Designer Shelton Mindel shows off the earth trend in this room photographed by Michael Moran.

1stdibs, an online luxury marketplace, has announced the results of its fourth annual Interior Designer Trends Survey, completed by hundreds of interior designers around the world.

Highlights from this year’s survey include color trends, with jewel tones like emerald and cobalt blue/navy coming in on top for next year. Additional findings include a return of 1970s-era styles, a focus on bringing the outdoors inside through nature and organic-inspired patterns, more outdoor spaces and a major uptick in online shopping for the home.

“In the past year, our relationships with our homes have evolved dramatically. We’re spending so much more time thinking about the spaces we love — and would love to update — and also about how design helps us meet the needs of everyday life,” said Anthony Barzilay Freund, editorial director and director of fine art for 1stdibs. “The designer survey provides us with insight into interior trends that represent our shifting decorative preferences and our new attitudes toward pursuing work and leisure activities at home. It’s been a year of big changes, to say the least, and the survey results reflect that.”

Color trends

Jewel tones came out on top for the second year in a row, with emerald picking by 24% and cobalt blue/navy by 23%, and warm, earth tones seeing a dramatic rise in popularity. Burnt orange and mustard yellow tied with 22% of the vote, showing the biggest increase from last year. Yellow and orange hues as a whole were up 13% and 15%, respectively. Rounding out the top five colors is white, which also got 22% of the vote, an increase of 11% over last year.

“The use of color in design is often a sign of the times as much as of the inhabitants,” explained designers Gil Melott. “Jewel tones such as cobalt blue and emerald green are gaining favor in 2021 and definitely add luxury and maturity to a palette.

“What I find telling is how as people have spent more time indoors, the desire to embrace the outdoors by using more grounded colors to evoke a sense of calm and comfort is just that, comforting. There seems to be a subtle shift toward the humbler earth tones and we believe richer hues will redefine how the whole home feels: comforting, safe and inviting.”

Time warp

As in fashion, 1stdibs points out in a release that “trends in interior design are often cyclical, with references to past eras.” This year designers indicated that, between a trend timeline that spanned from the 1950s to the 2010s, that the 1970s were most likely to come back, taking 29% of the vote.

Associated with bright colors and earth tones, this trend reinforces color trend predictions.

“If I had to pick a favorite decade, the 1970s might be it,” noted designer Angie Hranowsky. “From the fashion, to the earthy color palettes, to the sense of freedom and individuality, I have always found inspiration in this bohemian decade. But it seems to be having a renaissance. Whether it’s modern furniture or traditional details like floral and fringe, we can see these now through a more modern lens.”

Nature-Inspired patterns

In patterns and motifs, florals/plants and organic were tied for first, receiving a quarter of the vote.

“We inherently have a connection to outdoor spaces and often find inspiration in nature,” said designer Laura Hodges about the trend. “Increasingly, we’re finding ways to bring that natural beauty indoors with botanical wallpapers and hand-painted nature-inspired murals, as well as potted plants, trees and vertical gardens.”

Artisanal furniture on the rise

Designers are looking for way to make their spaces more unique, and for the fourth straight year, the percentage of designers reporting that they will source new and contemporary pieces from artisanal makers is on the rise, growing from 55% last year to 61% this year.

Alongside that, the contemporary style’s popularity is also on the rise, coming out on top for 2021 with 31% of the vote. Coming in second and third were Mid-Century Modern and Art Deco, at 24% and 22% respectively.

What’s out this year

Colors on the way out in 2021 include bright red, which received only 1% of votes, an 8% drop from last year.  Millenial pink also dropped significantly, losing 7% to set at 4% this year. Light yellow at 5% and bright orange and dark purple, both at 6%, round out the least-favored the question about which color is expected to reign in 2021, Bright red received the fewest votes, with only 1%.

In patterns, ikat took home last place with 1% of votes, and stripes came in second with 3%. Looking ahead at materials, brass earned the most votes against it from designers asked this question, taking home 13% of the vote. Other materials with the highest vote percentages were wood (12%) and polished metals.

Speaking to trends, the 2010s industrial style was voted least likely to come back, receiving only 2% of the votes. On the question about which decade’s design styles are expected to make a comeback in 2021, the 2010s and its industrial aesthetic had the least support, with only 2% of the votes.

Coronavirus connections

In the wake of COVID-19, 1stdibs Editorial Director Freund wanted to get an idea of the changes caused by COVID-19 this year and the future with this year’s survey.

“Building on our traditional survey approach, which is focused on what’s in style and what’s anticipated to fall out, we wanted to understand the main shifts in how COVID-19 has impacted the design industry,” said Freund.

Looking back at 2020, the survey found that there was a sharp uptick in home furnishings purchased online this year. According to designers, the proportion of items they purchased online vs. in-store rose to 73% in 2020 from 56% in 2019.

The pandemic also changed how designers are developing their designs for clients, with 41% of projects being designed virtually or remotely.

The most requested designs in 2020 were for living rooms, 66%, kitchens, 48%, bedrooms, 32%, bathrooms, 29%, home offices, 28%, dining rooms, 21%, and home gyms/wellness rooms, 7%.

On the question about top challenges presented by the pandemic, delayed procurement and delivery time received the most votes, 76%, followed by project delays and cancellations, 62%, and general product availability, 57%.

Looking at next year, the most anticipated residential design change was an increase in outdoor spaces, receiving 78% of the vote. Home offices were also predicted to be big in the coming year, receiving 76% of the vote.

Other top-ranked spaces included those associated with a “healthy home,” which features things like air quality and renewable energy, with 48% of the vote. The fewest votes went to a shift to minimalist design, 19%, more smart products and touchless appliances, 23%, kid-friendly playrooms, 23%, and closed floor plans, 23%.

Designers suggested that he impact of COVID-19 on commercial design would center on the need for social distancing and open floor plans, 47%, smaller private offices and work areas, 18%, and designs that allow for flexibility in the commercial space, 14%.

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