6 design predictions for 2021

Houzz combed through its data to estimate which trends will be popular next year

If we learned nothing else in a year as unpredictable as 2020, it’s that we should take predictions with a grain of salt and that being able to adapt is an important skill for anyone. Still, the events of this year are likely to have a lasting effect, including in home design.

Houzz compiled a list of home design predictions that are likely to surface in 2021. Many of these trends show how homeowners have adapted to changing needs during the pandemic, such as dedicated, task-specific work areas.

Houzz based its predictions on data and photos gleaned from its website, and interviews with home design professionals. Click through the following slides to see what they discovered.

  • multizone kitchen
    Houzz found examples of homeowners breaking away from the kitchen "work triangle," an efficient work area between the refrigerator, sink and stove. Instead, they're creating dedicated areas for baking, prep work, or homework setups for homeschool. Swing-arm sconces add task lighting as well sculptural elements, according to the site.

    (Photo: Danny Raustadt, Dreamstime)
  • relaxing bathroom design
    After the year we've had, it's understandable that homeowners want somewhere to relax. Houzz found homeowners are prioritizing "rejuvenating" features like steam showers, remodeled showers and tubs, and even aromatherapy shower heads. Related: Homeowners searching for R&R in bathroom remodels

    (Photo: Jared Rice, Unsplash)
  • earth tones
    Houzz is seeing a trend away from the whites and grays that have dominated design for the past few years as homeowners embrace warmer beiges and browns. Even if they keep those cooler colors, "brown as an accent color works well to bring warmth to a palette heavy with those colors."

    (Photo: Follow the Flow, Dreamstime)
  • virtual meeting background
    Dedicated areas for remote work and school, and a rethink of the open floor plan, are on homeowners' minds. Statement walls that look good on a Zoom call are also among Houzz's predictions. "Homeowners have discovered the art of a good vignette," according to the site. "Well-hung artwork, pops of color, good lighting, a little greenery and objects of different sizes can create a stylish backdrop for a meeting, but also make our homes more enjoyable to be in."

    (Photo: Gkondratenko, Dreamstime)
  • pergola
    Homeowners who spent months trapped in their homes were looking for ways to spend more time outside. Houzz noted that pergolas are a relatively quick and affordable way for owners to create shaded areas in their backyards.

    (Photo: Ala2017bn, Dreamstime)
  • adu
    Houzz expects to see an increase in accessory dwelling units or backyard cottages as a way for homeowners to create more functional space, whether it's for work and school, or to house family members. "These standalone structures are used as home offices, gyms, meditation areas or as extended living spaces to house relatives or kids who had to stay home from college due to the pandemic," according to Houzz.

    (Photo: Irina88w, Dreamstime)

Danielle Andrus

Danielle Andrus was previously the managing editor for Colorado Builder, and is currently Editor for the Journal of Financial Planning.

Danielle Andrus has 343 posts and counting. See all posts by Danielle Andrus

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