Year In Review: Revisit The 10 Best Bedrooms of 2021

At the end of each year, we like to look back at the design archives and get inspired all over again by the designs our team created this past year.

2021 has been another strange one, full of ups and downs. As a result, many of us took solace in our bedrooms. These spaces not only served as places to crash at the end of each day, but they offered a space to relax and recharge. Bedrooms are important rooms—now, more than ever.

Today, we’re looking back at our most-loved bedroom designs of 2021!

Coastal style blue bedroom

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1. Modern Coastal Bedroom

Coastal design is known for its relaxing and laid-back nature. We brought this style to life in a bedroom design, giving it a modern spin. Various shades of blue add a fresh and relaxing feel to this space. Modern furniture lines give this bedroom a contemporary and trendy vibe that still feels very approachable.

California casual style bedroom

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2. California Casual Bedroom

California casual style is all about refined-but-relaxed living. Sounds like an ideal style for a bedroom, right? In this design, a symmetrical layout elevates the space so it feels formal but still approachable. Modern elements mix with eclectic accents and rustic furniture to create the ultimate haven. And a bold, patterned rug grounds space, while the rest stays neutral and serene.

Eclectic bedroom with blue wallpaper

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3. Eclectic and Glam Bedroom

If you want your bedroom to make a major statement about your personality, take inspiration from this eclectic glam bedroom. The bold teal wallpaper sets the vibe in this space, giving it a major eclectic spin. It’s accented by sculptural elements, which add some glamorous flair—like the suede chair in spice, the fluted nightstand, and that stunning table lamp. The cane bed helps ground the space, while also popping against the wallpaper.

Miley Cyrus inspired black bedroom glam bedroom

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4. Miley Cyrus’ Bedroom

Inspired by her home tour in Architectural Digest, we recreated Miley Cyrus’ LA home in Modsy 3D. We love this dark, moody, and bold design based on her real-life bedroom. It embodies 80s glam at its finest, with contemporary accents to balance out the look. We love all the sculptural elements and how this bedroom is loaded with luxurious textures—making it a true retreat.

French country style bedroom with shiplap walls

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5. French Country Bedroom

French Country design is sophisticated, feminine, and warm. And we thought these were perfect attributes for a bedroom retreat. Ornate details throughout the space—from the carved furniture with turned legs to the scalloped, camelback headboard and beaded chandelier—create an elevated rustic look with loads of elegance.


light blue boho style bedroom

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6. Transitional Boho Bedroom

This curved rattan bed is a total showstopper. Combined with teal walls, it gives this bedroom a definite boho vibe. The pastel color palette feels fresh and youthful, while transitional accent furniture grounds the room in a timeless sensibility.

Modern rustic bedroom with white shiplap walls

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7. Modern Rustic Bedroom

This bedroom design brings to life the popular modern rustic design style. A simple color palette keeps the space relaxing, with pops of black adding just the right amount of contrast. Organic textures like caning, jute, copper, and natural wood give this bedroom depth and visual interest, making it oh-so-inviting.

Japandi style bedroom with dark gray-green walls

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8. Japandi-Inspired Bedroom

With the growth of the Japandi design trend, it only made sense to bring this style to life in a comfortable, organic bedroom. A neutral color palette with a moodier edge makes this space feel sophisticated and zen. Streamlined furniture adds to the minimal feel, while earthy accents and sculptural plants bring in the natural aspect of Japandi design.

Transitional style bedroom with blue walls

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9. Textural Transitional Bedroom

Transitional design can feel very relaxing—but at times it’s a bit too subdued. To give this transitional bedroom a bit more visual interest, style, and depth, we added a variety of textural accents throughout the space. To keep the bedroom feeling soothing and timeless, we opted for a simple-but-classic color palette of creams and blues, mixed with natural hues from wood and natural fibers.

Eclectic english style bedroom with avian wallpaper

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10. Eclectic English-Inspired Bedroom

This year, we helped Kate Arends, the blogger behind Wit & Delight, redesign her primary bedroom—and we’re obsessed with how it turned out. It’s a very unique and eclectic space which combines traditional and modern elements for a space that feels like a streamlined take on English country. The rich tones found in the mahogany wood bed, sage green walls, and black accents add depth to this space, while the mix of patterns is both tasteful and charming.

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Trend Spotlight: What is Cabincore Design and How to Get the Look?

Have you ever dreamed of buying an A-frame cabin in the woods, going off the grid, and enjoying a simple, cozy, nature-filled life? Well, first of all, you aren’t alone. The stressors of modern life have left all of us wanting to leave it all behind at some point or another. Second of all, if you like the idea of sneaking off to the woods, even if it’s just for a weekend, you might appreciate one of our new favorite interior design trends: Cabincore!

small cabin kitchen design with green cabinets, coffee nook, and a black retro Smeg fridge

What is Cabincore?

What exactly is Cabincore? It’s a design style that romanticizes the idea of cabin life and mountain cottages. It’s a look that’s definitely rooted in Rustic design, but it has a strong presence of industrial design too—as well as hints of modern and boho styles.

Cabincore started as a fashion “aesthetic,” growing in popularity on social media. But, as a style, it’s beginning to branch out into the interior design world. And we must say, it’s a look we’re absolutely loving. It’s the perfect way to give an old lake cabin a more modern vibe—or to inspire your own home with a more rustic, nature-inspired look!

Cabincore interior design features colors found in nature. You’ll see earthy greens like olive and sage, tones of terracotta and burnt orange, as well as some browns, reds, and blues. Since this style leans into the beauty of nature, there’s a big emphasis on using natural materials in a Cabincore space. However, the natural materials used aren’t your typical woven baskets and jute rugs. Instead, you’ll find more industrial-inspired natural materials like iron, stone, rough-hewn wood, and leather decor.

The combination of all these elements results in a rustic, log cabin-inspired look. It’s very cozy and features comfortable, worn-in furniture, lots of layered lighting, and soft finishing materials—all put together with a touch of eclecticism.

english countryside cabin red wall plaid pillow white couch

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What’s the Difference Between Cabincore and Cottagecore?

Cabincore and Cottagecore are similar design styles with parallel origin stories. Both are “aesthetic movements” that came out of internet culture and took root in both fashion and design. But they definitely aren’t two names for the same look.

While their “core” ideals are the same—both are about pursuing a life of simplicity with rural sensibilities—the aesthetic of each has a different vibe. What’s the difference? Cottagecore is more traditionally feminine, while Cabincore has a bit more of a masculine vibe. But there’s more to it than just that.

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Cottagecore interior design is inspired by the English countryside; it incorporates traditional design elements that are cozy, quaint, and charming. Furniture and decor has a lot of applied ornament and decoration—this is a style where you’ll see plenty of frills, skirted furniture, floral patterns, and lace. But it’s not on-the-nose traditional. The way it comes together visually is very eclectic. (Think the decor scheme of Rosehill cottage from Nancy Meyers’ classic film, The Holiday.)

Meanwhile, the Cabincore aesthetic is more pared down, with a rustic, industrial edge. This style features lots of raw materials but has a definite emphasis on coziness. (Though, more of an “A-Frame cabin in the woods” kind of cozy than the country coziness of Cottagecore.) There are lots of layered materials in this style, with a mix of both soft and industrial finishes.

living room fireplace cabin

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Cabincore Design Ideas

Want to see the Cabincore look brought to life? We asked our designers how they would channel the Cabincore aesthetic into room designs. Scroll down to see the 5 rooms they created!

rustic cabincore bedroom plaid drapes

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A Cozy Cabincore Reading Nook

Whether you have an actual cabin, or just want to bring some Cabincore vibes to a corner of your home, a Cabincore reading nook is a perfect way to bring this trend to life in a small way.

To create a cabin-inspired reading nook, look for cozy textures, classic patterns such as plaid and stripes, and home decor accents with an industrial edge. (Such as an iron wall sconce, like we have here.) Poufs and/or ottomans are a great add-on to a cozy reading nook. We chose a leather pouf and a rustic, woven stool—which can both act as footrests and extra seating options. Some landscape-inspired art helps drive home the vibe. And, of course you can’t have a reading nook without a cozy seating option. We love the idea of a small-but-comfy legless sofa to ground the space. Bonus points if you have hot coffee and some tunes close at hand!

rustic modern living room cabincore orange couch blue ottoman animal art

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A Transitional Cabincore Living Room

You might be inspired by the Cabincore trend but want a more livable style that is family-friendly and timeless. Or maybe you want a look that can easily transition between multiple styles in your space or adjust with small changes as your taste evolves. If that’s the case, we recommend trying a more transitional approach to the Cabincore trend, like the room pictured above.

A leather sectional, layered with cozy throw pillows, is the perfect way to achieve that cozy Cabincore vibe. But since leather is timeless and the shape of the sofa isn’t overly trendy, it’s a piece that can continue to work in your space for years, even if you leave the cabin-inspired look behind.

But don’t stop there if you want to lean into a Cabincore look! Layer in a soft rug, and opt for a tufted ottoman rather than a traditional coffee table for a more laid-back approach. A combination of rustic wall art and industrial light fixtures helps drive home the look without feeling overly trendy.industrial cabincore bedroom grey accent gallery wall

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An Eclectic-But-Cozy Bedroom

This space leans into the rustic, eclectic side of the Cabincore aesthetic. It has a look that’s collected and feels cozy and lived in. Darker colors give this bedroom a moody vibe, but splashes of red and blue add warmth to the color palette. This space also gets inspiration from an Americana industrial vibe that many modern cabins have. The trunk at the end of the bed gives a nod to that simplistic and industrial style while being quite practical in an actual cabin setting. (The perfect place to stow extra blankets or games!)

If you were recreating this look in an actual cabin or mountain home, you’d want to incorporate a lot of coziness and practicality. Rustic accents like the pillows and layered rugs do both, perfectly! Warm floors and extra blankets and pillows are great for colder climates and cabins, while also being quite stylish.

But you don’t have to live in a log cabin to bring home this look. In fact, it could easily work in many homes, as long as your space lends itself well to an eclectic or rustic decor style.rustic cabincore green chair living room

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An Industrial Modern Lounge Space

This approach to Cabincore leans into the industrial style found in a lot of modern mountain homes and lakeside cabins. But it also has an edge of that rustic, collected look, which is the heart of the Cabincore aesthetic. This means mixing modern elements, like the sleek coffee table and tapered legs of the mid-century-inspired side chair with “older” elements like a leather sofa with patina and that industrial, antique-inspired cabinet.

The key to pulling off this brand of Cabincore is to keep furniture neutral but darker in color. In a cabin, you want furniture that can handle some wear and tear (and some dirt being dragged in from outside) so stick with durable materials and upholstery (like leather) that ages well! Pair the dark furniture with layered colors in your accents, like poufs, rugs, pillows, and artwork. But not too much color! We gave this space a fairly limited color palette—but we used natural materials like leather, natural wood, wool rugs, shiplap walls, and woven wall hangings to add texture and keep it visually interesting.

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A Comfortable Gathering Space

This take on Cabincore is all about comfort—with a mind toward staying inside during cold weather and gathering around central areas. And in a cabin, that central area is usually around a fireplace! This acts not only as a focal point in a living space, but it also creates a cozy place to gather or relax. With a comfy chair next to a fireplace or wood-burning stove, you can enjoy a hot beverage, take in the view out the window, simply relax next to the fireplace, read a good book—whatever sounds most relaxing to you!

Cozy, layered rugs add extra plushness to this space, giving your feet a warm place to land while you sit near the fire or in the chair and read. But the sheepskin is so soft, you may want to sit or lay directly on the plush and comfy floor in front of the fireplace!

What else makes this gathering space extra cozy? The use of earth tones in the art, rugs, and accent furniture. The overall color palette is very simplistic and somewhat constrained, but the textures of the furniture and decor add depth and bring the rustic, collected look to life.

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Trend Glossary: The A-Z Guide to Popular Interior Design Trends

Every year we look back at the past year and look ahead to the coming year and make some predictions on what will be popular in the design world over the next year. With our 2021 design trend predictions, we anticipated the continuation of some trends that had already been growing in popularity, as well as forecasting some new design trends.

Here at Modsy, we love looking at trends, peeking under the hood at the psychology that drives them, and predicting the new interior design trends that will sweep the design world next. And, of course, we love sharing them with you!

With COVID-19 turning the whole world upside down, it induced many changes in interior design trends over the past year. With all these changes, we’ve enjoyed looking more broadly at the history of interior design trends, learning more about where they come from and why they die. And it got us thinking: there have been so many incredible interior design trends over the past decade. And we thought it would be fun to do a round-up of the major interior design trends of the 2010s and beyond. Take a walk down memory lane with us, won’t you??

Love a good trend? Read on for our A-Z guide of popular interior design trends!

interior design trends

Art Deco

Art Deco is a design trend that was born in the 1920s and has many resurgences in popularity over the decades. It had a big surge in popularity in the 1980s, and it started seeing newfound popularity again in 2020—100 years after it first hit the scene!

The Key Elements

Geometric Details: Art Deco spaces are big on geometric shapes and patterns. Starburst shapes and diamond patterns are especially popular. These geometric details show up in furniture, lighting, artwork, and accent decor.

Rich Color Palettes: Rooms designed in Art Deco style tend to have bold and moody color palettes made up of jewel tones—giving these spaces a dramatic flair. But you can also opt for lighter, more cheery palettes, like the bedroom pictured above where there are just pops of bold statement colors. High-contrast black and white palettes are also common in Art Deco spaces.

Luxurious Materials: Art Deco is a decidedly luxurious style—so luxurious materials that edge toward glam are a must. This involves plenty of metallics, as well as mirrored surfaces and textural fabrics like velvet.

The Current Verdict

This style continues to be reincarnated in new ways. Today, a modern approach to Art Deco involves mixing the key elements of this style with other design styles and eras, creating a look that’s eclectic and unique. So, as a pure style, Art Deco isn’t super trendy at the moment—but incorporating elements of this style within your home definitely is.

interior design trends

Biophilic Design

Biophilic Design is a celebration of nature in your home. Sometimes that looks like bringing in actual elements from nature (think: water, fire, natural light), other times it’s using nature’s color palette and materials as inspiration as you design your home. The whole point is to feel more connected to nature through design elements in your home—and to reap the positive health and environmental benefits that come with these natural design elements. With so much time spent at home in 2020, this trend majorly grew in popularity as people sought to feel more grounded and connected to the natural world.

The Key Elements

You can bring home the Biophilic Design trend through direct and indirect representations of nature.

Elements From Nature: You can bring home the biophilic design trend through direct and indirect representations of nature. What does this mean? Direct representations of nature means bringing in elements that are found in nature. This can mean decorating with houseplants, celebrating natural lighting, or incorporating water features and fire into your space.

Indirect Representations of Nature: Aside from literal natural elements, you can also explore Biophilic Design through indirect representations of nature. This could mean hanging nature-inspired artwork, the use of natural materials and textures in your furniture and decor, incorporating organic shapes into your home, or using an earth-tone color palette in your space.

The Current Verdict

This is one of the most popular interior design trends of 2021. With so much time spent staring at screens, there’s something grounding about having natural and nature-inspired elements throughout your home. We anticipate that this trend will stay strong for quite a while.


interior design trends

Boho or Bohemian

Bohemian interior design has been popular throughout the 2000s—but there isn’t just one way to approach this style, which we love. There are truly so many ways you can bring this look to life. This colorful, eclectic look has global flair and a collected vibe.

The Key Elements

Bold Color Palettes: There isn’t just one color palette that Bohemian spaces tend to have. While a mix of pinks, greens, and blues is always popular in boho spaces, you can bring this style to life with just about any type of color palette, as long as there’s an element of boldness in the colors you choose.

Layered Patterns, Textures, and Materials: Boho design is a truly eclectic, collected style. This requires a lot of layering to give the sense of a space that was created over time. Boho spaces tend to be big on natural textures and a mix of materials so there’s a lot of visual and tactile contrast within the space. Layering different patterns adds even more visual interest to your space and is a great way to bring in color and let your personality shine.

Unique Furniture and Decor: Bohemian spaces don’t have one singular furniture or decor style. Rather, they feature an eclectic mix that helps achieve a more unique look. Flea market antique store finds are a great way to bring in unique furniture and decor that will help personalize your space.

The Current Verdict

This is one of those styles that has become an evergreen trend. It’s no longer just an “of-the-moment” style but has transcended the trend cycle to live on as a timeless way to let unique, invidvisual style shine throughout the years. However, we did see more people embracing this eclectic style in 2020 as they wanted to create a home space that more closely reflected what they love and what makes them unique.
interior design trends

California Casual

California Casual is a modern-leaning, rustic-inspired trend that showed up in the 2010s. It’s a look that was popularized by design studios like Amber Interiors. It has an easy, approachable eclecticism to it that’s become a mainstream and coveted look.

The Key Elements

Modern Rustic Influences: This style is actually a derivative of Modern Rustic, but with a more laid back West Coast vibe. So, comfort should be a top priority for these spaces. In terms of furniture, you’ll see plenty of modern forms but in more rustic finishes. The color scheme of a California Casual space is also inspired by Modern Rustic, with a lot of high-contrast neutrals throughout.

Eclectic Elements: California Casual has an eclectic look to it, with furniture and decor that has a sense of being collected over time. Accent furniture has unique shapes and details while decor is a great way to show off your personality and meaningful objects. This adds character to a California Casual space.

The Current Verdict

This is still a sought-after look—but it’s not at the top of the trending looks at the moment. Since it’s been a popular look for the better part of the 2010s, it’s in that space where it’s potentially transitioning from trend to timeless—but only time will tell!

interior design trends


Coastal is a laid back but polished design style that has a super welcoming vibe. Don’t confuse it with nautical design though; nautical is a more kitschy, themed style with decor full of anchors, seashells, and boats. Coastal design, one the other hand, is simply a casual, beachy look that can come to life in so many different ways. While this design style has been around for decades as a style that many beach homes were decorated in, it rose to a broader popularity in the 1980s. The Golden Girls showed off a tropical-inspired take on Coastal design which captured social consciousness. In the past decade, there’s been a resurgence in popularity of Golden Girls-inspired coastal—as well as a Nantucket-inspired take on coastal design and the more casual California coastal style.

The Key Elements

Light and Airy: A Coastal space should have as much natural light coming in as possible. Since it’s a beachy style, it just begs to be dappled in sunlight. But beyond natural light, the whole coastal aesthetic is light and airy—relying on a more neutral color palette of whites, creams, taupes, and sandy browns, with pops of cheerful blues, yellows, or greens to add a little contrast.

Natural Elements: From chairs with rattan, wicker, or caning to weathered woods and natural fiber rugs, a Coastal home features tons of natural elements. This adds textural contrast to the neutral color palette and helps visually bring in the textural quality of a beach.

Laid Back: When you’re on the beach, nothing is too formal. And the same goes for a home decorated in Coastal style. Wicker or rattan chairs, slipcovered sofas, and reclaimed wood tables help give Coastal spaces a laid back, casual vibe that makes you want to hang out and stay a while.

The Current Verdict

Coastal style has become way more than a trend. It’s become a timeless look that has a multitude of fans. This style has officially transitioned from trend to “around to stay.” However, certain “versions” of Coastal design rise and fall in popularity. Right now, one of the most popular takes is Modern Coastal, a West-Coast-inspired style.

Cottagecore bedroom with floral curtains and vintage style rug


Cottagecore is a trend that’s rooted in a more traditional and rustic aesthetic, with a laid-back and comfort-forward style. But Cottagecore really isn’t just a design trend but a lifestyle aesthetic born on the internet. It’s all about embracing the idea of simple countryside living. It first showed up in the 2010s through sites like Tumblr, with people sharing nostalgic, rural-inspired images. From there, it grew into home design, decor, and fashion trends.

The Key Elements

Granny Chic: Cottagecore effortlessly blends traditional, rustic, classic, and eclectic design elements into a look that has some major granny chic vibes (in a good way). This design style loads up on floral patterns and rustic-style furniture for a look that has some major countryside cottage vibes. Overall, this is a style that should feel comfortable and cozy.

Bold Colors: There’s something decidedly British about this style—so a mix of washed-out neutrals and darker, saturated hues help bring this look to life. This can show up in wall colors, artwork, and even furniture pieces like accent chairs.

Vintage Vibes: An English countryside cottage isn’t full of new furniture; rather, it tends to have a look that’s collected and built over time. So, a home designed in the Cottagecore aesthetic should take a similar approach. Scour your local flea market and antique stores for unique vintage or antique furniture and art to give your space that more collected vibe.

The Current Verdict

Cottagecore is still at peak popularity thanks to social media sites like Tik-Tok and Instagram, where Cottagecore diehards continue to share their love of idyllic, rural living.

interior design trends


Grandmillenial, like Cottagecore, is more of a lifestyle movement than specifically an interior design trend—but it’s found footing in interiors. Born on the internet, this style is seen almost as a rebellion against Mid-Century Modern interiors. As its name suggests, it was popularized by the millennial crowd that’s finding inspiration from older design styles and decorative elements. Within the interior design vertical, it has connections to Colonial Americana design, but in a much more of-the-moment take.

The Key Elements

Classical Influences: Grandmillenial interior design leans more classical and formal in its design influences. You’ll find a smattering of antiques and heirloom pieces in this style, which help establish the more elegant and formal feel to a Grandmillenial space. (This is also where it overlaps with the more Traditional trends in this round-up.) But even the more modern pieces—like the teal velvet sofa pictured above—have a classical shape. There’s a fun blend of old and new in this style.

A Sense of Playfulness: There’s also a lighthearted playfulness that’s inherent to this style. You’ll see bright colors and fun patterns throughout a Grandmillenial space. Florals are huge in this style, but you’ll also see other vintage-inspired patterns like toile, damask, and chinoiserie. And in terms of decor, it’s all about letting your personality shine through trinkets and styled surfaces.

The Current Verdict

This trend came onto the scene in 2019 is still a big among the millennial crowd. There’s a bucking against the popularity of the Mid-Century Modern trend in this look—with more ornate design details and more going on visually in terms of patterns and decor. This is a trend embraced by millennials who grew up during the boom of mass market furniture production and the popularity of furniture sets; this age demographic now have homes of their own to decorate and are going for a more unique and collected approach to design.

interior design trends


An offshoot of Scandinavian design, Hygge-inspired design (pronounced hoo-gah) mixes in some rustic elements with Scandinavian design foundations for a look that’s all about cozy comfort. This style started trending in 2017 as this Danish-inspired concept of coziness became popular.

The Key Elements

Scandinavian-Inspired Furniture: Use Scandinavian design as a starting point for furniture in a Hygge home. Think: clean lines and minimal forms. In terms of materials, look for furniture made of natural materials like woven materials, stone, and light-colored wood. These textures and materials add a sense of rustic comfort to a Hygge home. But make sure furniture is also comfortable. Adding plush textures will add warmth to the clean-lined furniture.

Embrace the Calm: Hygge is all about coziness and creating a sense of calm in your home space. A neutral color palette offers a perfect backdrop for this style. Start with bright whites, then layer in off-whites and browns to soften the look. Pile on plenty of pillows and throws to sofas and beds to increase the calm, cozy factor, and keep decor and tabletop styling simple.

Ambiance: If you have a fireplace, make that a focal point in whatever room it’s in. And either way, layer in plenty of candles to create a cozy ambiance in every room—from your bedroom to the living and dining rooms.

The Current Verdict

This Scandinavian Rustic aesthetic has been going strong ever since, even though the popularity of the term hygge has died down. People are still looking to transform their homes into havens of comfort and warmth, and Hygge design is a perfect vehicle for that.interior design trends

Indoor Plants

Houseplants are a simple way to add color, texture, and life to your home. With so many different types of houseplants out there, it’s pretty easy to find the right match for both your style and skill level. Since houseplants range from teeny tiny to huge, there are also endless plant styles (both faux and real) to suit the space you’d like to fill with a plant.

The Key Elements

Compatible With Your Lifestyle: When choosing houseplants, you want to consider the lighting levels in your home, if you’re historically good at keeping plants alive, and if you have any kids or pets (some plants are toxic if ingested!). This will help you choose the plant that’s right for you.

Personal Style: Once you’ve honed in on the types of plants that will work best in your home and with your lifestyle, you can narrow in on the style of plant you want. Do you prefer a hanging, viney plant? A tall, lush fiddle leaf fig? An arrangement of succulents? A vase of dried pampas grass? From tropical to desert plants, and everything in between, you can find plant styles that suit the vibe of your space.

The Current Verdict

Decorating your home with houseplants started getting popular with the rise of Instagram in the 2010s. (Remember the hashtag #plantsmakepeoplehappy?) Succulents had their heyday around 2014/2015, and since then indoor plants of all kinds have been a staple in the interior design world.

interior design trends


Japandi interior design is a 2020 derivative of Scandinavian Modernism. It sits at the crossroads between minimalism and organic modernism—taking the clean lines and modernism of Scandinavian design and mixing it with the warmth, ease, and simplicity that Japanese style is known for. The result is a peaceful and inviting style that feels both cozy and relaxing.

The Key Elements

Spa Vibes: Japandi design uses both visual and tactile elements to create a soothing environment—evoking similar feelings to what you’d experience at a spa. This comes to life through the use of natural materials (like raw, live-edge wood furniture, aged leather, and stone accent furniture) and a more neutral, earth-tone color palette.

Modern But Comfortable Furniture: Furniture in a Japandi space should have simple, modern lines. But don’t skew too modern. Rather, balance modern lines with a focus on comfort. After all, the whole point of Japandi design is to create a space where you can truly relax and re-center yourself.

The Current Verdict

This trend hit the scene in 2020, spurred on by the pandemic and people’s quest for clean, minimal, and soothing interiors. (This trend stands in stark contrast to the more ornamental trends of 2020, like Grandmillenial and Cottagecore.) With so much time spent at home, some people sought to transform their homes into peaceful sanctuaries. With Japandi’s minimalist aesthetic but organic warmth, it’s a style that struck the perfect balance—and as a result, is still very much in the trend spotlight today.

interior design trends

Mid-Century Modern

Mid-Century Modern is a design style that was born in the 1950s and quickly became a popular look. This style features organic shapes paired with clean lines for a look that feels polished but super livable. Mid-Century interiors are comfortable, encouraging lounging, relaxation, and conversation—making this a very approachable, livable style. It had a resurgence in popularity in the 2000s with GenX, and over the past 20 years or so it has re-emerged and embraced by the masses, becoming one of the most popular interior design styles out there.

The Key Elements

Simple, organic shapes: Mid-Century Modern style prioritizes comfort, and true Mid-Century furniture has a sense of cradling the body, with soft, rounded edges. It also tends to have minimal ornamentation beyond the shape of the piece. You’ll often see tapered or hairpin legs on furniture in a Mid-Century living room, raising these pieces off the ground and giving them a clean look.

Warm wood tones: It’s not Mid-Century Modern if you don’t have a good dose of natural wood in your space. Mid-tone woods like teak or an acorn finish are the most popular for this style, but a walnut finish or blonde wood also work with this style and can give you space a more warm or cool tone.

Bold colors and geometric shapes: Typically, you’ll find pops of bold primary colors throughout a Mid-Century space This doesn’t mean you have to go all-out with color—but pops of teals, reds, oranges, yellows, or greens will go a long way. And don’t be afraid of patterns; graphic patterns with geometric and organic designs are perfect for this style. Shapes and patterns like diamonds, starbursts, boomerangs, half-circles, and line drawings are popular choices to help bring this style to life.

The Current Verdict

At this point, Mid-Century Modern is more than a trend. It’s gone through different phases, and various peaks in popularity—but it’s a design style that remains incredibly popular. While some specific pieces and designs may feel overused and tired (think Eames lounge chair), today, Mid-Century Modern has cemented its place as a timeless style more than a fleeting trend.

Want to learn more about this style? Check out our podcast episode where we delve into why the world is so obsessed with Mid-Century Modern design.interior design trends

Minimalist Maximalist

Here’s a striking style. Minimalist Maximalist may sound like an oxymoron—but it’s actually a design style that has a bold duality and sits at the crossroads of minimalist design principles and the maximalist’s love for visual stimulation. It came onto the scene in the second half of 2019, a time when so many people were embracing the idea of tidying up and paring down with Marie Kondo. At the same time, the 80s Revival trend was showing up in a big way. And in our estimation, that’s how this trend was born—with the melding of these two styles and mindsets, giving us the best of both worlds.

The Key Elements

Strong Forms: With both furniture and decor, look for sculptural pieces that make a statement. The way this style approaches decorating is simple: the bolder the design of an object, the fewer things you need to fill your space. Look for rounded or curved sofas, an angular chair, a sculptural light fixture. This can also mean choosing luxe materials and opulent finishes. Don’t be afraid of having several statement pieces in one room.

Edit: The minimalist principles of this design style come in with the idea of “less is more.” Rooms and surfaces should be minimally styled, featuring only pieces you truly want in the space and that have meaning to you. Since the statement pieces we mentioned above are, well, making a statement in the space, you don’t need much else cluttering up the room.

The Current Verdict

After the unpredictability of 2020, this trend fell out of favor. Those looking for a minimalist style favored more organic and natural approaches rather than the bold opulence of Minimalist Maximalist. It’s simply no longer a practical style for those spending increased time at home.interior design trends

Modern Farmhouse

Chip and Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper get all the credit for bringing Modern Farmhouse to the forefront of trendy styles in the 2010s. This style features modern design elements mixed with a relaxed farmhouse aesthetic. It’s a cozy, comfortable style with a modern edge.

The Key Elements

Comfortable Furniture: Because of how livable this style is, the furniture in Modern Farmhouse spaces should definitely focus on comfort. Especially your sofa, bed, and any accent chairs! At the same time, choose pieces that have a sleek, modern shape to keep things from looking too rustic or traditional.

Neutral, High-Contrast Color Palette: There’s not one right way to pull off Modern Farmhouse style—but in general, these spaces have neutral color palettes that are more high-contrast. So, use whites and beiges throughout, accented with blacks and dark browns. A mix of neutrals keeps this style from feeling too eclectic, while the darker accents help drive home the modern vibe.

Industrial Accents: Industrial design adds a sculptural, architectural element to Modern Farmhouse spaces. You’ll especially see industrial accents show up in light fixtures and smaller accent pieces.

The Current Verdict

There are no signs of Modern Farmhouse going away any time soon. That being said, while it was one of the most popular design styles out there a few years ago, it’s no longer at the top of the trendy list. But as long as Chip and Jo keep doing their thing, we’re predicting this style will continue to sit in the spotlight!interior design trends

Modern Rustic

Modern Rustic is another design style that’s a derivative of Mid-Century Modern. It showed up in the late 2010s, mixing mid-century elements with a more rustic look that was coming into style. The result is a look that’s comfortable, approachable, and warm—but with some modern sensibilities. (This look is a close cousin of Modern Farmhouse, though there are some definite differences.)

The Key Elements

Streamlined Forms: Since this style has a foundation in Mid-Century design, you’ll notice that furniture forms in Modern Rustic homes tend to have organic and streamlined forms and tapered legs.

Rustic Materials: The rustic design elements come in through materials and finishes. Modern Rustic spaces tend to have a mix of natural materials and rustic finishes, like weathered woods, antiqued brass, leather, jute, and linen. These materials help give this style a more informal vibe.

Neutral But Warm Palette: Modern Rustic spaces tend to have more neutral color palettes, but with warm undertones. When colors are used, they tend to be more in the earth tone family, which complements warm neutrals as well as all the natural materials.

The Current Verdict

Modern Rustic style is still going strong and is a popular iteration of Mid-Century Modern still!

interior design trends

Natural Materials and Textures

Throughout the decades, natural materials have always been used in home design. But in the second half of the 20th century, man made and manufactured materials became popular and edged out some of the mainstream use of natural materials. However, over the past five years or so, we’ve seen the trend of decorating with natural materials and textures—especially woven materials—grow in popularity.

The Key Elements

You’ll know this when you see it. But some simple ways to incorporate natural materials and textures is through natural-fiber rugs; woven poufs, ottomans, baskets, and light fixtures; natural wood tables, and rattan furniture or pieces with caning details.

The Current Verdict

The interior design trend of using natural materials and textures has started cropping up on the trend radar over the past several years. In fact, it has been on every trend report we’ve made at Modsy, and it doesn’t seem to be going away! As our lives become more dependent on technology, we’re guessing that this growing trend is somewhat of a reaction to our constant connection, inviting more of the natural world inside our homes to balance it out. That being said, we think this trend will stick around for a while.

interior design trends

New Traditional

A mix of modern and traditional design styles, New Traditional was an early trend in the traditional design revival. It takes the comfortable nature and classic shapes and color palettes of traditional design, but with a streamlined, updated take. The result is a style that feels both timeless and contemporary.

The Key Elements

Traditional Staples: In a New Traditional space, you’ll find a lot of the mainstays of traditional design—darker wood finishes, a classic blue and white color palette, well-known shapes like wingback chairs, and roll-arm sofas, and perhaps even a few antiques. These are the elements that put this design style squarely in the traditional camp.

Unexpected Elements: To keep this style from feeling too on-the-nose traditional, a few unexpected elements are needed—like a pair of director’s stools at the end of the bed rather than a bench or an industrial light fixture. Pieces like these help modernize the aesthetic.

The Current Verdict

New Traditional is no longer the most popular traditional trend on the block. But there are some trendier iterations of this style showing up this year—our favorite take being Modern Manor style. This style not only combines traditional design principles with cleaner, modern lines—but it also incorporates some classical design elements. It’s a slightly more regal and elevated take on New Traditional.

interior design trends

Organic Modernism

Organic Modernism is another spin-off of the Mid-Century Modern trend. This approach, however, has more of an emphasis on nature and organic forms. It also incorporates elements of Scandinavian design and minimalism. This style began growing in popularity at the same time the use of natural materials started trending, but it really hit the spotlight near the end of 2019.

The Key Elements

Go Organic: We’re not talking about produce here. By organic, we’re referring to materials (aka natural materials), colors, shapes, and textures. You’ll see tons of natural materials and woven textures in an Organic Modern space. They also tend to have neutral color palettes to create a really calming, grounding space; but when color is used, it tends to be in the earth tone family. Organic shapes show up in furniture forms that feature curvy silhouettes and rounded edges.

Modern and Minimal: The foundation of this design style is built on modern lines and minimalist styling principles. So, look for furniture that has simple, clean lines; tapered legs; and soft, approachable upholstery and finishes. Rather than focusing too much on decor and styling, let natural textures serve as the vehicle for adding warmth and visual impact to your space. When you do want a little extra decoration, opt for houseplants rather than decorative objects.

The Current Verdict

Organic Modernism is still very much on-trend—but it’s a look that tends to fly under the radar. As Mid-Century design has evolved, many people are gravitating toward this more natural and organic approach, which has now become a pretty timeless look.interior design trends

Traditional Comfort

In the past year, Traditional design has stepped back into the spotlight in a huge way—but this design style has actually been rising in popularity for the past decade. Traditional design is just that—traditional. It’s an understated and somewhat casual style that pulls inspiration from Colonial and Craftsman interiors; and, more recently, it’s also inspired by the 1990s take on tradition. The Traditional Comfort trend takes all the best parts of traditional interior design, but with a slightly more modern facelift.

The Key Elements

All About Comfort: Comfort is in the name of this trend, after all. So, steer away from stiff chairs and sofas, and opt for styles you can sink into.

Traditional Silhouettes and Motifs: From classic wingback chairs to slipcovered sofas and spindle bed frames, furniture in a Traditional Comfort space should have a more classic vibe but with a comfortable upholstery or warm finish. Think: straight lines, plush materials, patinated leather, and mixed wood finishes. A mix of traditional stripes and florals will also play up the traditional vibe while also being super approachable.

Antiques and Dark Wood Finishes: Decorating with antiques is no longer something just your grandmother does to fill her home. Tired of seeing the same cookie-cutter Mid-Century Modern furniture over and over again, many millennials are turning to antiques to give their homes a unique flair with a traditional foundation. And there’s something to be said for the sustainable alternative to buying brand new furniture that antiques offer! If scouring for antiques isn’t your thing, you can bring in a similar vibe with traditional furniture shapes in dark wood finishes, which is the finish of most popular antique pieces at the moment.

The Current Verdict

Traditional Comfort is a very recent trend ushered in by the increased popularity of antiques and traditional furniture. We also see the traditional trend showing up as a result of our world feeling less and less stable over the past few years; during times of uncertainty, popular tastes tend to shift toward styles we consider more stable and enduring versus future-oriented and cutting-edge.interior design trends

Scandinavian Modern

Scandinavian interior design is the lesser-known cousin of the Mid-Century Modern trend—but they have similar roots. As a trend, Scandinavian design is having a resurgence of popularity in the 21st century as people grow tired of the more mainstream Mid-Century Modern icons. They have a similar vibe, but Scandinavian has a more natural, organic aesthetic that feels fresh.

The Key Elements

Minimalist Vibes: This style has a decidedly minimalist aesthetic. This means both that furniture will have more simple, minimalist forms and that the overall styling of a Scandinavian space will be more spare, with a function-over-form approach.

Visual Warmth: Scandiavian-design homes tend to have a pretty neutral color palette. That, combined with a minimalist aesthetic, could leave a home feeling pretty cold and spare. That’s why layering in finishes and textures that add visual warmth is so important. Warm wood tones is the main way you can do this. Anything from a blonde wood to acorn finish suits the aesthetic of a Scandinavian home, though different wood finishes will give the space different vibes. But you can also add visual warmth through layered rugs and sheepskins and natural materials.

The Current Verdict

With the popularity of natural materials, it makes sense that Scandinavian Modern design has eclipsed Mid-Century Modern in popularity at the moment. These two styles were born in the same time period, and their overall aesthetic is very similar. But with a more natural, neutral, and minimal vibe, Scandinavian is currently sitting in the trend spotlight as the more popular take of the two.Art Decor style bedroom with a pink and turquoise color palette

80s Revival

In the late 2010s, 1980s-inspired design showed up on the trend radar in a big way and it has continued to sit at the top of the charts. This 80s Revival style takes all the best parts of interior design elements that were popular in the 80s but remixed them in a fresh way. A mixture of bold Art Deco and Memphis style had a big moment.

The Key Elements

Bold Color Palettes: Reminiscent of the ubiquitous Memphis style of the 1980s, 80s Revival calls for bold use of color. This can be a mix of primary colors, or a mix like the teals, pinks, and yellows in the bedroom above.

Geometric Forms: Going hand-in-hand with bold colors is the use of geometric forms throughout an 80s Revival space. You can probably picture the bright-colored triangles, circles, and squiggles from the 1980s design. Use those shapes and colors as inspiration, but give them a modern format—like a piece of framed wall art, a colorful rug, or simply mimic these shapes through sculptural furniture forms.

The Current Verdict

This turn toward the more loud design of the 80s—full of bold colors and chunky forms—was yet another rebellion against the acorn woods, sleek frames, and tapered legs of the early-2010s Instagram interiors. It offered a bold new look that felt unique and fresh. Its time at the top of the trend charts might be winding down—but we’ll forever treasure this fun moment of time in the interior design trend cycle.

interior design trends

90s Revival

For those who grew up in the 90s, you’re probably starting to notice something familiar. Design trends are hitting the 30-year cycle, and 90s style is back. What is 90s interior design style, exactly? Think early Pottery Barn, Monica and Rachel’s apartment in Friends. The houses from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Full House. Probably even the home you grew up in. It’s a look that’s full of pastels, florals, wicker furniture, and lots of “romantic” details. This comfortable, traditional aesthetic is actually where today’s take on Traditional stems from. And this look found easy roots in 2020 when people were already receptive and moving toward a more traditional design style.

The Key Elements

Comfortable Foundations: Since 90s style has a more comfortable (if not somewhat mass-produced) vibe, pulling off this look definitely requires prioritizing comfort in your foundational furniture. Look for a sofa that lets you kick back and lounge. An accent chair you can really sink into. A cozy, comfy bed. Comfort should come first, with style following.

Decorative Details: In the 90s, there were tons of decorative details in home decor—from ruffles and frills to an explosion of florals. Some might call it chintz, others might call it chic, but regardless of your opinion, those design elements were loud and in your face. With the 90s Revival style, similar decorative details are showing up, but in more subtle ways. A gentle ruffle-hem on a sofa. A traditionally inspired floral pattern on a rug. An updated canopy bed for a little bit of romance. There are tons of ways to bring these details to life!

The Current Verdict

The 90s aesthetic is going strong! In interior design, yes, but also in the fashion world. And, frankly, the recent premiere of the Friends reunion only helped this trend grow. 90s nostalgia is in full swing, and probably will be at least for the rest of the year—making this one of the major trends for 2021.

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My Modsy Story: How Wit & Delight Conquered a Creative Block With Expert Help From Modsy

Wit & Delight blogger and designer, Kate Arends, knows style and regularly provides her 30 million followers with guidance on self-care, beauty, fashion, and decor. But when the style polymath found herself overwhelmed with choices for her bedroom design project, she turned to Modsy for some expert collaboration.

Wit and Delight Founder

Homeowner: Kate Arrends

Spaces:  Bedroom

Wit and Delight master bedroom before image

Wit and Delight master bedroom before image

The Backstory

Kate Arends, founder of the popular blog Wit & Delight, enjoys tackling design projects on her own and sharing her wins with her followers online. She’s spent the past year conquering one design project after another in her home, documenting it all on her blog and Instagram. And while she certainly takes input from her husband, Joe, she tends to take the lead when it comes to their home’s design.

“Running solo has always felt simpler to me than relying on others—especially when it comes to design. I tend to have a specific idea I’m chasing and, admittedly, I’m not always the best at communicating my vision. So, it’s always been easier to do it myself.”

wit & delight

The Design Dilemma

When Kate finally got around to designing her main bedroom, she found herself overloaded with too many ideas for the space. She was dissatisfied with her bedroom not feeling “grown up” enough; she wanted it to be a space that could feel restful and rejuvenating—while still being kid-inclusive; she wanted more storage and matching nightstands. But weaving together all of those ideas and solutions on her own started feeling overwhelming… What she needed was a sounding board to bounce her ideas off of and get a second opinion on how to bring them all together.

Wit and Delight master bedroom eclectic design

“For the last year, I’ve been designing and making changes to the house here and there. Eventually, decision paralysis crept in. I grew exhausted with making all the design decisions. I needed to find someone to work with who would understand my design needs and walk through the process with me.”

wit & delight

The Modsy Moment

Having collaborated with Modsy on a past design project, Kate knew that what she needed was  to work with an expert designer who would understand her desire for collaboration. She was also excited about trying on different ideas for the space in 3D to ensure she got everything just right—like a beautiful traditional-style wallpaper she’d found and a woven rattan pendant light that was her inspiration for the rest of the room.

wit & delight

“In our last home, I worked with Modsy to assist in designing our living room, and I thought they’d be a great partner to help finalize the look of our main bedroom. What I liked about working with Modsy was just that—the act of working with them throughout the process. I don’t have to completely hand over the project or design, or compromise my original vision when working with Modsy. Instead, I have a collaborative partner to help with the design roadblocks and do some heavy lifting.”

wit & delight

Kate’s design vision started to take shape once she talked one-on-one with her designer. They decided to go in a more traditional design direction, with elements of the Cottagecore trend, as well as some modern elements throughout the space. Going over inspirational images and chatting about the project in detail was a relief after flying solo for so long.

“I can’t tell you how nice it was to have a conversation with someone who spoke the same language and understood what I wanted for the room.”

“After sharing some moodboards, pictures, and bedroom measurements, my designer was off and running. I can’t tell you how nice it was to have a conversation with someone who spoke the same language and understood what I wanted for the room, even when I had trouble communicating exactly what it was I was looking for.”

Wit and Delight master bedroom eclectic design

The Real Results

Kate’s bedroom has gone from being a frustrating, overwhelming project to a fully realized space that brings her joy.

“I love how this room turned out. I love how it feels like an escape at the end of the day, and a relaxing place to wake in the morning. I love that my kids love hanging out here with us. I love that we can watch movies together, read books, and just spend time together. To me, that’s a successful room redesign!

Modsy can select the perfect pieces for your space. They’re perfect for anyone looking to update the look of their space, no matter what stage you are in—whether you’re starting from a blank canvas or selecting the final accent pieces for your room.”


“I love how this room turned out. I love how it feels like an escape at the end of the day, and a relaxing place to wake in the morning.”

Wit and Delight master bedroom eclectic design

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Biophilic Design for Beginners: 17 Ways to Incorporate Biophilic Design into Your Home

At the beginning of the year, we predicted that biophilic design would be a 2021 interior design trend to look out for. Spoiler alert: biophilic design is one of the year’s biggest trends! But what is biophilic design exactly? Let’s take a closer look at biophilic design and how you can incorporate it into your home.

What is Biophilic Interior Design?

You may not be familiar with the term, but biophilic design is a concept in architecture and interior design that’s all about feeling more connected to nature and embracing the positive health and environmental benefits that come with that. It comes from the term biophilia, which means a love of nature and everything that is alive.

As an architecture and interior design approach, biophilic design is a relatively new concept—with much of today’s approach developed by Stephen Kellert in the 2000s. Kellert was a professor of social ecology at Yale and created a framework around how biophilia can be used in interior architecture to fill the human need for nature.

The core principles Kellert developed include direct and indirect experiences of nature in your home. Direct experiences include elements that offer tangible contact with natural elements—like celebrating natural light; being conscious of airflow, temperature, and humidity; and incorporating water, plants, and animals into your space. Indirect experiences of nature are more about representations of nature in your home. Examples of this can range from the more literal, like landscape paintings and the use of natural materials and colors, to the more abstract like the use of natural shapes and patterns in furniture and decor.

biophilic design

How to Incorporate Biophilic Design into Your Home

It’s easier than you might think to apply these core principles of biophilic design in your home. If you want to increase your connectivity with nature in your own home, read on for 17 ways to incorporate biophilic design into your home! We’ll start with some tips that will help you bring some direct experiences of nature into your home, then help you explore some indirect experiences of nature in your space.

Biophilic design living room with casual seating area

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1. Invite Natural, Layered Lighting

Make your home’s environment feel more natural through lighting that simulates nature. Start by assessing the natural light in your space and how you can use windows and skylights to optimize your home’s natural lighting. Arrange your space in a way that celebrates the different lighting throughout the day; perhaps you want your sofa to bask in the afternoon sunlight or for your breakfast nook to catch the morning light. Take some time to assess the light patterns in your home and plan your layout accordingly.

You’ll also want to keep layered lighting in mind—from overhead lighting and floor lamps to a variety of candles, sconces, and table lamps. Intentionally choosing lighting for your home will help you have more control of the lighting in your space and let you change lighting levels depending on your mood and the time of day. Rather than feeling artificial, this lets you change the lighting in your home in a way that mimics the way light changes in nature throughout the day.

You can also use reflective surfaces like glass tables and mirrors to bring more reflection of light into your space.

Biophilic design dining room

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2. Let in Some Fresh Air

Considering the way air moves in your space is a significant way to incorporate biophilic design into your home. In the simplest terms, this involves stimulating some airflow. The most natural way to do this is to simply crack a window and let in the natural breeze. (Bonus: depending on where you live, this will also invite sounds of nature inside!) For rooms without windows air flow or on days you don’t want to crack a window, you can use a fan for a subtle breeze. (We love the look of a vintage desk fan, but ceiling fans are also great!)

Temperature and humidity are other things to consider when it comes to the air in your home. How you approach this is up to your personal preferences (some people love humidity and hot temps, others don’t). But using humidifiers or diffusers are two ways to impact the air quality and your experience of it in your space.

Biophilic design mid-century living room

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3. Incorporate Houseplants and Flowers

Ever wonder why people say that plants make them happy? This idea is straight out of the biophilic design playbook. If images of nature are beneficial, the real thing is even better. Meaning: the more plants, the merrier! This is a simple way to directly invite nature into your home! But there are some other benefits as well—certain houseplants help clean your air, and taking care of plants and taking the time and effort to nurture them can give you a sense of purpose (without the commitment-level of caring for an animal!). And, of course, you can’t beat a vase of fresh farmer’s market flowers!

biophilic design

4. Play With Fire

Fire offers a direct experience of nature, and as such it is pleasing to the human eye—offering color warmth, and movement to your space. If you have a fireplace in your home, you have an easy way to incorporate some flames. Don’t have a fireplace but craving those cozy vibes? You can always install a gas fireplace into your home! But if a fireplace isn’t possible, lighting candles throughout the house—on your desk while you’re working, on the coffee table during movie nights, or at the dining table—is a simple but impactful way to spark some natural coziness in your space.

5. Bring in a Water Feature

Some people feel strong connections to water. If this is you, consider ways you could incorporate this element into your home. Two of the easiest ways to naturally incorporate water? The use of a water feature, like a tabletop fountain, or a saltwater aquarium. They not only literally bring water into your space, but they also bring in the sound of flowing water!

Biophilic design boho bedroom

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6. Display Images of Nature

Don’t have a great view? Create one! Some studies have shown that images of nature can be emotionally and intellectually satisfying. Hanging landscape paintings or framing photographs from your own travels are a perfect way to bring images of nature into your space. Photos or artwork of places that hold special significance to you are an especially meaningful way to bring this idea to life.

If you don’t want to go quite so literal on the landscapes, you can try other nature-inspired art—like botanical prints or animal art.

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Biophilic design transitional living room

7. Incorporate Natural Materials

A super easy way to jump on the biophilic design bandwagon? Use natural materials in your decor and furniture, and even the finishes throughout your home. This can be really simple—a wood dining or coffee table, a jute rug, a stone side table. Live-edge and raw, unfinished woods will give you a more natural vibe than finished and manufactured wood—but both approaches will still bring visual texture and depth into your space. But don’t stop at wood; explore other natural materials like stone (think: granite, marble, concrete) as well as woven natural fibers like wool, jute, cotton.

Visual complexity and lack of uniformity, which are found in abundance in nature, makes environments more visually stimulating, versus the uniformity of man-made materials. This essentially gives your brain more to “chew on.”

biophilic design

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8. Embrace Earth Tones

Using a neutral or earth-tone palette in your home is a subtle way to bring some nature into your space. Consider colors commonly found in nature, like subdued tones of brown, green, and blue. These earth tones have soothing vibes and act as neutrals throughout your space, while still feeling bold and saturated. Incorporate these hues into your home through decor, furnishings, and finishes like flooring and paint colors. In contrast, use brighter colors sparingly so your home has a soothing balance!

Biophilic design neutral living room

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9. Play with Organic Shapes

Organic shapes are those with soft curves, abstract forms, and asymmetrical shapes. Essentially, they’re the types of lines you would expect to find in the natural world. They bring a beautiful imperfection into your space. You can bring these organic shapes into your home through furniture, decor, architectural details, and even the layout of your space.

Move away from shapes you wouldn’t find in nature. (AKA, no sharp corners, straight lines, or perfect symmetry!) Mid-Century Modern is a great style to use as a foundation for bringing organic shapes into your home, as it’s a design style that celebrates organic forms. You could also opt for its little sister Organic Modernism, which offers a more earthy approach to a modern aesthetic.

Biophilic design coastal dining room

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10. Try Out Mismatched Furniture

Just as you won’t find perfectly straight lines in nature, you likely won’t find two identical shapes. You can translate this idea of variance to your home by skipping matchy-matchy furniture. Rather than going for a full living or dining room set, try styling your space with different accent chairs, mismatched dining chairs, or mismatched nightstands. Doing this adds variance and intrigue to your space—plus gives it an individual look that’s totally unique to you.

This idea of variance and mismatched furniture is a staple of bohemian design. This is one of the many reasons why people often find this design style to feel more “earthy” or in-touch with nature.

biophilic design

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11. Vary Your Heights and Scale

We just mentioned that, in nature, perfectly straight lines and symmetry rarely exist. And the same goes for height. In nature, you’ll see trees and plants in different shapes and sizes, living side-by-side. An abstract way to translate this idea into your home is to vary the height of your decor when styling your space.

Having items of similar size, shape, and scale will feel contrived and man-made—whereas variation mimics the randomness of nature and is visually appealing. On the console pictured above, the vases and bowls are different sizes, shapes, and fullness (as are the plants in the vases). It creates an easy balance that’s pleasing to the eye.

Biophilic design Japandi style living room

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12. Bring in Some Textural Richness

Nature is full of texture—both visual and tactile. So a fun way to try on biophilic design is through bringing a variety of textures into your space. Having varying textures and materials—like different woven upholstery, plus smooth and rough materials next to each other—will bring visual richness to your space. And this is not to be confused with busyness! It’s not about bringing more stuff into your space, but rather about considering the texture of what you do bring in and how that texture plays with other pieces in your space. This also ties in with the idea of the vast complexity and textural richness of ecosystems in nature!

Biophilic design minimalist bedroom

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13. Opt for Materials That Have a Patina

In nature, things age and change, so use items in your home that will, too. Decorating your home with materials that age and develop a patina help signal our brains that time has passed and things are changing. Some of our favorite materials that develop a beautiful patina are copper, brass, marble, and leather. Both copper and brass can be kept shiny—but there’s something comforting about a brass bed or a copper tea kettle that is well-loved and shows signs of use and aging. Marble tabletops tend to change hues and smoothness over time. And leather sofas and chairs develop a rich patina over time, darkening and developing scuffs and scratches from everyday use that only add to the beauty of the material.

Biophilic design dining room

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14. Integrate Natural Patterns

We love a good patterned wallpaper or rug. But have you thought about the repetitive patterns that naturally occur in nature? Honeycombs, rippling waves, and the patterns found on a plant leaf or animal hides are some of the most beautiful natural patterns out there. Take inspiration from these naturally occurring patterns and incorporate them into your home—whether that’s through a honeycomb wall shelf, a glass wall that has a wavy pattern in it, baskets with scalloped edges, or even a good ol’ animal print blanket.

Biophilic design boho seating nook

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15. Carve Out a Cozy Nook

Having a place for “refuge” is known to enhance our well being in a space, giving us a sense of safety. (This is where our human evolution diverges from the wildness of nature.) Alcoves, nooks, and cozy corners are comfortable and help us feel safe and nurtured. So, carve out a designated place like this in your home and use it for reading, meditation, phone calls with loved ones, or simply unwinding after a long day.

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16. Emphasize the View

Just as having cozy nooks gives us a sense of safety, creating a space that emphasizes horizons and spaciousness is also a great biophilic design technique. Designing a room in a way that emphasizes the view outside gives us a sense of surveying our surroundings. There’s something primal about looking for movement and sources of danger—but there’s also a beautiful simplicity in just taking in the views of nature. We love the idea of bringing this to life by setting up a window nook, balcony, or porch where you can kick back and enjoy the views.

Biophilic design TV watching living room

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17. Create Easy Traffic Flow

The ability to easily move through a space increases our feelings of security in a place. So, making sure you have clear walkways in your home is important! When arranging a room, ensure your pathways are uncluttered, there’s enough space between furniture, and there’s a clear sense of entrances and exits. Essentially, moving throughout your space should be comfortable and easy. This is also a key tenet of Feng Shui; unblocked entrances create energy flow in your home, and clear passageways keep that good energy flowing throughout your home.

What Are the Benefits of Biophilic Design?

As humans, we crave a connection with nature. And a strong connection improves our well-being. That’s why biophilic design has risen in popularity. Using environmental psychology as a launching point, architects and designers are embracing biophilic design to increase that connection, especially in urban areas where access to nature is more limited. Here are some of the benefits people say biophilic design brought them!

  • Increased productivity
  • Improved mental health
  • Cleaner air
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Feeling more creative

Want to incorporate biophilic design into your home?

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