Now I don’t know how you feel about trends – are they something you ignore, keep an eye on or keenly look out for the latest one? I don’t think any of us completely ignore them and of course there are some trends that we run a mile from. I recollect a trend not so long ago for neon that definitely didn’t appeal. Trends in interiors usually follow those in fashion, so if you want to be ahead of the crowd then keep an eye on the fashion world. Here are a few trends to consider in 2021.

Cottage Core

Image of a room with dark panelling and three ceiling lights with green velvet shades and deep matching fringing

This trend, inspired by the exodus to move to the country has been a growing trend for a while. However, it’s application is not limited to country dwellers. Not everyone wants to, or is able to, move to the countryside but we may still want our homes to have the connection to rural living. In contrast to minimalism with sleek surfaces and a lack of clutter it reflects a more homely environment, somewhere to snuggle up. Think of what is commonly referred as “grandma’s living room” but updated. It incorporates chintz and florals but in bolder colours, pattern in fabric and wallpaper, lush textiles and quirky accessories. Fringing is one element, you can either go for something very traditional that you might see on a standard lamp (check out charity shops) or more modern with a plain shade. If you’re not sure then a great way to experiment is to buy a shade (or use an existing one) and add fringing that you can buy from a haberdashery store.

Garden Buildings

Image of a summerhouse painted in a pale stone colour. The doors (with glass windows) are open and there is a rattan sofa and coffee table inside. Next to the summerhouse is a wooden planter painted to match planted with flowers

This is a topic I have touched on in previous blogs. These are big news. Garden rooms can fulfill a multitude of functions and can range from a simple shed to a custom designed space costing thousands. Always start by considering exactly what purpose or purposes you want the space to serve. Is it simply somewhere you can escape to with a mug or tea or glass of wine and a book, an office, a family space or somewhere that needs to fulfill different roles at different times? You obviously need to consider your budget. Having identified these, then decide how do you want the space to feel – functional, relaxed, modern, cosy? If the room needs to fulfill a variety of functions is that “feeling” appropriate for all those roles? Closely allied to the trend for garden buildings is making more of our outdoor spaces to create an additional living space but that’s a topic that deserves its own blog.

Ocean Tones

In an earlier blog I talked about Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2021 Ultimate Gray and Illuminating two quite muted colours. In contrast, the trend forecasting service WGSN in collaboration with sister brand Coloro, introduced AI Aqua as one of its key colours for 2021 – a vibrant blue. It is inspired by nature, specifically, the sun sparkling crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean and South Pacific. As someone who loves the sea and being by the coast it definitely appeals to me but it’s a more energising colour than the typical pale shades we associate with the coast in the UK. It is a very intense colour so probably works best as an accent colour for a feature wall, upholstery and accessories. I love these tiles for a bathroom, imagine lying in the bath and being transported to the Carribean! The way they are arranged in a chevron pattern is very on trend too.


Image of a modern style metal framed armchair with caramel coloured leather upholstery in the corner of a room by a window. Next to it is a side table with ceiling light above. On the table is a green plant in a pot .

We have probably no doubt all come across the concept of Scandi design but have you heard the term Japandi style. Both styles reflect simplicity and calmness. It is a combination of modern rustic Scandinavian style and the traditional elegance associated with Japanese design. Both are minimalist and focus on functionality and the quality of pieces. For the Japandi look combine the light coloured furniture associated with Scandi with some pieces in darker woods. Black is often used as an accent colour in this scheme and could be introduced through accessories or lighting but also use as a feature wall together with a mixture of monochrome pieces and light wood. Caramel/ honey tones soften the look, perhaps a leather stool or chair or in cushions and throws. It is important not to forget to include some greenery, a statement foliage houseplant is perfect.


Image of a surface on which there is an open paint colour chart surrounded by paint tester pots and paint brushes

The impact of the environment is not a trend that is going to go away. Not only in terms of building materials and energy efficiency but also in terms of our interiors. It encompasses the move from fast furniture i.e. buying pieces that will last with the focus on quality not quantity. It be can seen in the popularity of recycling and also vintage. How many of us have tried upcycling a piece of furniture with a coat of paint? We are also choosing natural fabrics and materials such as bamboo and rattan. We are opting for eco brands for paint such as Earthborn and Edward Bulmer. One new aspect of this is furniture rental. John Lewis has collaborated with the rental service Fat Llama. For myself, I enjoy upcycling furniture, I love mid century furniture such as vintage Ercol and one of my aims is to enrol on an upholstery course.

I hope that you have found this interesting and that at least one of these trends appeals. If you need help then call on 07745 876182 or e mail . I cover the Wirral, Cheshire, North Wales and the North West. Why not try my new E – design service?