Interior designers share 7 trends that are in, and 5 that are out this season

In the world of interior design, trends come and go, and what was hot last season may be passé now. 

Here are tips from professional interior designers to learn which home fads are going out of style and which ones are going to be everywhere.

The era of “millennial pink” is over.

Interior designer David Guth, head of design at Studio DLG, said that the popularity of “millennial pink” is officially on the decline. 

“It’s sad to see this fun color go, but it’s definitely on its way out,” he said. “Millennial pink has been well-loved, but we’re ready for some new colors.”

The pale, rosy hue may be replaced by cooler tones like teal or deep green.

Open kitchen shelving could be replaced by more traditional storage designs.

Though open shelving makes it easy to access kitchen essentials, this trendy storage solution also comes with drawbacks. 

“Open shelving allows your dishes and glasses to become covered in cooking grease and dust,” Guth said. “With more people cooking at home, I think we’ll see a return to more practical storage.”

If you like the airy look of open shelving but don’t love the need for constant dusting and tidying, opt for frosted glass cabinets or light colors. 

Beige furniture could be replaced by brighter upholstery.

Minimalist interiors in neutral colors have been trending for years. 

However, Guth said that large pieces of beige furniture may soon be considered boring rather than elegant. 

“Solid beige upholstery is no longer fashionable,” he said. “At this point, the beige sofa is so ubiquitous that clients are looking for more unique pieces.”

The subway-tile trend may be fading.

Interior designer Shelby Greene of home-decor brand Living Spaces said that stark-white subway tiles are out.

“Subway tile has been around for a while, but we’re starting to get more creative with tiling,” she said.

The designer said she foresees colorful honeycomb-shaped and octagonal tiles making their way into modern kitchens and bathrooms.

Botanical prints are on their way out.

Bold botanical prints, especially those featuring palm leaves, have been popular for several years. 

But Greene explained that one-of-a-kind decor pieces will likely replace this tropical trend.

“Botanical prints have become too common and aren’t seen as unique anymore,” she said. “Instead, people are now gravitating toward hand-painted art pieces or photography prints.”

On the other hand, patterned upholstery is making a splash in early 2021.

Guth said that the boldly patterned upholstery trend of the 1970s and 1980s may see a revival.

“As we move into 2021, plain upholstery is out,” he said. “Fun and exuberant patterns will be on trend this coming season.”

Bold florals and herringbone patterns may be particularly trendy in the first half of 2021.

Black kitchens may be the “it” trend of the season.

Interior designer Michelle Harrison-McAllister said that black cabinetry and bold fixtures may be a dramatic new kitchen trend. 

“Black is actually a neutral color that plays well with all color schemes,” the designer said. “Think of this trend as a ‘little black dress’ for your home.”

If you can’t quite commit to all-black everything in the kitchen, she suggested first opting for black cabinet doors to see if the trend is right for you.

Bold, removable wallpaper will continue to trend.

The popularity of removable wallpaper in bright, loud patterns soared in 2020, and the trend isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. 

“Peel-and-stick wallpaper adds personality along with a fun factor to any room,” Harrison-McAllister said. “Plus the ease of application and removal allows you to customize the space when and how you see fit.”

Temporary wallpaper may also be a good fit for rental properties or children’s rooms, where swapping styles over time is often a necessity.

Earth and ocean-inspired tones are gaining popularity.

Interior designer Lisa Melone Cloughen said that decorators are gravitating toward rich, earthy tones of green, gold, brown, and blue. 

“Earth colors can make for a very warm and comforting interior,” she said. “Similarly, rich, ocean-inspired greens and blues are so sumptuous and inviting, creating a dramatic yet peaceful atmosphere.”

Cloughen called out teal in particular as an in-demand color for walls and decor this season. 

Porcelain could edge out marble and granite countertops.

Modern porcelain countertops are actually quite durable and could be the next big alternative to traditional stone counters. 

“The porcelain-counter trend is on fire,” Cloughen said. “Maintenance is simple and it can be produced in large, solid slabs that reduce the need for grouting.”

Porcelain is heat-resistant, making it possible to install hidden induction cooking elements directly into the countertop. Plus it’s typically cheaper than materials like quartz or marble.

People may start swapping cheap furniture for quality pieces that are built to last.

Cloughen predicted that investing in quality furniture could become more of a priority for people spending more time at home.

“Instead of buying a cheap desk or chair and replacing it as soon as it breaks, we’re seeing people buying quality items that have staying power in terms of their design and construction,” she said. 

For those who can afford it, ditching flat-pack furniture in favor of solid wood or handmade items could save in long-term comfort and value.

Fussy textiles are out and performance fabrics are in.

With many homes now functioning as living spaces, offices, and schools, Cloughen said that high-maintenance fabrics like silk, velvet, and wool are falling out of favor. 

“The demand for performance fabrics has exploded,” she said. “People want their homes to look good, but they don’t have the time for high-maintenance fabrics that aren’t durable.”

Performance fabrics are often made with nylon, acrylic, or polyester, but you can also find more sustainable options made from natural materials like cotton, linen, and bamboo.

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