroom

"Interior decorating is not a science, all the rules are made up and therefore easily broken."

— Michelle Jackson

Dramatic Vintage

Dramatic Vintage style has been back building for years and is a nod to the Victorian era with a deep colorful twist. Think dark purple, green, or burgundy velvet couches, baroque framed mirrors, and antique art pieces. This style will appeal to the people who gravitate to vintage design styles or steampunk. It feels a tad bit fancy yet works for everyday use. The key to this style is to choose rich colors (no pastels or white). Most Victorian accessories will work for this style. If you are tired of your shabby chic, toss the lace and repaint your candlesticks. Those heavy wood frames will be right at home in this style.

Dramatic Vintage

Dramatic Vintage

Metropolitan Style

The last trend that will take over 2021 I am calling “Metropolitan Style”. I didn't make this up, Metropolitan style has been around since the first skyscrapers were built. This isn’t industrial although it does have some industrial architectural elements (like brick). Metropolitan is cool brick walls, bold colored modern furnishings, enamel finishes, and graphic wall art. The juxtaposition of these Metropolitan elements will make their way into urban settings. You will see your neighbors with leucite tables and graphic wall art drinking wine and quoting Faulkner. OK, maybe that won’t happen. Still, the Metropolitan Style is going to creep into urban life. People want to be hip, awoke, or whatever so we will see this style come out in magazines as the new look.

Metropolitan style

Metropolitan style

Trend to De-Clutter

There was a time when you would walk into someone’s home and they had collections of objects everywhere. Everything from thimbles to bobble heads displayed in bookcases throughout the home. In 2021 people are going to pare down the clutter. This is not “minimalism”, it is simply a movement to live simpler and have less to take care of in our lives. People are realizing that more means you have to take care of more. Toward this end we will see pared down “Simple living”. People who get on this train are going to get rid of unneeded items, clear counters, and enjoy cleaner surfaces. This doesn’t mean you don’t have anything on any of your surfaces, it means that the things that are visible are meaningful. Staging will be sparse.

Paint Color

Last year the Pantone color of the year was Slate Blue(Blue print), and it didn’t really take off like expected. Here is what I am seeing, people are getting tired of the gray everything. To liven up their living spaces people are injecting bold color accents. The color that is going to be hot at the beginning of 2020 is…Orange. We are going to see a burnt orange popping up in everything from accents to accessories.

People are looking for the bold color to get personality back into their spaces. While the 2019 blueprint color might be your new gray, before you paint, consider the room. Blue has been known to cause depressive moods hence the saying “I’m a little blue”. If you use Blueprint make sure you offset it with bright accents that are cheery. Lastly, I want to mention the reboot of taupe/Mexican sand/tan. Yes, the 2019 neutral is taupe. I almost want to apologize because I feel like some of you may have just painted over this color. Taupe is making a comeback in a big way and although you may try to fight it, no one can resist “Mexican Sand” walls. Black is also making a dramatic revival. Be careful using black or you may end up living in the bat cave.

The push for Martha Stewart pastels to come back is in the works. I personally am against any paint color that is used in drunk tanks or insane asylums. That’s just my personal preference. If you love dusty pink, mint green, or baby blue, go for it. Those colors are coming back anyway. More important than what’s in or out color wise, think about how you want your room to feel. Personally I hated all the gray . Gray said something about the home owners which was probably: they watched one too many episodes of Fixer Upper. Like so many regrets, gray guilt is easily fixed with paint. Consider using your favorite color whatever that may be.

2019 Color of the year "Blueprint"

2019 Color of the year "Blueprint"

Decorating the Ceiling

The hottest trend right now is making your ceiling a feature wall. We are going to see this trend continue through 2021. If you always wanted to wallpaper your ceiling, here’s your chance (just remember eventually someone will have to remove it). People are painting ceilings bold or dark colors, adding molding to create the coffer effect, painting designs, and even using faux brick on the ceiling. It’s open season on ceilings as they become that “wow” everyone is looking for in 2021. If you are remodeling, don’t forget your ceilings!

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Styles on the Way Out

There is always a variation of “country style” floating on the fringes of the interior design world. Most recently Industrial farmhouse was the “in” country style. Previously we had French country and primitive country style. Industrial farmhouse has run its course. I hate to say it because, I really liked this design style. Industrial Farmhouse was great because it was homey and casual. The other upside was it gave the person designing it a lot of freedom to use everything from rusty buckets to pallets. Unfortunately, this style has been so overdone with its white and grays that people are starting to get tired of seeing it. The other problem with Industrial farmhouse is that it was too muted and often lacked any personality. Industrial farmhouse replaced shabby chic and for that we thank you Industrial farmhouse (moment of silence). The good news if you chose this style is that it transitions easily by changing out wall color, art, and accessories.

Next on the chopping block are geometric designs. Somewhere there is a math geek shedding a tear over this one, and even though I called this funky design element for 2018, I’m sort of glad to see it go. The only thing staying from the geometric design craze is the hexagon tile which is more of a throwback to the early 1900’s. Geometric patterns were too mechanical to survive for very long. With this design death we will see the demise of diamond shaped things. Good bye everything in wire geometric shapes maybe we can repurposed you into something like hamster play equipment, bird perches, or yard art.

Quick Reference of “Ins and Outs”

In: Natural materials Out: Industrial materials (sorry)

In: Wood top kitchen Islands Out: Concrete (sorry this is part of the gray)

In: Pattern Tile Out: matching granite backsplash and counters

In: Painted Cabinets Out: All matching cabinets

Wall Décor

In: Baskets Out: Plates

In: Round Mirrors Out: Beveled mirrors (Unless they are antique)

In: Vintage advertising Out: Hand painted signs

In: Large graphic art Out: Clusters of tiny pictures

Decorative Items

In: Brass animals and wood accents Out: All white table accents (consider hitting these with a paint color rather than replacing them)

In: Live plants Out: Fake succulents (real ones are fine)

Fabric and Wallpaper

In: Large print florals (wallpaper, pillows) Out: Geometric patterns

In: Natural textiles Out: Fake fur blankets

In: Velvet Out: Bohemian prints


In: Blue, greens, orange, tan Out: Gray

In: Black Out: Gray (I can’t say this enough)

The gray kitchen

The gray kitchen

Confessions of a Serial Decorator

About a year ago I moved into a southwest-style home. This home fits my personal style as in I own Native American/southwest art. As I began decorating this home I quickly realized that the answer to any design question was “it needs more color”. If I’m being honest this house is colorful. I’m a colorful person so it works. The original owner of the home came by a few months ago, our styles are very different. Yet she looked at the home and said “You figured this house out, it looks better than when I lived here”. Sometimes it takes us a while to figure out our space.

Try new things, experiment with your space. At the end of the day it’s your home. Make it a place where you can relax and enjoy life. Your style is not everyone’s style. Maybe you just redecorated your kitchen gray. If you love it, continue to love it. You are the one who has to live there. Your home should reflect your life and personal taste. Live with what you love.

© 2018 MD Jackson MSIOP


MD Jackson MSIOP (author) from Western United States on November 27, 2018:

It's important that we feel comfortable in our homes. If we keep basic finishes then updating is easy. The more extreme style gets, the faster it becomes dated.

MD Jackson MSIOP (author) from Western United States on November 21, 2018:

You are right, styles change quickly. My home is a modern southwest, I do not change it depending on current styles. There is a lot of tan and wood, it works for us. Design is supposed to make the owner feel at home. That means different things to different people.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on November 18, 2018:

It seems like these styles just come and go. If you wait long enough everything seems to come back into style. However, I like color, so I hope you are right. I think you need to make yourself happy, but if you are going to sell your home you need to be up on current styles.

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