Current Design Trends: 2021

 In Architecture, Decor, Interior Design, Kitchen & Bath Design

Like clockwork, every December or January, Interior Designers and other industry leaders love to put out their predictions for the upcoming year’s design trends. Now that we’re two thirds of the way through the year, it can be fun to look back and take stock of what predictions held true and which ones didn’t come to fruition. Today we’re discussing a few of the interior design trends that we’ve seen really take off in 2021.

Checkered Floors

First up are checkered floors. No longer just for the retro diner, checkered floors have been blowing up the interior design industry this year. This classic look can be interpreted in countless different ways, allowing it to be used in a wide range of design styles. Whether it be the classic black and white check, a pattern using different natural stone materials, or a checkered pattern painted on wood floors, this trend brings ample character to any space. This style of flooring can look great in any space. Whether that be a mudroom, bathroom, hallway, or of course, a kitchen, it is easy to see why this is such a huge trend this year.

Lisa Tharp

Bria Hammel Interiors

Cortney Bishop

Burl Wood

Another trend we’re seeing this year is the use of burl wood. By definition, a burl is a tree growth in which the grain has grown in a deformed manner. This mutation gives the wood an interesting marbled look that can bring a sophisticated warmth to any space. If this is a trend that intrigues you, a good place to start is adding a single piece of burl furniture to your space. CB2 currently has some beautiful burl pieces:

Courtesy of CB2

Courtesy of CB2

Textured Walls

What do you do when you want to add texture and interest to your space without using wallpaper or a bold paint color? Try faux finishes! Now, we’re not talking about the faux finishes from decades past. We’re referring to the next design trend that has been taking off this year: textured walls. More specifically, the use of lime wash and roman clay.

Using either of these techniques create a beautiful plaster effect that would fool anyone into thinking they were stepping into a building that is centuries old. However, this doesn’t mean that these spaces don’t look modern and elevated.

Apart from looking stunning, lime wash is also great because of its eco-friendly properties. This paint technique dates back to the Roman Empire. Traditionally, lime wash is created from limestone that has been crushed and mixed with water to create somewhat of a paste to be applied to a surface. The fact that this technique has been around for so long proves that it is a timeless way to bring warmth and elegance to your space in a subdued way. Check out the spaces below to see for yourself.

Courtesy of Portola Paints

Courtesy of Portola Paints

Photographer: Jenna Peffley | Designer: Stefani Stein

All-White Interiors

Last but certainly not least, is the all-white interiors trend. We’ve talked about using white in interior design before, check out that post here if you missed it. The color white is timeless, but it is definitely having a huge moment right now in the design industry. You can achieve this look by layering different tones of white and cream with other textures, materials, and natural elements. This is what will make your space look warm and inviting as opposed to stark and cold.

One of my favorite designers, Leanne Ford, is the queen of the all-white design trend as you can see from a few of her beautiful spaces below.

Let us know what you think of the design trends happening so far in 2021. Do you think we missed any?


If you’d like to learn more about our team and what we do, check out our website, portfolio, and other blog posts. You can also find us on social media.


Amber Sabrowsky,
Distinctive Design Studio Office Manager

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