19 August 2021

7 of the hottest interior design trends taking off right now

19 August 2021

When it comes to trends in the home, it’s safe to say the past 18 months have revolved around desks and workstations – but what next?

“As we move into the latter half of 2021, interiors look set to take a softly, softly approach, with a renewed focus on wellbeing and versatility,” says Amanda Pollard, senior editor for home renovation and design platform, Houzz.co.uk.

To get a feel for what the future holds, Pollard shares what’s popular, and which of these trends design professionals in the Houzz community predict you’ll be seeing more of in the coming months…

1. Goodbye open-plan

(Holly Marder/Houzz/PA)

“As homes have worked harder than ever over the last year, renovators are searching for stylish ways to divide up space for multiple uses,” says Pollard. “Fewer homeowners have been searching for ‘open plan living’ on Houzz this year.


Dutchbone Rumour Room Divider, £197.10 (was £219), Cuckooland

“Instead, as people search for ways to find a balance between separation and connection, search terms like ‘internal glass door’, ‘room dividers’ and ‘pocket door’ have seen a rise in interest (up by 109%, 29% and 15% respectively during 2021, compared to 2020).”

2. Spathrooms

Camilla Ropers/Houzz/PA

“Bathrooms were already taking a step away from the classic, functional white space, with homeowners making bolder decisions for their wash spaces in recent years. However, 2021 is definitely the year of the ‘spathroom’,” says Pollard, “with homeowners creating spaces that are perfect for a little rest and relaxation.”

(Porcelain Superstore/PA)

Contemporary and chic, these large format tiles mirror precious stones, especially with threads of gold and a shiny surface. Savoy Oro Porcelain Tiles, £73.44 per box (1 box will cover 1.44 metres square), Porcelain Superstore

“To create a zen atmosphere, designers are turning to tactile natural materials, with stone, marble and wood all featuring heavily, as well as plenty of plants. We’re even seeing luxurious steam showers, deep Japanese-style soaking baths and ‘smart’ bathrooms cropping up in the most popular photos.”

3. Utilizing unused space

(Camilla Stephens/Houzz/PA)

“As homes take on more tasks, it’s perhaps not surprising homeowners have been making sure they’re using every inch of theirs. ‘Loft conversion’ saw a massive 107% increase in searches during the first half of the year, compared to the same period in 2020,” Pollard notes.

(Woodchip & Magnolia/PA)

An added bonus, loft conversions lend themselves perfectly to decorative wallpaper, which accentuates the height and makes a real feature of the eaves. Wisteria in Latte/Slate, £120 per roll, Woodchip & Magnolia

A multifunctional space, Pollard says the surge in using up all possible space is happening for a variety of reasons, whether it’s to create a home office, zen relaxation space, playroom or even a guest room that can be called on for any self-isolation needs.

4. Comforting colours, earthy tones and tactile textures

“Over the past year, many of us have sought solace in the outdoors, and we’re seeing this translate into design trends, with homeowners favouring shades and materials we associate with the natural world,” adds Pollard. “Comforting colours such as nudes, beiges and browns are a staple in many of the new featured photos, as well as textures like bouclé.”

(Cult Furniture/PA)

Effie Armchair, Ivory White Boucle & Brass, from £349, Cult Furniture

Green is also having a moment, particularly in the kitchen, overtaking blue as the hue of choice. “It’s not just the kitchen getting the green treatment though, as the search terms ‘green bathroom’, ‘green living room’ and ‘green bedroom’ have increased in popularity since 2020,” adds Pollard.

(COAT Paints/PA)

COAT’s newest collaboration with Dan Lovatt features a limited-edition paint colour with muted undertones in a ‘grubby greyish green,’ available in a range of COAT’s paint finishes, suitable for indoors and outdoor use.

COAT Paints x Dan Lovatt Darlington Green (Flat Matt, £40 for 2.5L, COAT Paints) works like a dream with neutral accents to channel the mid-century vibe, which is all about reviving old classics – also trending big time.

(Rachel Loewen/Houzz/PA)

5. Panelled surfaces

(Rachel Loewen/Houzz/PA)

“Panelling has become more and more popular, up by 48% in searches this year – and within the most saved photos on the platform, we’re seeing walls adorned with a variety of styles.”

Surprisingly versatile, Pollard says there’s a style to suit any room or home, from subtle shiplap, traditional shaker styles, or more modern linear cladding designs. Also, interior designers report a rise in enquiries requesting panelling, especially for bedrooms and hallways.

6. Curves and fluting

(Luca Girardini/Houzz/PA)

“With a move towards a more comforting aesthetic, curved and fluted designs are rising in popularity, with designers and architects on Houzz using them to add softness to spaces otherwise filled with hard surfaces.”

(JD Williams/PA)

Pair of Klara Dining Chairs, Blush Oak-Effect, £149 (other items from a selection), JD Williams

Pollard also says archways, rounded furniture and curved kitchen islands all feature heavily within the most popular photos on Houzz this year.

7. Outdoor living rooms

(CM Glover/Houzz/PA)

“Where 2020 saw an interest in grow-your-own and gardening tasks, this year it’s all about creating a relaxing outdoor room, with spaces set up for cooking, dining, relaxing and socialising,” notes Pollard. “Recent photos uploaded to Houzz feature cosy garden seating areas, kitted out with rugs, comfortable sofas, layered cushions and heaters.”

Last but not least, Pollard says landscape designers are seeing a spike in enquiries (up by 116% in January versus the same period last year), and report clients are looking to their garden as an extension of their living space to use it into the evening and cooler months. We’re happy to say, the future’s looking bright and beautiful.

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