Since March, we’ve all spent more time in our homes than ever before as they’ve turned into offices, schools and gyms. If you are a little stifled and feel like your abode could use a refresh, winter is the perfect time to tackle a new home design project. We asked five local designers for their thoughts on the trends that are on the upswing this year (Cozy cottage vibes! Wallpaper! Reinvented postmodernism!) and what styles are petering out (Drab neutrals, farmhouse elements and white kitchens). Let their expertise inspire you to revamp your space.
Keira St. Claire, Lead Interior Designer, Anthony Wilder Design/Build
“Color and pattern are trending. We all want to be inspired, happy and feel joy after so much time spent inside without socializing or expressing ourselves. More importantly, what will be trendier is being authentically you and expressing yourself as an individual in your spaces; replacing throw pillows or blankets, installing sculptural light fixtures and displaying kids’ colorful art on a gallery wall are easy ways to incorporate this. Think playful proportions of objects, unique color palettes and textured wall treatments such as lime wash and Roman clay, and a turn towards being more conscious about sustainable and environmentally-friendly products. White kitchens, monochromatic neutral rooms and grey are out, and instead of the farmhouse look we will see traditional mixed with a reinvented postmodern style, with antiques balanced with neutrals, playful geometrics, and sculptural furnishings. Open floor plans and single-use spaces are less desirable now that the entire family is spending time inside together as there is a need for more efficient, flexible and private spaces.”
Tracy Morris, Owner, Tracy Morris Design
“One thing we will be seeing less of are open floor plans; they’ve long been the gold standard for residential architecture, but with more people spending more time in their homes they are looking for a bit more division in spaces for privacy and noise control. A lot of people are investing in projects they had been putting off to make sure their homes are more comfortable and functional. People are also leaning into wallpaper in simple textures, bold patterns and mural-like paintings, all which can add so much style to a space, taking a simple room and making it a little jewel box. Wallpaper is one of my favorites; it’s one element that can totally transform a space; try introducing it first to a small space like a powder room.”
Annie Elliott, Owner, Annie Elliott Design
“The year 2021 is all about versatility and informality. Gone is the desire for formal dining rooms, structured sofas and shades of gray. Here (to stay, hopefully!) is the dining room-slash-office, soft sectionals you can sink into and layers of color. Americans have been drifting towards a more casual aesthetic for years, but the pandemic has dramatically hastened the shift. Add to that an intense desire for comfort and reassurance, and we’ll be seeing more cozy cottage and less airy farmhouse. Both styles are casual, but a charming cottage-y room will win the day if it has navy wallpaper in a tiny vine pattern, a grassy green velvet sofa and a multicolored plaid throw. Accessories are more important than ever, too. We’re filling our bookcases and tabletops with meaningful, carefully chosen objects that make us smile. I’m not celebrating clutter–and I won’t go so far as to say that maximalism has arrived in the DMV–but in 2021, more is better.”
Pamela Harvey, Owner, Pamela Harvey Interiors
“One trend I’m loving right now is a return of color–taking a fairly neutral room and injecting a bright color as a happy accent. I always like to add a fun pattern with color to kitchen counter stools to liven up a white kitchen. I see a return of yellow, especially as we head into springtime. When it comes to trends such as shiplap or mid-century modern pieces, they should be used sparingly–don’t go all in. A modern accent chair or art piece in a traditional room adds some fun and interest. I’m incorporating more organic, curved shapes, such as a great curved sofa or organic patterns in textiles and carpets. One of my favorite chain stores to shop at is World Market –small Moroccan glasses that are great for barware or juice are one of my favorite finds.”
Josh Hildreth, Owner, Josh Hildreth Interiors
“Sadly, many high-end American kitchens can feel like advertisements for a cabinet company versus the room-like warmth I’ve always admired in classic European kitchens. I have noticed an uptick in client enthusiasm when we theme the design of a kitchen around some one-of-a-kind vintage pieces that allow for practical storage and serving needs while making a kitchen feel like a real room, like an 18th century Swedish cabinet with original, mellow paint as a focal point and ‘catchall’ serving /storage cabinet. Chintz is back! Beige be gone! The monochromatic room that has been the gold standard of Capital-style design is at long last getting a shakeup. There is a fervor for color and a renewed interest in lush multicolor prints as well as a continued resurgence in antiques and layered rooms. In a recent kitchen-family room project, we brought lush woodlands into the room with chintz and a beautiful hand loomed floral rug, as well as left the windows bare to maximize the stunning views.”
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