Interior Design

7 Expert-Predicted Home Decor Trends We’ll See in 2021

Hint: Mid-century everything shows no sign of slowing down.

January  4, 2021
Photo by Cle Tile

2020 saw its fair share of home trends, thanks to a surplus of time spent pondering our interiors—quite literally stuck staring at the design choices we might not have thought fully through. The good news is that it compelled people to take creativity to new levels, and really think critically about what they want to get out of their homes.

As a result, we’ve seen the resurgence of 80s silhouettes, an increase in accent walls, a focus on the “CottageCore” aesthetic, and more. What will 2021 bring, you ask? Well, we checked in with Pinterest, home improvement site Houzz, and interior design service Modsy to see what the top design trend predictions will be in the coming year.

1. Mid-Century Won’t Slow Down

Even though Modsy anticipated the Mid-Century craze to peter out in 2020, it shows no sign of stopping. They’re happy to admit that the small-space perfect, functional, and approachable lines of Mid-Century furniture, decor, and art will keep on keepin’ on through 2021. So don’t sell that tapered-leg dining table just yet.

2. Rethinking Open-Floor Plans

If you had a nickel for every time someone on House Hunters made “an open-floor plan” one of their must-haves, you could have… a lot of nickels. According to Houzz and Pinterest, 2021 will be the year that people finally rethink the open-floor plan, likely as a result of roommates and families being on top of one another in quarantine. Perhaps this will be the year of pocket doors? Barn doors? Enclosed kitchens? We shall see.

3. Open Shelving > Gallery Walls

Gallery walls will always have a place in our homes, but they’ve been hanging around (ha!) for quite some time, and we’re probably due for a new way to display multiple types of art and decor. As part of their 2021 trend report, Pinterest predicts that kitchens in particular will see even more open shelving to display beautiful copper cookware, colored glassware, and handmade clay dishes, of course.

4. Japandi Is the New Minimalism

If you’ve not yet heard of Japandi, it’s the combination of Scandanavian and Japanese design sensibilities (Japan + Scandi), which already happen to be rather similar. This fusion combines clean lines, bright spaces, light wood, and natural elements... i.e. all the things we know and love about both design styles. Pinterest predicts a serious uptick in the pursuit of Japandi style in 2021, and we’re just excited to see this come to fruition.

5. Keeping it Traditional

Maybe it was the 2020 exodus to the suburbs, or maybe it was all of us seeking the familiar in a turbulent year, but Modsy has seen a serious uptick in interest for more traditional furnishings and decor, which had previously been the least popular style chosen by users.

6. Low-Waste Living

While we’re not super surprised about this prediction, we are really proud. Not only are consumers more focused on reducing their environmental impact in 2021 regarding food and waste, but Modsy has seen the demand for sustainable furnishings greatly increase. We might finally be moving away from the fast-fashion home furnishings industry and into an age of more thoughtful consumption—one focused on second-hand finds, investment pieces, and manufacturers with transparent and sustainable practices.

7. EVEN more plants

Thought you’d seen the year of plants? Think again. We’re willing to bet that 2021 brings even. More. Plants. Into our homes. Not only do plants bring life to any room, but they’re something to nurture and care for—something to focus on instead of the instability of the outside world. So brace yourselves, because the plant walls and corners and windows are here to stay.

Which trends are you looking forward to seeing more of in 2021? Weigh in below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

When I'm not writing & editing for Home52, I'm likely to be found DIY-ing a new piece of furniture (or restoring an old one), hanging things on the wall in my apartment, or watching hours of vintage RHONY.


Christi B. April 23, 2021
I was so happy to read this article, as I'm right in the middle of remodeling and redecorating. I'm going from traditional, to mid century modern. I love the Scandinavian MCM too. I am so excited and cannot wait until all the construction is over and I can go shopping for furniture and knickknacks. Lol 😀❤
[email protected] January 22, 2021
I have always loved open shelving, plants galore, and gallery walls with family photos in frames that are not “matchy-matchy”!
DeShaunda E. January 11, 2021
Thank you. This is my first time hearing about Japandi! Very interesting. There are a lot of trends that are sticking around, I am happy about that as I am one of the people who did quite a bit of home improvements during 2020!
D.E. January 11, 2021
I don't see Midcentury ever going out. I grew up in the whole Scandinavian Midcentury furniture/interior design look in the early 1960s as a young child. My parents had the Danish/Midcentury furniture pieces in our newly built tract home here in Southern California as we were the first to live in that house. And although they went from Midcentury to other interior design concepts over the decades as far as the interior designs in our other houses after that, I personally own a Midcentury condo in a small Midcentury building here in Los Angeles County.

I have blended in various Danish Midcentury furniture pieces very well with my Southeast Asian interior design concept due to the clean lines of Midcentury furniture. I've been able to blend it all in over three different residences and different interior design concepts. Plus, due to spending my whole summers in Denmark for decades, I have been able to visit a lot of Danish furniture stores and watch the trends and then bring ideas and pieces home to add to what I already have. Danish friends and their parents have also been into Danish Midcentury for decades. Hans Wegner never goes out. I have 4 original Wishbone dining chairs and a Papa Bear arm chair.

As for open shelving in the article, it's not for me and probably not for those of us who are from earthquake states in general. That's a disaster waiting to happen.

And as for open floor planning, I've never been too big on the concept of the really big type of open floor planning. But, I don't have to deal with it in a Midcentury condo. My foyer and living room are open and flow out onto the terrace, but the dining area is set to the side and attached to the kitchen area so I have privacy in the kitchen. And as far as the bedrooms and bathrooms, there's a pocket door that separates the living room from the hallway entrance into the bedroom/bathroom area which is really fine with me as I can just close the pocket doors and then folks can't go past the foyer/living room/dining room/kitchen area.
Giggles January 10, 2021
Thank you for Japandi, I had no idea I was already decorating that way. I live in a 1938 bungalow that sports only 900 square feet (not including our finished basement) the key was a comfy Scandinavian style and, gasp, an open floor plan. However I have purchased many Japanese minimalist type items that seemed to fit right in. Now I have a name for my 'fusion' style. I do adore many of the trends that have risen out of the pandemic, more plants, more conscientious living and real books.
scotrotsios January 10, 2021
Throughout 2020 and extending, thus far, into the New Year, I have felt a strong yearning for clean, calm, simple and spare interior spaces. Very little on the walls. No extraneous furniture. Closets, cabinets and drawers decluttered and organized. Perhaps a reaction to all the chaos outside?
rebeccab January 5, 2021
I really need to know about the luscious, vivid, tourmaline-y green ceramic tile featured at the beginning of the article! Would give me a rush every day!
Dee A. January 5, 2021
I know! I lust after it.
Caroline M. January 5, 2021
They’re from Cle tile!
TXExpatInBKK January 7, 2021
It looks like it is the "SECRET LAGOON ZELLIGE" tile on the Cle website. So pretty!
Kathryn F. January 30, 2021
Yes, please! I am planning to tile a fireplace surround that was painted (horrors!) by a previous owner. This is _exactly_ what I am looking for.
Dee A. January 5, 2021
I’ve gotta say I really hate open shelving, especially in the kitchen. It’s an invitation to dust and grease, and who needs more things to clean and dust? It also means that shelves need to stay tidy, which will never happen in my house. I appreciate the aesthetics but it’s just not practical.
Caroline M. January 5, 2021
I hear you... I do like the idea of mostly enclosed cabinets with just a few open shelves for decor/pretty dishes as happy medium, because no one needs to see the majority of what’s inside my cabinets—it’s not pretty.
Marla K. January 7, 2021
Especially not in earthquake country.
Judy January 5, 2021
Recently bought new furniture for very small living room. One medium size rotating chair and one medium size stationary and one standard sofa are just too big for the room. I did measurements before buying, but the height of the furniture makes them difficult to get into. Both my husband and I are very short. I know I cannot recoup my investment, so how could I donate and get appropriate furniture to fit our lifestyle.
We live in the Pacific Northwest. Any advice would be welcome.
Caroline M. January 5, 2021
Hi Judy! I personally love posting things to Facebook marketplace or apps like LetGo & OfferUp to get rid of things! You can sell them or offer them for free. I've also donated to Housing Works and local thrift stores. Hope this helps! January 5, 2021
Search engines on furniture sites are pretty interesting these days. If you go to and type in "sofas for short people," it'll actually provide you results that are quite helpful. Give it a shot!
Martha January 6, 2021
Just curious if the legs on the furniture could be shortened or replaced to fit better? The rotating chair would be a challenge, but maybe that would allow you to keep your pieces? Just thinking out loud 🙂
lmnopeterson February 4, 2021
Room & Board has a great small space collection. I'm a huge fan of the Naomi sofa. It's got clean lines & a low profile, without feeling like you are sitting on the floor or feeling like it's a love seat instead of an actual sofa. They have a showroom in Seattle.
Christine February 15, 2021
I know exactly what you're experiencing. I'm 5'1" and find that most furniture is built for much taller people, though I expect they might disagree. I am fortunate that I purchased a quality sofa years ago that is a perfect size and very well made so I just get it re-upholstered. I see pieces on line that I like, but know that I must "try them on" for comfort and to ensure I can easily get out of a chair. I recommend you visit some good furniture stores that carry furniture from a variety of manufactures and see what fits/is comfortable and write down the dimensions, including the back height, width, the depth of the seat, the height of the seat which you can use as a guide if you're buying on line.
Joe C. January 5, 2021
So ready for mid-century to go away. It's the crap we took to our cabin when we got new stuff. And the possibility of open floor plans going away should surprise no one, it's simply marketing. Everyone has an open floor plan and sales are dropping, what do we do? Close it up. No different than fashion, just a lot more expensive. Seeing more men in shorter shorts? Gotta sell that new stuff.
Caroline M. January 5, 2021
I have a feeling it's here to stay in some capacity or another for a looooong time.
Dee A. January 5, 2021
I remember Danish modern from my childhood, and it’s not a good memory.
Amanda K. January 4, 2021
(Sorry, the page jumped while I was commenting!) One trend I've seen increasing this year, among the normally trendy people I know, is a living room that is accessible and shows off the resident's personality rather than looking highly "decorated." Even the most put-together living rooms are sporting family heirlooms, fun little tchochkes, and other things that bring a smile to both the person living there. My theory on this is that we've begun decorating more for ourselves than others now, with guests being a big no-no. If we're the only people seeing our homes, why not put out Grandma's favorite vase that we've so lovingly held on to, whether it perfectly matches the room or not? Furthermore, books made a huge (and now almost cliché) appearance as our default Zoom backgrounds this past year. With no real way to express our individuality in a workplace environment right now, I believe we've chosen books as a subtle peek into our minds that can come across on a screen. Great article, and I really hope these are trends that stick (not just because more than half of my furniture is vintage mid-century modern)!
Caroline M. January 5, 2021
Totally agree! I had a grand old time finding new places for sentimental items and rearranging existing items while cooped up in my apartment this year. A lot of my furniture is vintage mid-century as well, from my grandparents!
Amanda K. January 4, 2021
One t January 4, 2021
Some great insight here. It'll be interesting where we go with open/broken plan.
Caroline M. January 5, 2021
On one hand I’d love having a more open plan so that I’m not alone while making dinner... but on the other hand, I do love that my living room doesn’t always reek of garlic and cooking smells? It’s a toss up for me. January 6, 2021
I wish I could post an image here. I’d show you the floor plan of the reno we’re doing now where we’ve knocked out a wall between the original kitchen/den and the sunroom. Because the fireplace had to remain we effectively have a so-called “broken plan” where the fireplace acts as a partition between conversation and tv watching spaces. I’d love to hear what everyone thinks of it.
chefrockyrd January 10, 2021
Yes! The cooking smells get all over and the noise too. Especially if the tv is on loud that others are watching, while you are cooking.
Lori January 29, 2021
If you have central air, it won’t matter if you don’t have open concept. The smell will still get everywhere.