Is it just me or are spring and the thought of summer hitting different this year? After a long winter of social distancing and lockdowns, the prospect of sunnier days ahead (literally) is getting a lot of people through — myself included. What does all this mean for the design of our homes though?
The advent of a new season almost always brings along with it a freshman class of design trends just begging to be brought into our homes to make them prettier, more organized, and even more functional. Get ready because, according to the designers I talked to for this article, there’s a lot of stylish stuff to look forward to right now. Some of these home trends are somewhat established, while others are new to the scene but sure to be absolutely everywhere before the sun sets in summer. Try one; try ‘em all. If you need me, I’ll be sipping a Hugo Spritz in my rattan-covered sunroom.
All the Accessories
Get ready to welcome a more-is-more attitude to your entire home because decorative accents are back and better than ever. Collectibles and tchotchkes, which were once reserved for strategically styling the shelves of bookcases, are now dotting every room, and, if the rise of trends like maximalism and #cluttercore decor is any indicator, homes are about to get a bit more crowded (in a good way).
“Our new Zoom lifestyle brought with it the need for styled backdrops and social media moments, and those added accessories are here to stay,” say Everick and Lisa Brown, the husband-wife design duo behind Everick Brown Design. “Our clients are looking for ways to add pops of color and dimension to a room, which is driving the demand for art, books, objects, and accents.”
Consider this your official permission to pull out all the travel souvenirs and trinkets you put into storage under the guise of minimalism — or simply the excuse you need to go searching for a few more bits and bobs.
Worn Wood Tones
If you take a pulled-back, objective look at the aesthetics trending in design these days (ahem, grand millennial style and warm minimalism, anyone?), they all have one thing in common: well-worn wood. From vintage French provincial nightstands to expansive 19th-century farm tables, wooden pieces with perfectly aged patinas are bigger than ever this season.
“Raw or reclaimed wood is a quintessential way to bring warmth and organic beauty to design,” says designer Amy Peltier of Peltier Interiors. “The tones and imperfections of raw or reclaimed wood add their own unique dimensions to your spring interior design.”
Another perk of this trend? It’s totally sustainable and eco-minded. Think of it this way: You’re skipping the store in favor of shopping secondhand and giving a previously-loved piece a new lease on life. Plus, with tons of shipping and supply issues due to COVID-19 still impacting the design industry, it’s a great way to furnish or upgrade your house right now instead of waiting months for a brand-new item.
Put down the paintbrush, pick up the… paper? Yep, you heard right; wallpaper is back, baby! Before you cringe, know that this isn’t grandma’s toile (though it could be and that’s awesome, too). Modern patterns, faux texture, and easy application make the 2021 version of wallpaper feel, on the whole, very fresh.
“Wallpaper is everywhere right now,” says Christina Kim, founder, and designer at Christina Kim Interior Design. “Whether it’s used on a ceiling, on the back of a bookcase, or as a beautiful Zoom backdrop, wallpaper is absolutely transformative, and I think we’re all in the mood for transformation currently. Stick to small or mid-scale patterns to add a punch to your room without overwhelming the space.”
If you’re a commitment-phobe when it comes to home decor, fear not. You can still get in on this seemingly permanent design trend. More and more companies are launching temporary wallpaper lines, which has helped to make the application more mainstream. “Peel-and-stick wallpaper has been updated to reflect modern textures and patterns,” says Peltier. “It’s a quick and affordable way to update your decor without having to make a huge commitment. You can find anything from bold oversized florals and subtle grasscloths to edgy animal prints.”
Designers have long sung the praises of natural stone materials like marble, but the 2021 iteration of the finish is more high-end than ever. One look on Instagram and it’s obvious: Natural stones with major attitude and personality are hitting it big this season. “Clients are loving smooth stones with variance lately,” says Kate Marker, owner, and designer at Kate Marker Interiors. “I especially love stones like travertine on tabletops and pedestals.”
If you’re not in the market for a kitchen makeover this summer, you can still bring home some funky stone, courtesy of accessories like trays, lamps, and more. Yes, vintage pieces are an option here, too. “It’s great to see more and more people starting to appreciate the beauty in imperfection,” says Kim. Chipped marble, veining, and patina add to the story!”
With the world slowly but surely safely opening back up, hosting a small group of loved ones is going to be top-of-mind for nearly everyone this summer. Translation: Your wishlist is about to be 99 percent entertaining essentials.
“Thanks to dining restrictions, the pandemic has inspired a whole new wave of entertaining from home,” says the Browns. “Entertaining essentials are going to be in huge demand this season as well as accessories that help people make better use of bonus spaces — like sunrooms and screened-in porches — for the summer.”
Grab a few crowd-pleasers like a colorful set of drinking glasses, chic melamine dishware (perfect for outdoors!), or that killer fire pit you’ve had your eye on all year.
If there’s one favorite material in the design world right now, it’s probably rattan. Made from stems of palm, rattan furniture is often associated with outdoor furniture, but rattan’s role has expanded further and further in the home, thanks to modern silhouettes and diverse design applications.
“I love the influx of rattan furnishings we are seeing for spring and summer,” says Kim. “I especially like when the earthy material is used in otherwise modern settings in interesting fresh curves or sleek shapes.”
Go big with a rattan chair in your living room or a chic wardrobe with rattan doors in your bedroom. On the flip side, you can keep it subtle and seasonal by swapping your lamp shades for scalloped rattan versions or investing in a set of rattan chargers for your outdoor dining table. It’s up to you!
Remember the long winter I mentioned above? Well, it gave rise to a slew of new favorite shades that evoke the calm and ease of the outdoors, even when you’re stuck inside. “We’re seeing earthy colors such as sage green, taupe, and dusty blues everywhere this spring and summer,” says Peltier. “Bringing in colors that remind us of nature can help create a calming sanctuary indoors.”
Try swapping some of your accessories — bedsheets, throw blankets, or couch pillows — for styles in these shades for a subtle yet noticeable change in your environment. Typically chill rooms, like your bedroom or bathroom, are usually the perfect space for shades like this, but who couldn’t benefit from a shot of calm in a home office nook or kitchen, too?