As we get closer to leaving 2020 behind and embarking on 2021 a new set of living room trends offer all the inspiration needed to give living rooms an upgrade. Whether that’s redefining the entire space with on-trend green paint shades and investing in this season’s so-now bouclé sofas, or simply upgrading soft furnishings with the latest bold and brave looks.
The top new trends have something for everyone. You can choose the tranquil, relaxing back-to-nature looks that see you incorporating earthy colors and succulents or get creative with the maximalist vibe, from multicolored rugs to mix-and-match soft furnishings.
Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong because it’s all about self-expression and making the most of the space you have for 2021…
Discover the top living room trends for 2021
1. Multi-functional space
Multi-functional is the watchword for living rooms in the new normal. Now that our homes are doubling up as offices, gyms, and pop-up bars, clever storage ideas are a must. A storage ottoman will provide space to store gym equipment or office supplies. While a fold-down desk will allow smaller spaces to be transformed into home offices with minimal disruption.
‘As we move into 2021, we’re expecting people will be looking for versatile pieces of furniture and flexible storage units that work across the home, creating seamless clever combinations for a range of needs and solutions,’ explains Rosheen Forbes Commercial Activity & Events Leader at IKEA UK & Ireland. ‘These functional, beautiful, and personal solutions also create a sense of calm, which is particularly important at the moment when we’re spending more time indoors.’
2. Statement rugs
‘Hard flooring will continue to remain popular in homes across the country next year,’ shares David Snazel, Buyer at Carpetright. That means that making a statement will continue to be left on the rugs and runners.
‘Layering the two materials injects an additional level of comfort underfoot whilst providing a way to introduce colour into the room and delineate spaces; particularly in open-plan rooms. Consider big and bold prints with large scale pattern and bright colorways to create a focal point in the room,’ David advises for styling this trend in your home.
3. Blue sky thinking
‘Whereas previously, neutral tones have been the most popular for living rooms, soft and versatile shades such as rose pink and sky blue have seen a surge in popularity for the coming season,’ explains Helen Shaw, director of Benjamin Moore UK. ‘Blue works perfectly in busy spaces where you look to form a sense of tranquility, such as a chaotic family living room.
‘Blue is one of the colors that require our eyes to do little-to-no adjusting, which will help to create a feeling of restfulness and harmony in the home. Not only does the shade bring a sense of calm, but it is also vibrant, injecting more life and energy into space than a more traditional neutral tone.’
4. Opulent Grandeur
‘Opulent Grandeur continues where it left off in 2020, but it’s now moving towards opulent lighting and occasional furniture, and velvet remains a key fabric choice,’ explains Nina Findley, Director of Trading for Home at Homebase. ‘In upholstery, greys and blush are still popular along with rich navy blues and emerald colours.’
Investing in a velvet sofa is a great way to get the look. However, if you’re not ready to take that plunge, opting for a velvet cocktail chair or glamorous lighting fixture will offer affordable updates to your living room.
5. Down to Earth schemes
‘As we step into the new decade, freshen up your lounge and build a tranquil, fuss-free scheme with a clean, nude palette,’ suggests Kris Manalo, senior upholstery buyer at Heal’s. After the announcement of ‘Brave Ground’ as the Dulux color of the year, neutrals are back with a bang. This season mixes neutrals with pops of color, with rich, earthy shades adding personality and depth.
6. Keeping things green
‘Green is the true color of nature, it is one that we associate with the tranquillity of the outdoors – making it an ideal hue for relaxing areas of the home,’ says Ruth Mottershead, marketing director at Little Greene.
‘For a restful living space, consider using green on all walls for a cozy, wrap-around feel. Sumptuous jewel tones like Jewel Beetle and Puck bring warmth and impact to a room and are complimented with furniture painted in rich tones like Chocolate Colour.’
7. Bring the outside inside
‘In 2021 we’ll also see the continuation of bringing the outdoors in, especially as we spend more time at home,’ shares Nina Findly at Homebase. ‘Expect our rooms to be full of succulents which are easy to care for, and larger leafy plants which add a sense of escapism, calm, and relaxation to our living rooms.’
You might want to add some gardening shows to your TV programming, to help nurture your green thumb.
8. Escape to the country with a modern twist
‘Modern country is a strong trend we have been seeing throughout 2020 and we expect it to continue well into next year,’ comments Claire Wilks, Designer at sofa.com. ‘As a result of lockdown, our customers crave the touch of outdoor, country living and we wanted to design pieces that would be a mix of country styling but with a modern flair.’
‘Cue our new Patrick unbuttoned, stripping away the traditional tufting, we wanted a refined silhouette. It’s the Chesterfield sofa of the 21st century, perfect for those looking for a traditional design but finished differently, with a contemporary take.
9. Express yourself with classic florals
The classic floral wallpaper is staging a comeback in our living rooms. However, it is just sticking to the walls, it it covering the ceiling too.
‘Small and somewhat traditional floral patterns like the classic Jasmine connect us back to nature and make us feel protected, especially when taken over the ceiling,’ explains Joe Studholme, Farrow & Ball color curator. ‘For the more contemporary living room, Anime wallpaper with its organic weave is a perfect choice, especially when teamed with darker woodwork.’
10. Add texture with Bouclé
The trend for this nubby textile took off in 2020 and shows no signs of stopping. Embrace this fabric and opt for a bouclé statement piece like a sofa, or tip your toe in the trend with a textured cushion.
‘Contrast is important when adding this soft fabric to your space,’ explains Emily Dunstan, Home Accessories Buyer for Heal’s. ‘A plain, no-frills wood table will also help balance out the glam vibes these sofas can introduce. Dark paint colors will also make ivory bouclé material really pop.’