Home & Garden

Decor 2021

By Janet Armstrong,
Certified Interior Designer, CAPS

Some old and some new

I hope you are enjoying autumn — crisp days, bright sunshine, the rich colours of nature and the process of preparing for shorter days and cooler temps. As often happens when we spend more time indoors, we begin to notice the need for an update to our spaces. At this time each year, discussions begin to appear about trends in design and decor for the coming year and you may begin to wonder how to incorporate them into your home. The pleasure of trends is that you can incorporate those that appeal to you and can be easily integrated into your existing decor and style.

What will you see in 2021? The trend of incorporating nature into our homes is still very strong and sustainable design continues to be a priority for decorators and designers alike. Colour, of course is always included in discussions about trends, as it is a major factor in setting the mood in every space of our homes. Read on to find out what is emerging in decor and design in 2021.


Paint is a quick and economical way to breathe new life into a room, resulting in a whole new look and energy in your space. In 2021, you will see blue continue to dominate and inform design and decor. Blue is associated with calm, peace and serenity, confidence and trust, attributes that we are seeking in current times. Dark, saturated blues will replace black as the colour that anchors a
room creating elegant, sophisticated spaces, so consider how you can add a touch to your rooms. Gray tones will continue to be popular as accent colours and are perfect neutrals that work with any palette, leaving lots of possibilities for easy updates.


You are going to see the use of more wood in design and decor in 2021.Wood finishes will be lighter and show up in furniture, flooring, walls, even ceilings. In fact, wooden cabinets are going to be reappearing in kitchens after years of the all-white style. I love that wood is trending as it is warm, makes spaces cozy and is durable. Its versatility means it is equally at home in any decor and design style be it rustic, modern, traditional, etc.

Sustainable design

The design and decor profession has not been immune to the focus on the environment of the past few years and the trend of sustainable design continues. Increasing numbers of companies are designing and creating furnishings and decor accessories with recycled and sustainable materials and the creative re-purposing of items has never been stronger.

Statement pieces

Many of us have been streamlining our homes, preferring clean, uncluttered spaces to rooms full of furniture and decor accessories. However, that does not mean we sacrifice beauty and the inclusion of pieces that bring us joy every day. You are going to see the trend to incorporating statement pieces, one luxurious item that is the focus of each room. It could be a cabinet, a chair, a lamp, artwork, but it is that one piece that stands out and is the ‘star of the show’. If the statement piece is handcrafted and made of pure materials, even better — the trend is to handmade, not mass produced.

Natural elements

The use of natural elements and bringing nature indoors is a trend that continues into 2021.Including stone, wood and plants in your decor will ground and calm your rooms, as well as remind you of the life going on outside your door. It could be as simple as including seashells, river rock, woven grass baskets or an area rug of a natural material, such as jute or sea grass in your spaces, to make them peaceful and serene.

Mixed Styles

I love the trend of mixing decor styles. The result is a more interesting, less formal space, a room that begs you to relax and unwind. Consider rustic & modern, boho & industrial, Nordic and Japanese — how could you combine disparate styles to create a comfortable, functional space in your home?

I hope you find these trends inspiring and have you thinking about the possibilities for incorporating one or more, as you plan updates for the spaces of your home. Remember that even small
and simple updates can re-energize your rooms, have big impact and will make your space feel brand new.

Janet Armstrong (simplyswankdecor.ca) is a graduate of the Interior Design Institute of Canada, CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist) and Chair of the Decorators and Designers Association of Canada (DDA Canada)