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.


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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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You Finally Have a Dining Room. Now What?

While the kitchen may be the heart of the home, a dining room, if you love to entertain, is a luxury.

At Modsy, we often get requests from homeowners that have moved from a small house or apartment into one that has a dedicated dining area for entertaining friends and family. It’s a space that can feel unfamiliar, which makes it especially challenging to figure out where to start when decorating. After all, the dining room is a space that should feel comfortable but also stylish enough to host parties and family holidays.

Use this guide to help you navigate all the key decisions to design your perfect dining room.


Deciding on Your Perfect Table

Before looking at all your dining table options, consider how you want to use the space. Will you host casual weekend dinners with friends or big holiday gatherings with family? Your entertaining style should be the starting point for informing the type of dining table you require.

For keeping it casual…

A long communal farmhouse table is great for its versatility—it can host big groups, function as a work surface, and it can also be dressed up with a tablecloth for formal occasions. Its natural wood tones make for a great foundation for choosing chairs and other decor to match.

For making it formal…

Try a round pedestal table, which will immediately conjure up classic, elegant appeal. One with extendable leaves will provide the flexibility for entertaining large crowds. A small round bistro table is also a stylish and space-saving option if you have less square-footage to work with.


Bringing in Good Seating

Comfort is key when it comes to choosing dining chairs and seating options. You want to ensure your guests feel relaxed and at ease during long meals. There’s no right or wrong, but look to the design details of your dining table as a guide for your seating (think tapered legs that coordinate, natural materials that complement each other, etc.)

If you want a casual mix…

Try pulling up a bench alongside a matching set of chairs for an easy-going eclectic look. This is a great way to incorporate flexible seating that is also kid-friendly.

If you want a chic grouping…

You can’t go wrong with a sophisticated set of matching chairs. Consider how the details will pair with your table and work from there—exposed wooden legs, a simple silhouette, neutral upholstery with tufting on the back. This works especially well if you’ve opted for a round table.


Choosing Rug or No Rug

Placing a rug underneath your table can help to ground and delineate your dining area, especially in an open living space. Even in a dedicated dining room, it can add stylish focus—just make sure your chair legs all stay on the rug, even when they’re pulled out. On the other hand, if you have beautiful wood floors to show off (or messy kids who love spaghetti), you may want to skip the rug altogether.

Try a sturdy rug…

In a natural fiber, such as jute or sisal, which are built to withstand foot traffic and wear and tear. If you use your dining room for both everyday and formal occasions, these are stylish workhorses that can go well with a range of decor.

Try a low-pile rug…

Such as a flat-weave or a kilim, if natural-fiber rugs is not your style. Low-pile rugs are the opposite of ones that are shaggy and fluffy, meaning they’ll be much more practical in an entertaining space as well as easy to clean with a vacuum.


Add Multiple Light Sources

Once you have your foundational pieces—table, chairs, rug—it’s time to make sure your room has good lighting. Most homes come with a simple overhead fixture that is usually far from sufficient. Additionally, the shapes and designs are less than spectacular. Approach choosing overhead lighting for your dining room like art—it should be bright and sculptural.

Switch in a pendant…

That has more than just one bulb as the light source. Many designs provide sputnik-style as well as multi-light constructions that can help bring both brightness and sculptural appeal to the space above your table. A chandelier also provides the same effect.

Switch it up with sconces…

These wall hanging fixtures are worth the hassle and investment. They add the perfect ambient lighting and they can be spread around a room. New designs even offer sconces with plugs, which means they can be easily installed no matter your space. Try to match the materials and styles of your sconces to your overhead fixture.


Creating Various Focal Points

No dining room is complete without a few stylish focal points. Be it a bar, an etagere, a console, or an oversize mirror or piece of art, there should be a range of intriguing spaces to look to within any dining room.

In a large space…

Bring in a credenza or a pair of etageres to fill with bowls, plates, linens, and other china for a fabulous display. Round it out with other books, vases, and other colorful accents. Or try turning an open-base console into a bar and stowing a pair of ottomans underneath—perfect if you need extra seating in a pinch.

In a small space…

An oversize piece of art or a statement mirror can really set any compact dining space apart. Just as they do in large spaces, they captivate the eye but also help to warm up your small space. Mirrors, in particular, will help to reflect light and give the illusion of more space and ceiling height.


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