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2021 Trends for Interior & Exterior Home Design

Americans are spending more time at home than ever, so it’s no surprise that 2021 home design trends are emphasizing comfort and multi-functionality. Whether you’re thinking about building a custom home, renovating your home, or simply redecorating some rooms, keep these 2021 home interior and exterior design trends in mind!

Interior Design Trends

The COVID-19 pandemic caused some interesting shifts in interior home design in 2020, as Americans rearranged their living spaces to accommodate being at home more. While some 2021 interior design ideas may fade as the effects of the pandemic wear off, we believe most of these will stick around for a while.

Opt for Comfort Over Concept

Cozy gray living room couch with rust and cream-colored pillows. Photo by Instagram User @kaekooshop

Photo via @kaekooshop

With four out of five Americans spending more time at home now more than ever before, current home interior trends favor a relaxed vibe. People are placing a higher priority on their personal comfort rather than impressing guests with elaborate home decor. Look to incorporate plush sofas and sectionals that you can cozy up in for long hours, as well as fuzzy rugs, overstuffed chairs, and other furniture that make your home feel as convenient and comfortable as possible.

Get Down with Maximalism

Less isn’t necessarily more–especially during a pandemic. While minimalist design is still appealing to some people, the increased amount of time and number of activities that now take place in the home makes it more difficult to stick to a modest or sparsely filled home. Current home design trends feature more seating options, storage spaces, vibrant artwork, and bolder colors as maximalism continues to rise.

Use Color to Bring Warmth

Bright yellow used as a wall color because of its association with happiness and warmth. Photo by Instagram User @jolauriedesign

Photo via @jolauriedesign

The uncertainties presented by 2020 left Americans craving optimism and dependability, which heavily influenced Pantone’s selections for its annual Color of the Year. “Illuminating” is a lively bright yellow that radiates throughout the home with warmth and positivity, while “Ultimate Gray” symbolizes a rock-solid foundation. Along with these colors, interior decorating trends are leaning toward natural, earthy palettes that feel comforting and welcoming, as well as vivid, dramatic colors that add depth and excitement.

Incorporate Feng Shui

Beautiful open kitchen design with Scandinavian style. Photo by Instagram User @houseofchais

Photo via @houseofchais

Feng shui is making a comeback in 2021. This practice focuses on bringing balance and harmony into a home in order to invite good energy. For those currently feeling “closed in,” feng shui could make a huge difference. Use the energy map (or bagua) to understand where to feature the five elements—water, fire, earth, metal, and wood—in your home, as well as which colors and materials you should be using in specific rooms.

Open Floor Plans Are Out

After a massive rise in popularity in recent years, open floor plans are one home design trend that will likely fade in 2021. With much of life now taking place at home, there’s a desire to create separation and carve out designated spaces for different activities. Walls not only create definition for each space, but they add necessary privacy and noise control. If you have an open floor plan but desire smaller spaces, room dividers are an easy and budget-friendly solution!

Create Multi-Functional Spaces

Because so much of life happens at home these days, rooms may need to serve more than one purpose. Interestingly, Etsy saw massive spikes in 2020 with searches for portable or space-saving furniture, including 399% for foldable desks and 134% for room dividers, which suggests many residents are using their living spaces in different ways throughout the day. When designing and decorating your home, look for ways to create multi-purpose rooms, such as a guest room and home office combo.

Designate a Home Office

Home office with lots of greenery and plants. Photo by Instagram User @bylisalinh

Photo via @bylisalinh

Working from home became a necessity for many Americans in 2020. As more and more companies embrace remote work in 2021—it’s believed at least 25% of Americans will be working from home this year—modern home offices will be an important home design trend. If you’re going to be working remotely permanently or frequently, it’s good to have space allocated specifically for your job so you can separate work from the rest of your home. Make the space comfortable yet professional, especially if you’ll need to conduct video calls.

Make the Kitchen a Focal Point

Eclectic galley kitchen design with fun colors and prints. Photo by Instagram User @home_ec_op

Photo via @home_ec_op

With fewer opportunities to eat in restaurants and more time at home in 2020, Americans embraced cooking and baking. The kitchen became both a communal gathering space for households and a workspace for remote workers and students. In 2021, you’ll want to make sure your kitchen can accommodate everything from entertaining and working to cooking and baking. Incorporate more comfortable seating options in your kitchen with breakfast nooks or large islands with stools. Also, find ways to add more counter space (or declutter existing counter space) so that meal preparation is easier.

Use Durable Materials

White-tiled shower with glass door and gold fixtures. Photo by Instagram User @withjustine

Photo via @withjustine

Is your home ready to handle all the additional activity it’s going to face in 2021? One of the most important and practical home design trends of 2021 is utilizing long-lasting materials that are easy to clean and can better withstand the wear-and-tear of daily life. This means more glass and metal surfaces, furniture with stain-resistant performance fabric, and hardwood floors (as opposed to carpet).

Embrace Japandi Style

Japandi style dining room with natural wood accents. Photo by Instagram User @japandi_design

Photo via @japandi_design

While minimalism has started to die down in interior decorating trends, minimalist design isn’t going away any time soon. If you still desire a clean, minimalist look in your home but don’t want the full starkness of total minimalism, a Japandi home style might be the best option. This mix of Scandinavian design and Japanese design creates an appealing blend of both form and function. Japandi decor features practical furniture with clean lines, natural materials, soft textures, and light, muted colors.

Try Out the Cottagecore Look

Cottagecore living room with vintage coffee table, artwork, and rocking chair. Photo by Instagram User @megan.d.miller

Photo via @megan.d.miller

Inspired by idealized rural living, cottagecore embraces a simpler, more sustainable lifestyle. This antique and vintage design style features neutral and warm color palettes, natural elements like house plants and dried flowers, and lots of patterned materials. Other popular cottagecore elements include open fireplaces, vintage and reclaimed furniture, and lace tablecloths.

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Exterior Design Trends

Since many homeowners spent more time at home in 2020, there seemed to be a renewed focus on the home exterior. Home improvement projects like building decks and painting front doors were popular, as were DIY landscaping projects like creating fire pits and adding water features. If you’re revitalizing the outside of your home this year or building a new home, here are 2021 home exterior designs to consider.

Stand Out with Dark Colors

Modern home with dark exterior paint color. Photo by Instagram User @legendhomestn

Photo via @legendhomestn

Want to make a bold statement and stand out from the rest of your block? Join the growing trend of painting your house a dark color. Dark hues like black and navy blue are dramatic and eye-catching, which can help improve your curb appeal. Of course, you don’t have to make everything dark—painting your front door, trim, or garage door gray or black can create the same stunning contrast without being as bold. (Just be sure to consult your HOA rules before you start painting to see if these colors are acceptable in your area.)

Go with the Modern Farmhouse Look

Modern farmhouses meld sleek contemporary design elements with cozy farmhouse aesthetics to create a marriage of traditional and modern. Modern farmhouses commonly feature a white exterior accented by a dark roof and trim—though some homeowners and designers are also using bold colors with this exterior style. If you’re building a custom home and want to incorporate the modern farmhouse look, make sure it features natural textures and materials like wood or galvanized steel.

Reintroduce the Front Porch

As people were unable to get together with friends and family and go out into public spaces in 2020, front porches became the next best thing. Unlike backyards and patios that provide more privacy, front porches gave homeowners a way to get outside, experience some public happenings, and safely interact with visitors, neighbors, and passersby during social distancing. Looking forward to 2021 and what’s going to be big in exterior trends, front porches will definitely make a comeback in new construction and home remodels.

Create Your Outdoor Oasis

Large outdoor seating area with roof covering. Photo by Instagram User @doneraildesign

Photo via @doneraildesign

Outdoor living rooms were a popular home design trend before the pandemic, but the pandemic certainly increased demand for these gathering spaces. Outdoor living spaces provide safer options for gathering with friends, family, and neighbors while remaining socially distant. Whether you build a gazebo, spruce up a deck or patio, or transform your porch, you can design an attractive and cozy gathering space.

Craft Experience-Based Spaces

Modern outdoor kitchen near the poolside. Photo by Instagram User @prattguys

Photo via @prattguys

With access to venues like gyms, restaurants, theaters, and more restricted in 2020, many people chose to make their own at home. Homeowners turned their backyards into entertainment centers by constructing fire pits, installing outdoor kitchens, putting up large screens or TVs, laying down concrete basketball courts, building outdoor bars, or making their own putting greens.

Bridge the Indoors & Outdoors

Patio table and outdoor living area. Photo by Instagram User @nicci_brem

Photo via @nicci_brem

You can give your home exterior a harmonious feel by fusing elements from both indoor and outdoor spaces. With large glass doors and plenty of windows, indoor-outdoor spaces eliminate division between the two areas and allow for seamless transitions. Consider extending your ceiling to create a covered patio or pergola, or use string lights or pendant lights to create the feel of a ceiling.

Emphasize Landscape Lighting

Landscape lighting allows you to make your home more prominent at night while highlighting its best design features. Among the most popular 2021 landscaping trends are cloud-based landscape control systems and the use of LED lights outdoors. Colored lights and linear lights to brighten stairway paths are popular as well. Landscaping lighting design is especially important if you have plans to sell your home in 2021, as it can instantly improve your curb appeal.

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If you’re planning to move, sell your home, renovate or remodel, or simply declutter your space, you may need a place to temporarily store furniture, decor, and more. With self storage facilities across the country, Extra Space Storage is your go-to storage partner. Find a storage unit near you today!

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