Modsy’s 2021 Interior Design Trend Predictions

This will be an interesting year for interior design trends. As we saw in our 2021 style trends report, COVID had a big impact on patterns and trends within the interior design world in 2020. Last year significantly changed the way we view and use our homes. With the shelter in place guidelines impacting so many Americans in March and April, office closures, and the introduction of remote learning, our relationships with our homes shifted. For many, our homes have now become a workplace, a school, a family entertainment center, and a literal shelter from the outside world. And that’s going to have a big impact on the interior trends that continue and emerge in 2021.

As we head into the new year, we’re looking at how the changes in 2020 kickstarted new trends that will define the 2021 design landscape—and we gotta say, they’re pretty great. Ready to dig into our top 5 predictions of trends for 2021? Keep reading. We’re excited for what’s to come in 2021!

Wondering where interior design trends come from and why they die? Check out episode 4 of our podcast, The Render!


open seating area with ruffled sofa, sculptural black arm chairs and dark green walls

Traditional Design

When we talk about the traditional design trend, we’re talking about that classic 1990s comfort look. Think Rachel and Monica’s apartment from Friends, early Pottery Barn style, homes in Nancy Meyers movies from the 90s and early 2000s, and even your parents’ home if you were born in the 80s or 90s. Whatever image comes to mind, we think that Traditional design brought to life by these cultural references will be making a strong comeback. Why? People are spending a lot more time at home and looking to add layers of functional comfort to their space. And there’s certainly a sense of comfort in overstuffed furniture, softer curves, and traditional styles that you can count on always looking the same.

But there’s not just one way to do the traditional look. When it comes to Traditional design ideas, you can go for the classic approach, or you can try on a more streamlined and updated take on Traditional style.

display of traditional wooden furniture against green wall

It’s perfect for…

Those who want their home to focus on comfort and reliability, but with a slightly elevated sensibility.

How to Bring This Look Home

Look for sofas, sectionals, and armchairs that have a comfortable look and feel—something that you could really curl up on and binge-watch TV or read a good book. (This is a great moment to try the wingback chair trend.) Choose furniture pieces that lean less minimal or mid-century and instead are more traditional, with simple decorative carvings and dark wood surfaces.

geometric wallpaper in lavender with a pink velvet roll arm sofa

Grandmillenial Style

Just as people are looking for traditional styles to soothe the uncertainty of the world, the Grandmillennial style offers similar comforts. This style, however, pulls from classic design styles and takes some inspiration from Colonial Americana style, leaning into antiques, Victorian-inspired wallpaper, busy patterns, and preppy elements such as florals and ruffles.

This trend is all about younger generations who love design and decor that might culturally be viewed as “old lady” or granny. It hinges on classical design forms and patterns, historic architecture, and, of course, “brown furniture” (aka dark brown wooden antiques). The rise in this trend predates COVID, with Gucci famously popularizing the granny chic trend in their ads and collections in 2018. But it has risen steadily in popularity since the, exploding in 2020, and even creating subculture offshoots like “cottagecore” and the rise of Instagram accounts like Cheap Old Houses, both of which celebrate a decidedly simpler life than the one most of us lead—albeit a completely idealized version of those “simpler times” of the past. However, in a time of social and political unrest, looking toward the past for stability and comfort—while having a bit of fun with patterns and colors—feels like an appropriate way to cope.

Want to mix and match 2021 interior design trends? Try on Grandmillenial style with one of the 2021 colors of the year, like Benjamin Moore’s “Aegean Teal!”

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grandmillennial style living room with chesterfield velvet sofa and wallpaper

It’s perfect for…

Millennials. It’s in the name, after all! But it’s also a perfect way for older generations who have long been into the antiques trend to give their style a lively update!

How to Bring This Look Home

Get up early on the weekends and hit up the flea markets! Look for Victorian or Early American furniture (or revivals of those styles). Pieces made of aged Mahogany, a beautiful and rich dark-toned wood, are perfect in Grandmillenial spaces. This style feels attainable and under-the-radar, like Victorian and Neoclassical styles have not been part of trending design movements, so you can find these antiques for a good price. For less than IKEA prices, you’ll have a well-made, solid piece of furniture that has already lasted generations and is poised to continue to last many more. For young professionals, buying these old pieces is a great way to make their budget go further while also making a more sustainable purchase.

large dining room with atomic brass chandelier, glass dining table and minimalist chairs

1980s Style Revival

The 1980s revival style is all about bold forms, geometric patterns, and 80s-inspired color palettes—plus a nod to Art Deco style and a bit of that Golden Girls kitsch. There are many ways to bring this look to life, just as there were many trendy design styles in the 80s.

In the 1980s, the interior trends shifted from earthy naturals to luxurious, modern materials and highly sculptural forms. In this decade, we saw the wide use of brass and lacquer, sculptural forms, glass and stone with high shine finishes, and sparkling new materials. Interior design in the 80s was all about wealth and opulence, pulling inspiration from Art Deco ideology and Minimalist style.

Just as antiques are a bargain, for the past few years furniture and decor from the 1980s have been easy and inexpensive to obtain on second-hand marketplaces. As the style comes more into the forefront, authentic pieces will command higher prices, and we’ll start to see mainstream retailers offering their own modern takes on the style.

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2021 interior design trends

It’s perfect for…

Those who have a nostalgia for the 80s or who simply love the bold, sculptural forms that herald the design style of this decade.

How to Bring This Look Home

Look for some hallmark 80s pieces such as a glass dining table with a chrome or marble base, and incorporate materials like lacquer, glass, and marble into your decor through accent pieces. Opt for high-contrast color schemes such as black and gold, or muted palettes that include mauves and dusty rose. Love that 1980s Miami look? Bring on the palm prints and rattan furniture à la Blanche Devereaux’s iconic bedroom.

modern white sofa on a grey jute rug with sculptural accent tables scattered around

Biophilic Design

Biophilia is the love of nature and everything that is alive. In the design world, this often shows up through the use of plants and other natural greenery as a way to increase people’s connectivity to nature. The hope is that incorporating natural elements will have positive health and environmental benefits. But it’s also woven into home design through the use of natural materials and an awareness of sustainability in the production of furniture and home accents. By 2021, we’re predicting that Biophilic Design will particularly show up through the use of natural, sustainable materials.

We’re seeing a softer, earthier look come out to play filled with organic shapes and natural materials such as cane, jute, leather, ceramic, and plants. Natural texture is the secret ingredient every room needs—and spaces with these materials feel more tied to nature and have a calming effect. We’re also seeing a move toward more natural wood furniture versus spaces with a lot of manufactured materials. With that, light-colored wood (from Scandinavia blonde to rustic, light oak) is rising in popularity, pushing out the medium tones that often dominate Mid-Century spaces. This lighter color of wood is uplifting and easy to design around, creating a slightly more modern look—even in cozy and comfortable spaces.

Stylist Tip: Our guide to flawlessly mixing wood tones will definitely come in handy this year as you incorporate lighter tones into your home’s design!

Shop This Look

It’s perfect for…

Those wanting to incorporate the soothing aspects of nature into their home or increase their connectivity to nature and sustainability through their furniture and decor choices.

How to Bring This Look Home/What to Look For

No matter if you’re leaning towards a Scandinavian or Rustic style, when it’s time to choose pieces of furniture, lean for lighter toned woods as opposed to dark wood, metal, or lacquer pieces. When it comes to incorporating natural materials, layer different natural finishes to create depth and texture within the space. You might layer a wool rug atop a larger jute rug, and add a cane or rattan chair to the space. Pile pillows and throws atop the sofa to create softness and fullness in the space. Look for materials that are certified sustainable by their manufacturers to ensure that you’re buying pieces that you believe in.

Want to dig deeper into biophilic-inspired designs? Check out our blog post on how to decorate with natural materials, dig into the cane furniture trend, and listen to our podcast episode on environmental psychology to learn more about why natural elements, like plants, make us happy. 

eclectic seating nook with green velvet sofa and gallery wall on dark grey walls

Jewel Box Rooms

Move over white, gray, and greige—because bold wall colors are about to take center stage. As people are looking to create more personalized interiors, we’re seeing an uptick in highly saturated, bold-colored walls. (And with that, often bold-colored sofas, chairs, and accents as well.) The result? Jewel Box Rooms.

A bolder cousin of the Victorian farmhouse trend, these spaces are filled with highly saturated colors from floor to ceiling, with both jewel and earth tones making appearances. With a classic, almost regal look—but with an eclectic edge—Jewel Box Rooms celebrate the artistry of design through the use of bold colors and fabrics. We see deep, saturated velvets combined with dark walls and classic and antique furniture forms to create a “cabinet of curiosities” vibe that sparkles with unexpected delights on every surface.

We think this trend is really inspired by people’s disconnect with the outside world and a yearning to create a home that has a bit more flair and personality. Looking back at a few golden eras of home entertaining, such as the Victorian era or the mid 20th century, people decorated their homes with bold and intense color palettes. Perhaps as we lead lives that are more centered at home, we too are turning to more bold statements through color and luxe materials.

Love the look of a collected, classic vibe in your home? Get inspired and take a page out of the Victorian interior design history book.

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It’s perfect for…

Anyone who loves a touch of British charm. (This look is very inspired by British designers.) It’s also perfect for those who want a cozy yet inspired space that’s full of life and personality.

How to Bring This Look Home

Intense colors in bedrooms or offices could influence your mood when trying to work or sleep. So, pick a space where you will not feel overly impacted by an intense color palette, such as a living or dining room. Think about some of your favorite colors. If you love green, for example, pick a shade that’s deep with earthy undertones. You can paint just one accent wall or the whole room for added drama! When painting a jewel box room, use semi-gloss paints. This helps reflect light, which will keep the space from feeling too dark or cramped!

Want to work from your favorite 2021 design trend?

Follow this link to download high-resolution images of each trend, which you can set as your Zoom or Google Meet background. Your coworkers will surely be jealous of your trendsetting style.

Want to try on some of these 2021 interior design trends?

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2018 Trends: How To Make Velvet Work For Your Style

Glam Velvet Interior

The velvet trend has been going strong since last fall when it was deemed the “it” fabric for 2018. Even if you don’t follow trends, there are so many reasons to bring velvet into your space.

Not only is velvet a timeless material, it also adds a lot of warmth and texture to any interior. And if you think velvet won’t work with your style, think again! Take a peek below for tips, tricks, and chic ways to make velvet work for your style.

The Look: Bold and Modern

Modern Velvet

If your style veers modern, stick to mid-century shapes with clean lines and no frills or ornamentation. Remember that mid-century modern is about texture and material so try pairing a velvet sofa with leather chairs or a velvet armchair against a bold-color wall or a graphic wallpaper.

You’ll also want to opt for velvet in strong, saturated tones, like warm reds, browns, earthy greens, and mustard yellows.

Where to velvet: One key piece, like a sofa or a chair.

The Look: Rich and Glamorous

Glam Velvet

This style is about a chic aesthetic infused with rich textures, so velvet is the perfect fabric to layer all over any glam living room. Try a tufted sofa in velvet or take an editorial approach and go with furniture sporting simple and sculptural shapes all upholstered in velvet. Anyone else feeling the India Mahdavi vibes?

Glam Velvet

And when it comes to colorful velvets, bold jewel tones are your BFF in a glam setting; mix ruby, sapphire, emerald, and amethyst velvet accents and pillows for uber posh finishing touches.

Where to velvet: Anywhere and everywhere! The more velvet layers, the more lavish, luxe, and inviting it will feel.

The Look: Layered and Eclectic

Eclectic Velvet

When you’re going for an eclectic look that still feels welcoming, the most important thing to remember is to mix lots of different textures and materials together.

Eclectic Velvet

Try working velvet into your home this year alongside your macramé, rattan, marbles, and mixed metals. Keep an eye out for colors that collaborate with your current palette, rather than clash with it.

Where to velvet: One statement piece in velvet, such as a sofa, or several accent pieces, like a chair in a bold color or some velvet pillows.

The Look: Warm and Traditional

Traditional Velvet

You might not think there’s room for velvet in a traditional-style space since it’s a look that’s more timeless than trendy. But it’s still possible to make 2018’s it fabric work in your home.

Traditional VelvetLayer in velvet accents in neutral or muted colors, like forest green pillows or a soft gray sofa, to complement a leather chair or rich oriental rug.

Where to velvet: Accent pieces in neutral colors. Try also finding velvets with a more crushed and textured look to bring in some old-world charm.

The Look: Sleek and Industrial

Industrial Velvet

All about the raw materials, industrial enthusiasts might not think velvet has a place inside the clean-lined loft look.

But contrary to what you might think, velvet can actually bring an unexpected pop of warmth without straying too far from industrial roots. Not to mention velvet can also help break up the strong lines and angular shapes in industrial spaces.

Industrial VelvetStick to velvets in a cool neutral palette, such as slate, graphite, and blue, to maintain the pared-down industrial appeal.

Where to velvet: Try a pop of velvet with pillows or dining chairs for something unexpected that also adds warmth.

The Look: Elegant and Classic

Classic Velvet

If chic, sophisticated style and classic furnishings are what you gravitate towards, your options for velvet are endless.

Classic VelvetEnhance the elegance of this look with designs that have classic silhouettes rendered in velvet – we’re talking about chesterfield sofas, wingback chairs, x-benches and even pillows, but all in a soft, subtle palette of pastels and neutrals. The overall look will be a little more understated than glam, but just as polished and alluring.

Where to velvet: Keep to classic shapes for your furniture and give them a modern update with velvet upholstery. Think tufted velvet sofas alongside velvet drapes for a swoon-worthy interior.

The Look: Cozy and Rustic

Rustic Velvet Interior

For a room that’s all about coziness and warmth, velvet can play up your rustic space when it’s incorporated in the right way.

Rustic Velvet InteriorSteer clear of shiny velvets in bright hues and opt for crushed velvets with lots of texture and in warmer earth tones instead. Think warm yellows, burnt oranges, or rich browns. The focus should be on sumptuous velvets that’s more about texture and less about sheen.

Where to velvet: Start with accent pieces, like a chair or pillows, and if you’re feeling like you need a big dose of comfort to anchor the space, go with a relaxed-style sofa that doesn’t have any tufting or traditional detailing.

Ready to try the trend in your home?

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A Year in Review: How Modsy Designers Wrapped 2017

Modsy Designers

We asked our Modsy Designers for their best home design advice and what they’re resolving for 2018. Here’s what they loved from 2017 and how they are taking on the new year in style.

Our Favorite Trends of 2017

Mix It Up:

  • “I loved seeing designs include a tasteful mix of bold patterns and colors, rather than trying to be too matchy-matchy.” – Amy

Play With Plants:

  • “My must-have in every room this year was plants. I like that there has been a departure from the fiddle leaf trend and we are starting to see more climbing plants, succulents, and simple eucalypti.” – Joslynn

Get Colorful:

  • “My favorite new home design trend is millennial pink! The subtle hue is a great neutral and works beautifully when paired with true neutrals or even jewel tones.” – Erika
  • “I am really liking darker, jewel toned wall colors. I think this is a great way to add some drama without making a room look darker.” – Gretchen
  • “My favorite home design trend in 2017 was definitely the Jewel Tones! I love using pops of unexpected color in a space, to me it brings life and vibrancy to any room.” – Patrice

Bring In Texture:

  • “Velvet sofas and chairs. I love the texture they bring to a space, and how they can be styled to look casual or sophisticated.” – Belisa

Modsy Designers

Our 2018 Home Design Resolutions (For You To Steal)

Get Personal:

  • “My resolution this year is to personalize my space more. Any space can be made pretty but it needs heart and soul to truly be a great design.” – Amy
  • “I’m resolving to appreciate what I have, be inspired by my surroundings and to only bring things into my home that I truly love and intend to keep for many years to come!” – Tara

Update Your Space:

  • “For me, 2018 will mean updating my pillow covers so I can change them with the seasons. It’s a simple thing, but an easy way to make my living room feel different throughout the year.” – Gretchen
  • “My new years home design resolution is to create a dedicated office space! As of right now I have about 3 different quasi-office spaces in my home, but none of them are truly dedicated to office work. I am a firm believer in starting off the year with a renovation project, so I plan to take the plunge and turn one of the downstairs rooms into my own private office getaway.” – Patrice
  • “Get organized ASAP! For me, 2018 will mean getting rid of visual clutter via cute baskets and storage solutions.” – Allison

Take Your Time:

  • “My resolution is to relax and take the time I need to design my space. As a designer I see things everyday that I like and want to incorporate into my home. However, I know it’s not about what I like, but what I LOVE is most important, and finding things you love to fill your home happens naturally over time. Plus you get a more layered, lived in look this way which is the goal!” – Joslynn

Modsy Designers

Lessons We Learned From You:

Modsy Designers have helped solve a lot of home design struggles this year. Here are the lessons we’ve learned from you, our fabulous Modsy customers.

Follow Your Muse:

  • “Don’t have anything in your home that doesn’t bring you joy.” – Katherine
  • “The best piece of home design advice I learned this year is that it is perfectly fine to follow trends in your home as long as it is something you love. I often find that people are hesitant to put something in their home because they are afraid it will go out of style the next year, but if you love it, it will stand the test of time.” – Erika
  • “It’s important to decorate your home in your style, and not anyone else’s.” – Brittanie

Style To Your Habits:

  • “If you’re a person whose style changes frequently, design your home with a neutral color base and add pops of color through decor. This will make changing your space easier (and less expensive) as your style changes.” – Ryen

Make Room For Life:

  • “Use your space! I think we often are too concerned with keeping our homes perfect that we become afraid to actually use them. Homes are meant to be lived in, not just looked at.” – Amy
  • “Sofas don’t necessarily have to go against walls. Floating a sofa in the middle of the room is an easy trick that makes your layout feel more elegant and intentional.” – Gretchen

Don’t Forget The Details:

  • “Sometimes artwork and rugs are the most vital pieces in a space.” – Micaela
  • “Break out of symmetry! Don’t be afraid to get a little crazy and try something wild like using chairs, trunks, or stools instead of nightstands or side tables.” – May
  • “Have at least one crazy-interesting piece in every room! I learned that there is nothing like striking up a conversation with guests over an amazing, one-of-a-kind artwork or decorative accent. Now I’m always telling people to try and bring something fun into their home.” – Patrice

Modsy Designers

Good Things Take Time:

  • “Design your space right the first time around and don’t compromise on what you love or want. To me, this means it’s ok to take your time with your home design project and make purchases in stages. In the long run you will save money and you’ll have a home that makes you happy!” – Tara
  • “Don’t be afraid to buy what you love and get rid of piece that no longer suit you. Along your road of interior design, as you get older, you will be left with the pieces you love, and somehow they will always fit in your space!” – Ermelinda
  • “Don’t settle for something you don’t love. Fill your home with things that make you happy. You’ll love seeing them everyday.” – Allison

Modsy Designers


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