Seven Furniture Trends You're Sure to See in 2021
Here's how the decade is kicking off...
Though we prefer timeless—and personal—design, spotting a new trend is always exciting. And, to be honest, each year brings a few new furniture designs that eventually find their way into the pages of our publication, as well as on Pinterest and Instagram. As the year comes to a close, we turned to trusted designers with their fingers on the pulse of the design world and our notes from major shows like the High Point Market to see what will make a significant impact in 2021. Here's what we discovered.
1. Cane, Wicker, and Rattan
As if we needed any more evidence that the grand millennial design is here to stay, we're seeing an increase in furniture made from fabrics that were once reserved for your grandmother's screened-in porch across the board. Bobby Berk's furniture line for ART, Society Social's new shop, and Target's in-house furniture all feature cane and rattan (shown here). There's a lot more to come, according to previews of spring 2021 lines at this year's furniture shows. Les Ensembles' Richard Oullette says, "We want more of the natural, taking in the soul and elements from nature."
2. Pieces Made-to-Order
Is it possible to have too much Amazon Prime? Years of click-to-buy monotony tend to have worn consumers down, leading them to seek out handmade, customizable pieces, which are now easier to find than ever thanks to the internet and social media.
"So many new artisans and luxury furniture companies have sprung up lately," designer Josh Pickering says. (Take Brooklyn-based Peg Woodworking, for example, whose pieces can be customized down to the finish and inch.) "As a result, I believe we will see more people commissioning one-of-a-kind products. Ready-made, mass-produced items have progressed so far in terms of aesthetics that simply looking nice is no longer enough to win customers over. It must be one-of-a-kind and rare, and it must be of high quality."
3. Vintage Galore
Another choice for a more distinctive appearance? Make a retro statement! Despite what you might have learned about millennials not wanting their parents' furniture (which is not real!), designers expect a renewed interest in antiques. "I expect a greater return to embracing the past as the decade draws to a close and we step into the future," says Jamie Drake, who designed this interior with an 18th-century giltwood chair. "Since they are underappreciated and undervalued, antiques from the 18th and 19th centuries will be reevaluated." For truly special and personal spaces, expect to see them mixed in with classic and contemporary objects. JDK Interiors' Jenny Kirschner says: "I think we'll see a shift toward being less mainstream and more customized in our furniture choices and how we mix aesthetics as designers. Over the last few years, the fear of mixing your grandmother's antique chest into a space full of contemporary items has vanished."
4. Design Blues
Classic Blue is one of the most preferred colors. Is it a coincidence? Not at all. Blues of all shades are abundant in next year's furniture reviews, with product and furniture designers treating it as much of a neutral as gray or beige.
5. Curves, Curves, Curves
A sofa with a rectangular shape? That was last year. Curved furniture is becoming increasingly popular among designers and homeowners because of its light, romantic feel. We're looking at a curvy path ahead for fashion, from sofas like this one by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams to curved-back armchairs and dining chairs. "2021 is the year of the gentle curve," says designer Chad James, "as we step away from more formal, rectilinear forms and toward sleek curved and asymmetrical pieces that produce softer environments."
Prepare your patio for 2021 by following these steps: The new year aims to offer more outdoor furniture choices than ever before. There's never been a better time to refresh your yard, with performance and outdoor fabrics that are nice enough to use both outdoors and indoors (like the Perennials on this sofa in a living room by MA Allen) and a slew of new outdoor lines from Made Goods, Bernhardt, and Barclay Butera.
7. Biedermeier Style Furniture
The soothing appeal of the Biedermeier style furniture appealed to the middle class. They felt more positive about their position in modern society as a result of the painting. The most prominent features of this style were furniture, as the fixation of daily life emphasized the home.
Before this time, the Empire and Directoire styles were the most common design choices. The strong geometry, symmetry, and Greco-Roman themes were highlighted in these Neoclassical versions. These were the designs of aristocrats and royalty, not middle-class citizens, and they were stunning.
As a result, cabinetmakers started to produce more commonplace items that could be found in average people's homes.