2021 Interior Design Trends for Your Apartment

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The latest interior inspiration for apartments

The changes of the past year have affected almost every aspect of modern living: 2020 upended the way we work, socialize, and entertain ourselves, and dramatically increased the amount of time we spend at home. With nowhere else to go, many people took the opportunity to either hone-in their personal interior style or change it completely to serve them in new ways. Gone are the stark minimalism and clean modernism of the past few years. With people spending more time than ever inside their apartments, 2021 provides a fresh new perspective for interiors.

Warm and earthy colours are favoured over whites and neutrals in 2021.

Functionality over fung shui

In the last year, many big cities such as London saw more and more city-dwellers moving outside of the city and into the suburbs to escape concentrated populations and enjoy more space. However, cities like Berlin are still seeing the majority of its population living in apartments. And with most office employees transitioned into remote workers, apartments in the city are serving new purposes. People living in studios and 1-bedroom apartments are looking for ways to transform their living space into a work-friendly environment—-no easy feat with limited square footage.

2021 apartment interior design trends are all about serving a multitude of purposes. Instead of clean, minimalistic lines and open spaces, apartment dwellers are looking to section off their home as much as possible, in order to establish separation between home life and working life. For small apartments, this means getting creative: foldable desks that retract into the wall, or also function as a bookshelf. Empty corners are transformed into functional working spaces, or those lucky enough to have a spare room or walk-in closet are converting the space into offices. Homeowners are moving away from once desirable open-floor plans to apartments with separate rooms, in order to designate areas with different purposes. Now the home has to play the role of gym, office, and entertainment space.

Make your home office area your own--characterise the space with personal touches.

Make it personal

But with so much time spent at home, it’s not enough to just shove a desk in the corner and call it a day. Now is the time to develop your personal style and customize your interior with warmth and inspiration instead of monotony. No more cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all, mid-century modern interiors. Personalized shelving arrangements displaying sentimental knick-knacks, eye-catching dishware, plants, and colourful glassware make for a more interesting background for your many Zoom meetings than a blank wall. Your book collection (which likely grew exponentially the past year) aesthetically arranged by colour gives a room more character and a personal touch. Don’t settle for generic knock-off art prints or over-used quotes to hang on your wall—buy pieces that resonate with you, instead of matching whatever Instagram says is on-trend. Eye-catching printed wallpaper is a great way to add personality to a dull wall. Pick something that will bring you joy--whether mellow meadow prints or tropical florals, choose what sparks that warm feeling inside.

Bold colours and natural textures can brighten the atmosphere in your home.

Bright colours are in

Gone are the all-white interiors that ruled the interior design scene of the past several years. Colours are in trend in 2021, especially warm tones, earthy greens, and sky blues. Apartment-dwellers are choosing hopeful, brighter colours for their space that reflect the optimism of a new year. Grey tones, crisp white walls, and dark interiors are out. Instead, bright combinations such as yellow and grey offer a balance of warm and cool tones. With more people enclosed inside, lighting is key. Mood lighting can transform a space from office to cosy living room with the addition of neon lights, dimmers, and cosy lamps. Natural daylight is at a premium during dark winters at home, so light and airy window treatments give the illusion of a larger, brighter space. Make sure the curtain length is floor to ceiling, otherwise they can cut a room short and make the ceilings seem lower than they actually are.

Multipurpose furniture can free up space and add storage to your apartment.

Comfort is king

When it comes to furniture, 2021 will see a trend of individuality and warmth. No more matching sets—buy pieces that speak to you and that add flair and personality to your home. People are more nostalgic now than ever, and that’s reflected in this year’s design trends: Antique, vintage pieces will replace mass-produced furniture as people value sustainability and a timeless look over trendier styles. Design trends like cottagecore and rustic vogue incorporate nostalgic styles with modern comfort, leaving an impression of traditional luxe that will never go out of style. When buying big furniture pieces like couches, rugs, and chairs, look for items are comfortable, with rounded edges and soft fabrics. Mirrored, ultramodern furniture is being replaced by warmer, natural materials like wicker, rattan, and wood. Open storage is a thing of the past—multifunctional furniture with closed storage (such as coffee tables, beds, and ottomans) can serve multiple purposes in apartments and free up much-needed space.

2020 was a transformative year, and the interior styles in focus for 2021 reflect that. So many people spend most of their time at home—-why not take the opportunity to find the perfect style that reflects you best? Don't stress about keeping your space minimal with muted neutrals and clean whites. Bring your space to life with colour and unique pieces, without sacrificing functionality and comfort. Long-lasting traditional pieces hint at nostalgia, while bright pops of colour and print add hope and joy to the space that we are spending more and more time in. 2021 is the time to experiment with your interior style and discover how to make your apartment’s design serve you best.

Written by:

Catherine Norris

Tennessee native Catherine loves writing about her new home in Berlin. From interior design inspiration to new developments in the German real estate market, Catherine’s got it covered.

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