Interior designers share 7 living-room trends that'll be huge in 2021, and 5 that will be out

Sophia Mitrokostas
·5 min read
living room 2
Statement artwork is in, and accent walls are out. Followtheflow/Shutterstock; PlusONE/Shutterstock

In a time when many people are relaxing, learning, and working at home, living rooms have become more important than ever.

Insider asked professional interior designers for their take on the incoming living-room trends for 2021, and which styles are fading away.

Read on to see what they said.

Furniture with curves will likely replace angular pieces.

curved couch
Curved furniture has a cozier feel. Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Interior designer KD Reid told Insider that curvy furniture will be trending in 2021.

"No more boxy furniture — we'll see more furniture with curves and rounded edges that add coziness to an interior," he said.

Incorporate even more soft lines into your space by adding round pillows, circular rugs, and curved end tables.

Multiuse furniture is in high demand.

multipurpose furniture
Furniture pieces that can serve more than one function are big right now. SutidaS/Shutterstock

Farah Merhi, interior designer and founder of Inspire Me! Home Decor, told Insider that multifunction pieces will be the stars of living-room design in 2021.

"Having flexible furniture is more important than ever now," she said. "Think tables that can be expanded or tucked away and curio cabinets that can store school supplies."

Other examples of multiuse pieces include rolling carts that can be hidden away when not in use and modular sofas that can be rearranged as needed.

Nubby fabrics like sheepskin are very popular.

sheep skin/sherpa throw
The fluffy fabric adds both luxury and coziness to a space. Ludmila Ivashchenko/Shutterstock

Interior designer Jennifer Burt of Mississippi Maximalism told Insider that warm, nubby fabrics are a hot trend for 2021.

"The cozy texture of fabrics like sherpa and sheepskin can help people feel safe and comfortable," she said. "They also really tie into the 'cottagecore' and hygge trends."

Other ways to add softness to your space include faux-fur blankets, velvet pillows, and tufted ottomans.

Travel-inspired decor is gaining traction in homes.

tropical natural living room
You can bring a tropical vibe to your own living room. Archi_Viz/Shutterstock

With the coronavirus pandemic restricting travel across the globe, there's been a surge in travel-inspired living-room decor.

"We're seeing people use their deferred travel dreams as inspiration for their interiors," Merhi said. "Artwork, patterns, and colors from other regions are big right now."

Sectional sofas are back in style.

sectional sofa
Large, sectional couches can accommodate whole families. Aspects and Angles/Shutterstock

After years of being shunned in favor of smaller, statement sofas, sectionals are making a comeback.

"With families spending more time at home and in the living room, sectional sofas have been majorly trending," Burt told Insider. "They're so popular that lead times for delivery can be months long."

The designer recommended opting for a sectional in a lighter color, as this can make a large piece of furniture appear to take up less space.

Natural elements will likely be big in 2021.

natural furniture living room
Natural materials like rattan, wood, and jute are trending. Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Plastics and synthetics may be replaced by natural fibers and textiles this year.

"Expect to see more natural elements such as rattan, jute, or boucle in living rooms in 2021," Reid said.

He noted that even minimalist and industrial styles can incorporate hard-wearing natural elements like wood and wool.

Larger statement art is on track to replace gallery walls.

statement art work living room
Investing in a large piece of quality art could be the right move for your living room. Followtheflow/Shutterstock

Gallery walls are collections of smaller artworks arranged to fill a large wall space.

However, Reid shared that big, bold pieces of art are back in style.

"The typical living-room gallery wall will be replaced with large statement artwork, like posters or abstract pieces," he told Insider.

Barn doors are losing favor in living spaces.

barn doors living room
The sliding door style has become outdated. Artazum/Shutterstock

Once the darling of home makeover shows, the barn door has passed its peak popularity.

"At this point, barn doors look dated and cheesy unless you actually live in a farmhouse," Burt said.

Instead, she recommended choosing French doors, which block sound better and have a more timeless appeal.

The excitement for mid-century modern style is fading.

mid century modern furniture
Mid-century modern furniture has been huge over the last few years. united photo studio/Shutterstock

Mid-century modern style is inspired by design trends from the 1950s and 1960s.

The look has been trending in living-room design for years, but Reid told Insider that the retro aesthetic is finally fading.

"At last, the boxy shapes and geometric patterns of mid-century modern style are being replaced by more rounded edges and modern prints," he told Insider.

Accent walls are out.

accent walls
Jarring accent walls can look outdated. PlusONE/Shutterstock

Accent walls are ones that have been painted or wallpapered differently than the rest of a room.

They're meant to be eye-catching focal points, but Reid said they're a dated design trend.

"We've moved past using accent walls to create visual interest," he told Insider. "Instead, people now want to create a sense of depth by painting all walls the same color."

Light blue is losing popularity.

light blue living room
Other shades of blue, however, are still in style. Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

The delicate blue hues that have been trending for several seasons may be supplanted by more vivid tones.

"Light and powder blues will be out in 2021," Merhi said. "Instead, you'll see moodier blues like classic denim or deep navy."

Deeper blue colors hide wear and tear better than lighter ones, which may explain their rising popularity in living-room design.

Shiplap is being replaced by wallpaper.

shiplap
Shiplap was big in the 2010s, but it's dated now. ocwarfford/Shutterstock

Shiplap siding was originally used to waterproof boats, but it made its way into living rooms in the early 2010s due to its prolific use on home makeover shows.

"The shiplap trend is on its way out," Burt said. "Wallpaper is the new shiplap, as it evokes a sense of nostalgia and comfort."

She also mentioned that modern wallpaper is easier to remove than the wallpaper of the past, so you can easily change the look if you don't love it.

Read the original article on Insider