Blank Space: Interior Design Trends to Consider This 2021 (And What We Should Leave)

Blank Space: Interior Design Trends to Consider This 2021 (And What We Should Leave)

2020 has come to a close. A way to welcome 2021 is to reinvent your living space. Get to know what's in in 2021, and check out these top interior design trends - Written by Justin Granados


What better way to welcome the new year than redesigning your home? Nothing like a splash of fresh scenery to jumpstart a new chapter in your life.

However big or small your space is, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make the most out of what you have. Designing a home that’s both comfortable and aesthetically pleasing might seem challenging at first, but there’s also fun in reinventing your space to reflect your preferences.

You can aim for something entirely new or something traditional--it’s all about the energy you want your home to exude. To help you get some ideas, here are some interior design trends that are sure to breathe new life into your home for the new year and what you should avoid.


WHAT’S OUT: Dark contrast

The two-tone contrast of black and white has been a trend for many years. However, it has outgrown its supposedly sleek vibe and has now turned unwelcoming and cold. It’s time to leave that uninspired trend in the past and try something more lively!

WHAT’S IN: Single print

Instead of drab two-tone color schemes, you can opt for a single print drama from floor to ceiling. This creates a camouflaged look that’s visually endearing, and it brings out a unique personality from room to room. Customizing your rooms with different prints and designs can be fun.


Prints like those on the Palmer Door Mat add pizzazz to the room

WHAT’S OUT: Mirrored furniture

The mirrored furniture trend aimed for the asymmetrical look at the turn of the millennium, but as years passed, it has outgrown itself. Homeowners also do not appreciate the effort it takes to keep the furniture presentable and clean. Now, this furniture and fixture design looks uninviting and drab.

WHAT’S IN: Cottage core

For a more homey look, interior designers are leaning more into a cottage core theme for homes. This theme serves fantasy chic with its floral prints, knitted fixtures, and fresh plants. The cottage core theme will send you right into a fairy tale book and make you feel at home.


Floral print like that on the Burung printed bean bag for that happily-ever-after vibe

WHAT’S OUT: Cool tones

Although it stayed on the top interior design trends for a while, the cool tones color scheme is now considered outdated and boring. The bland shades of blue, gray, or black gives no soul and personality to the home and instead sucks the warmth out of it.

WHAT’S IN: Earth tones

As an homage to our childhood homes, earth tones are back in style. These colors are warmer and more suitable to homes, unlike the cold and humdrum shades of cool tones. Shades of green, brown, and red are inspiring color schemes that blankets your home in comfort and familiarity.


Neutral tones like SoftRock Living bean bags are best for giving an interior warmth and cosiness

WHAT’S OUT: Faux plants

Strangely enough, the faux plant trend outlived its purpose longer than anyone would have thought sensible. The lackluster and inauthentic look of these home fixtures brings out no inspiration from the home. The time you spend dusting off faux plants should be time spent watering real ones anyway.

WHAT’S IN: Indoor plants

For a fresher and livelier look for the home, it’s better to stay authentic and bring in live indoor plants. In fact, it’s been proven that placing indoor plants at home makes the air more crisp and clean. It may seem bothersome to take care of them at first but you will soon fall in love with the way they breathe life into the room.


Care for your plants with more ease with attractive and innovative pots and planters

WHAT’S OUT: Filling voids

Admit it, when you see a blank space in a room, you ache to fill it with a random fixture or furniture to block out the void. But void shopping is a thing of the past and it brings nothing to the table in terms of interior design. It seems sloppy at best and you’re just filling spaces with pointless items. Hoarding nightmare!

WHAT’S IN: Multipurpose spaces

Instead of filling the void with vain pieces, why not shape it into multipurpose spaces? This means placing items that actually have use to family members like a shelf doubling as a study table or a bookspace standing as a room divider. This setup is also perfect for small spaces such as condos or apartments because you’re making the most of what you have.


Make that living space count with bean bags and tatamis like this Platami, which are easy to move around when needed

WHAT’S OUT: High maintenance furniture

High maintenance fabrics for your furniture like silk, cotton, or leather are soon to be phased out. People want a home that’s durable and sustainable--something that’s easy to stain and hard to maintain should be out of the question.

WHAT’S IN: Eco-friendly furniture

It’s hard to distance ourselves from the environmental issues of the planet. But even at home, we can contribute to the healing of the environment by choosing greener options when designing our interiors. This includes adding to our spaces recycled furniture or low carbon imprint fixtures or appliances. Not only are these cheaper, more durable alternatives, but they are also better for our planet in the long run.


Nobody does eco design better than Qualy Design - sustainable materials, and a sustainable message ingrained in their design

WHAT’S OUT: Metal framed furniture

High maintenance fabrics for your furniture like silk, cotton, or leather are soon to be phased out. People want a home that’s durable and sustainable--something that’s easy to stain and hard to maintain should be out of the question.

WHAT’S IN: Rounded edges

What’s more welcoming in place of the metal framed theme is the 80’s motif of rounded or tubular furniture. It gives the room a flowing, homey vibe, instead of a metal’s cold and sharp edges. It’s certainly one of the best living room trends to hop onto this 2021.


Get rounded accessories like OMMO Design's Torus Tea Infusers to complement furniture with rounded edges

WHAT’S OUT: Accent walls

In the past, we saw accent walls as trendy or hip. Now, they seem jarring and nonsensical. Even in small spaces like bathrooms, the accent wall trend seems out of place. If you like patterns or colours, why not cover the whole wall with it?

WHAT’S IN: Bold wall colours

To replace the outdated accent walls, you should opt for bolder colours to fill your room. This can be navy blue, wine, or even golden--coat your rooms with creativity and individuality. You can even choose furniture or fixtures suited to your walls’ colour and create a cohesive colour palette in your space.

WHAT’S OUT: Reclaimed and Distressed Woods

For a while, many homeowners were inspired by the industrial theme with its use of grungy furniture and accessories like piping, concrete, and raw woods. While one or two of such pieces, may be acceptable, a full-on gritty aesthetic may not be as easy on the eyes after a while.

WHAT’S IN: Lighter woods

If you want your home to look more cozy and hospitable, you can opt for the lighter wooden motif. This includes rustic-style oak for beddings, sofas, or dining room fixtures. Not only does this make your space more welcoming, it’s also a striking choice for a home that has a lot of natural light.


Clean and light natural woods such as beech and maple are used in Pana Objects clocks and other home decor to create warmth and space


Other tips for reinventing your space for 2021

Renovating your home takes more than knowing the best trends. There are many other considerations to take note of when reorganizing your condo or apartment. To help you a bit more, here are a few tips to consider.

1. Take note of your leasing considerations

Many people in Singapore are forced to rent apartments or condos because of the lack of land. This is the cheaper choice because the shortage of land forces single house prices to go up. That’s why most Singaporeans live on a lease, tied to building regulations or rules.

Before you make any changes to your space, consider the rules on renovations within the premises. Some buildings are more lenient than others while some ban even minor changes in the units. Before you take on a home renovation challenge, make sure you’re well-versed in the building rules and regulations so as to avoid penalties from the property management.

2. Let your creativity run wild

Although there’s merit in following the most revered interior design trends, there’s also joy in creating a space based on your own preferences. There’s nothing like looking at your home and thinking, “Hey, I made this happen.” When considering an interior design theme, start from the heart--make sure your space gives you comfort, but most of all it should reflect what type of person you are. (Editor's note: we highly approve of this message. No such thing as wrong design!)

3. Hire a professional

If you’re unsure how to bring your vision to life, you can also hire interior designers or space planners to help you. Their insights and expertise will be vital in ensuring your home is both beautiful and functional. This can save you a lot of time and energy because you’ll have a dedicated team of experts to help you through the process of reinventing your home.

4. Don’t spend outside your budget

Home renovations are an exciting activity and it’s easy to get carried away, especially when it comes to expenses. Before committing to any one design, make sure you’ve got the budget for it. If your heart is set on a theme but your finances can’t handle it for the moment, you can start bit by bit and work your way up. Or you can spend some months saving up some money before starting your renovation.

To make up for the lack of space in your home, you should be open to more creative ways to make your house yours. Condominium and apartment units tend to look the same--do not make the mistake of blending in with the crowd when you can stand out!

Welcome the new year by reinventing your space--bring out your personality by personalizing the rooms in your home. Think functionality combined with comfort and aesthetic and you will never go wrong!

Justin Granados is an interior architect specializing in SMART and ergonomic home and office design. He is also one of the content managers for Airtasker and is a regular contributor in their design and DIY section. He is a staunch supporter of environmentally sustainable and accessible design.