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Home design trends for 2021

Whether you’ve just moved into a new property, or you’re preparing to sell, it’s always fun to explore the design trends that can make your home modern and contemporary.

Fresh furnishings and additional functionality, especially in the kitchen, can add thousands of dollars to the value of your home with relatively little effort and expense.

The trends likely for 2021 feel as if they have more permanency than usual. The fickle nature of interior design, in which colours and fabrics come and go, are taking a back seat to the “new normal” – our world in the times of a pandemic.

Designers are talking about the additional emphasis on the functionality of a home – the embrace of a home office, dual-purpose furniture and enticing outdoor areas.

Many buyers are now qualifying homes they wish to see with questions about office set-ups. With so many of us operating from home and even having schooled the kids from home during the recent Covid-19 crisis, the need for a home office and good connectivity have become mandatory for professional couples and young families alike.

Below is a list of design trends for 2021:

A dedicated area for a home office.

You don’t need to sacrifice a bedroom, but find a space with internet connectivity for a workstation, even if it’s in a nook or corner.

Ample storage space and solutions.

Emphasis will be placed on keeping the home tidy, especially as we are spending little or no time in the office. Innovative storage solutions have a real wow-factor with buyers. 

Built-in cabinets/shelving.

Cabinets and built-in shelving is returning, along with wall shelving for books, files and work papers. These additions will be of a slender design to minimise lost space. 


Designs will demand more functionality and incorporate dual-purpose furniture, such as an extendable dining table that can be used at homework time.


Furniture that folds away and can be stored easily will also be on-trend through 2021. An example of this might be an impromptu desk and chair.

Non-porous surfaces.

Designers say we’ve got germ-phobia, of course. So, non-porous surfaces, especially in the kitchen, are essential. Slate and laminates for benchtops, and smoked-glass back-splashes are on-trend. Polished cement will rock for both benchtops and floors.

Carpets are out.

They hold dust and germs, so that’s a “no, no” in Covid times. Porous tiles are out for the same reason.

Outdoor living.

Because our travel is restricted, or even non-existent, we need to ensure we don’t feel like we’re locked up. Appealing, outdoor areas give us the feeling of additional freedom to move.


Colours will emphasise warmth. That means lots of shades of green. The blues that have been popular since 2019 are on the way out.

Textures and patterns.

A mix of textures and patterns - this is an extension of the artisanal emphasis that was so popular last year. Designers say you add character to a home in this way. Find inspiration on Instagram or Pinterest to avoid overdoing it.

Wallpaper on ceilings.

This is an extension of the above point and would add to the textures and character of any room. The jury is a little bit out - but it may be worth considering.