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Forecast: 2021 Interior Design Trends

cover image for blog
interior design trends 2021

With a fresh new year ahead of us, we’ve curated our predictions of what will be trending in the world of home design and interiors in 2021.

a homely lifestyle

As a consequence of spending a lot more time at home during lockdown, the quirky and wholesome #cottagecore movement gained huge traction on social media and we’re certain that it will continue to be on trend in 2021.

As well as baking, crafting, and gardening there’s been a noticeable swing towards the comfort of ‘grandma chic’ and the appeal of romanticised traditional décor. In addition, #cottagecore also reflects a more conscientious consumer – a move towards sustainability and away from ‘fast fashion’.

How? Celebrate the faded elegance of one-off vintage finds – nostalgic touches of velvet and antique ‘brown furniture’ – and pair with muted pastels, pretty ditsy patterns and handcrafted macramé pieces.

embracing nature

After a challenging year and long cold winter, we’re already looking forward to the renewed hope and freshness that we associate with spring – what could be more optimistic than warmer temperatures, lighter days, and vivid green buds?

How? As its name suggests, our soon-to-launch wallpaper collection, The Garden is a series of delightful designs that were inspired by the beauty of flora and fauna and the idea of ‘bringing the outside, in’.

Harnessing the fluidity of watercolour, as well as a tighter botanical drawing style, we have explored the freshness of an English country garden and exotic blooms of hothouse orchids.

vibrant and bold colour

The popularity of entirely neutral interior schemes is finally on the wane. Again, we believe this is linked to spending more time at home and wanting to stamp some personality on walls, furniture – wherever!

How? A vivid wallcovering – especially in a living room, dining room or hallway – is a great way to achieve this look. Check out three of our most vibrant and best-selling designs:

design trends 2021

As we all long to escape to distant shores, many trend forecasters have predicted that this will translate into interiors inspired by coastal get-aways.

How? Our collection, The Islands, offers a series of contemporary wallpaper designs featuring whales, shells, lobsters and tropical birds to evoke a sense of dreamy relaxation in a beachside hideaway.

cosy textures

With self-care and mindfulness as lifestyle buzzwords of 2020, this follows into home décor and many elements of the pared-back but snug Scandi and Hygge aesthetics will remain popular into 2021.

How? The soft and earthy textures and tones of natural materials – from cane, linen and rattan to jute, wool and leather – have a much-needed soothing and grounding effect. We recommend adding subtle texture to walls with a semi-plain linen-effect wallcovering, such as our Lucia design.

tranquil interiors

As our homes have come to represent a place of sanctuary, our attention turns to making our spaces feel like serene retreats.

How? Our latest range, Horizon was inspired by the mesmerising fluctuations in light and gives a wonderfully dreamy graduated finish to walls. The light blue and ink shades are especially calming and reflect Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year – Aegean Teal.

pantone's color of the year

We’ve dedicated an entire blog to Pantone’s 2021 Colors of the Year but it’s worth mentioning that the colour experts have also unveiled a palette exploration – inspiration for various ways to deploy Ultimate Gray and Illuminating – from the clear brights of Aviary or Enlightenment to the subdued tones of Sun and Shadow.

Pantone colour of the year 2021
Image: Pantone

We hope our predictions for 2021 interior design trends have inspired you to refresh your home – if you’re considering updating your interior with one of our beautiful luxury wallpapers then please contact us for advice as we’d love to help you.
enquiries@elizabethockford.com

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Expert advice: Decorating with black wallpaper

Hand drawn bugs in silver on black wallpaper

How to decorate with black wallpaper? | Elizabeth Ockford offers her expert advice

“I talk so often about colour and my love of it, that somehow black wallpaper gets overlooked. A teacher of mine at school used to argue that black and white were not actually colours- but I disagree. These days there are so many variations and tones of black, that it’s got its own colour palette all to itself – just think of various paint shades, for example Rainy Slate (Conran Paints), Basalt (Little Greene) and Off Black (Farrow and Ball) to name but a few.”

a kitchen with black wallpaper
Rainy Slate, by Conran Paints.
Image credit: Dear Designer
A bedside table with black wallpaper
Basalt, by Little Greene.
Image credit: Little Greene
a fireplace with black wallpaper
Off Black No. 57, by Farrow & Ball.
Image credit: Farrow & Ball

Using Black as an accent colour with black wallpaper

“I find Black is so very useful as a foil to colour. When it is rich it creates a luminescence in the colours that sit within it – seen here in my Aruba wallpaper. The vibrant lobsters radiate from the textured black ground – they almost appear to be neon.”

Wallpaper pictured: W-01043 Aruba, Black

Beryl black wallpaper with flowers in a textured style

“In this floral Beryl paper, it can create atmosphere, mood and style whilst also adding a touch of masculinity to a female floral design. The traditional English Garden flowers have been fragmented in the pattern and seem to come and go out of the dark ground.”

Wallpaper pictured: Beryl from The Garden collection, coming soon

“These designs along with Pearl River, are all very easy to use and decorate with – as they offer such a diverse range of colours within the black background, that can be used to accent the décor of the rest of the room. I feel it often works best when paired with rich reds and greens to create a warm and intimate feel to the interior – but equally a striking blue and silver colour palette would work well with them.”

Wallpaper pictured: W-01082 Pearl River, Black

Soft and delicate wallpapers using black and white

Using black in your scheme doesn’t have to be about creating dramatic impact. A muted or perhaps sophisticated colour palette of blacks, greys, neutrals and whites leads to a very calm atmosphere. 

Butia, in black and white, adds a touch of glamour to a room, being a complex geometric pattern that resembles a woven silk, or even a Paul Klee abstract painting. It certainly has tones of Art Deco and the 1930s too. The colours softly blend and blur into each other, creating a pattern that is at once both sharp edged and softly focussed. Add into this interior a sofa in a tan tone of suede or leather and you have a very inviting and calm room. 

More delicately patterned are Montserrat and Faroe, both designs from The Islands range. Although their subject matter is sea based, they work really well in calm neutral tones that include black accents, making them very versatile for colour schemes.

Be brave and bold with black

“Sometimes though, it’s all about creating a dramatic impact- whether that is through scale, pattern or colour. I would say that using black as your main colour of choice on a wall is not something for the cautious decorator- it’s definitely a bold choice.

One personal favourite is Martinique in white on black. The oversize shells sit on a black ground that has the appearance of seagrass and a pearlescent finish. It’s so chic!

From my new collection, The Garden, are these two designs Marianne and Cleo. Cleo is a firm studio favourite – we loved sketching all the bugs and butterflies, and they work so well in soft white tones on a black ground.

While Marianne has this ghostly appearance of leaf and plant skeletons, appearing out of the black ground, alongside almost polarised botanical florals. It’s a classic design that has been given an Urban and modern twist with the use of colour.

So, I say- go for it with black! Find a room where you want to make dramatic effect, choose a stunning black wallpaper and accessorise away.

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Expert advice: Choosing wallpaper for darker rooms

Decorating a north-facing room, or space with few or no windows?

A light-starved room needn’t pose a problem – here’s our advice on choosing the perfect wallpaper for your home and aesthetic…

Infuse your room with light

Maximising the light in your room doesn’t mean that you’re restricted to clinical white emulsion – wallpaper can be a strong choice for making a dark room appear brighter. Wall coverings in soft dusky pastels, such as Faroe in pink, pale blue or sepia, will work wonders in a children’s bedroom or nursery.

Faroe wallpaper in sepia
Faroe, Sepia - W-01064
W-01061-Faroe
Pink - W01061
W-01063-Faroe
Blue - W-01063

It’s worth noting that the light in north-facing rooms can be a little cooler, so choosing warm-toned wallcoverings can rebalance this. A wallpaper like Martinique in sunny yellow, with its light warm palette and gentle pearlescent finish, will maximise how much natural and artificial light reflects around the space.

Martinique, Yellow shell wallpaper with a desk in a home office with house plants and minimal decor
Martinique, Yellow - W-01022

Likewise, a light-toned wallpaper with a subtle print, like Nevis in white/grey or Montserrat in black/white would perfectly suit a living space.

Nevis, Grey - W-01063
Nevis, Grey - W-01063
Martinique, Black - W-01023
Martinique, Black - W-01023

Other suggestions to maximise the light flow in your room include:

  • White or light colours on the ceiling and for the woodwork
  • Streamlined window dressings to avoid obstructing any natural daylight
  • Large mirrors to bounce the light around
  • Pale flooring – we love painted floorboards
  • Low-slung furniture

Embrace the atmosphere

Instead of fighting against the lack of light, why not go with it?

Adding darker, richer colours to low-lit rooms can accentuate the space and create something really interesting. Darker colours absorb light, which makes walls appear closer and the room feel more intimate and cocooning.

If you’re looking to create drama and sophistication in an occasionally-used room, such as a formal dining room or living room, then the rich and vivid tones and larger scale pattern of Pearl River in black or Bahama in wine would work beautifully.

Pearl River, Black - W01082
Pearl River, Black - W01082
Bahama, Wine, W-01051
Bahama, Wine, W-01051

Or, for a cosy and relaxing feel in a bedroom, snug, or study, opt for the woven linen texture of Lucia in black/gold.

Lucia, Black/Gold - W-01033
Lucia, Black/Gold - W-01033
Lucia, Black/Gold - W-01033
Lucia, Black/Gold - W-01033

Checklist...

  • Consider your lifestyle and how you use the space

If you’re mainly going to be using the room in the evening, with low lighting, then darker wallpaper can add atmosphere.

  • Think about the light you’re working with

The light in north-facing rooms typically brings out the cooler tones of a colour, so be aware that anything with green, blue or grey base will appear even stronger.

No matter how much natural light you have, your home can be packed full of style and character when you opt for wallpaper.

We hope our article has given you some inspiration for wallpaper for your low-light space but if you’d like some more advice then please email us and we’ll be happy to help – Enquiries@elizabethockford.com

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