Decor styles for 2021 - What is in and what's out?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Preferred Realty

Being stuck inside has made people re-think what they want their interior decor to look and feel like. Design trends are all over the place. The one thing that is guaranteed is change is coming.

We've found there is no shortage of design styles in today's homes. The modern farmhouse or a version of it has been popular for sometime now. If you love the modern farmhouse style, don't worry, it is still going strong. However, we're seeing a movement to more interesting, nostalgic and relaxing trends. 

What do you do if the modern farmhouse everyone has worked effortlessly to achieve is not your style? One emerging trend is a modern look with clean lines and spaces. And, you don't have to be a minimalist to live with a modern look.

I found the article below that gives many examples of how to decorate and still enjoy comfort, relaxation, clean spaces and a style that works.


Here are some things I've observed from showing homes and reading about design styles.

1) White walls are coming back. Not stark white but crisp light or warm comfortable white. Colors such as Valspar Bistro White  Benjamin Moore's Atrium White Behr Smoky White SW Sanctuary or Sherwin Williams City Loft.

2) It isn't all about the white walls. The gray colors still have a strong following. SW Agreeable Gray  and SW Repose Gray is still a popular choice. However, light hues of blues, yellows and even pink are forging their way into homes. SW Mountain Air is a popular pale blue that depending on the lighting may look white, light blue or even gray. Yellows are poping up to go with the gray wall trend and Benjamin Moore has a popular line of yellow to choose from. Pink hues or taupe with pink undertones made the list such as Benjamin Moore First Light.

3) Accent Walls and Bright Bold Colors make a splash. If you're brave enough, you may want to try some of these colors. Benjamin Moore's Aegean Teal is a gorgeous teal. If only I could find a place for it with my current color scheme. Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze is a neutral color that can pair with many color schemes. It is gorgeous in bathrooms and even on cabinets. SW Navel is still a hot color. Bright greens, yellows, and dramatic blacks are also forging their way into today's homes.

4) Wallpaper is back! You heard me right. And it's not your mamma's wallpaper. Gorgeous textures and colors are popping up in homes as accent walls and even covering full rooms. If you want something fun then go for it. Just remember, what goes up must come down. Those of us who've had to remove wallpaper or pay to have it removed may still be filling the pain of those past choices. However, I suspect that won't stop most people. If you still have wallpaper from the 90s understand it is not the same. Go ahead and remove, replace, or paint if you plan to sell your home. 

5) Emerald Green accents are very favored from velvet sofas and chairs to decor pieces. We just can't take our eyes off them.

6) Indoor plants are very desirable, real and artificial. Many decorating pieces show artificial trees such as this fiddle leaf fig tree.

7) Oversized light fixtures that are open (see-through/transparent) are finding their place for a dramatic touch.

8) Builders tell me the white Kitchen cabinet is still the primary choice. White kitchen cabinets are a classic. However, I do see people refinishing their old cabinets with shades of gray, blue, or green. What I'm reading is green cabinets will be in our future.

9) What's in? Due to the pandemic think relaxed and comfortable. Granny-chic, grandmillennial, nostalgia, and vintage are a few buzz words you're going to hear and see over the next year. Rattan and cane furniture is making a comeback. Natural and sustainable fabrics and accents are becoming popular. Plush furniture is catching the eye of homeowners. Extended all year outdoor living spaces are still very popular during the pandemic.

10) What's out? Barn doors are being replace with other fashionable options. All what bathrooms are being replaced with warm natural colors. Homebuyers would rather have partially open floor plans vs. the completely open floor plans from the past two years. Some are saying Shiplap is falling out of fashion. I think it will continue to hold a place in the homes of people who love it. Some are painting it with updated colors. 

The most important thing is to remember, love where you live. You can always change it if is outdated or overly personalized when is time to move.  

Posted by

Raleigh Cary Apex Realtor Carla Freund Realty

Presented by:

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Carla Freund Realty Team

Keller Williams Preferred Realty

By Carla Freund Realty Team

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Carolina Life Real Estate and Relocation


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Comments (12)

Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

I had to laugh as I looked at the first photo and it looks as if someone told the man of the house to get out of the room so they could take a picture.  He forgot his shoe

Jan 24, 2021 09:44 AM
Carla Freund

Haha! Funny. I didn't even notice the shoes sitting there. A new staging effort??

Jan 31, 2021 06:59 AM
John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Hello Carla Freund thank you for sharing very good report about decor styles for 2021.

Jan 24, 2021 10:49 AM
Carla Freund

Thank you John. Happy 2021 to you!

Jan 31, 2021 07:00 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA - Topsfield, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

These are good to know for sellers Carla Freund 

I am tired of the primary colors and like a little more boldness but sellers probably need to be more cautious

Jan 24, 2021 11:04 AM
Carla Freund

I agree Doug. Bold gets personal and everyone has an opinion of which bold colors are best.  I hope you had a great birthday!

Jan 31, 2021 07:01 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good afternoon Carla Freund ,

Interesting post and love the links and all the information you provided. Some how for me I will never see Granny Chic in my home..I appreciate it but could not begin to live with it!

Jan 24, 2021 11:12 AM
Carla Freund

Thank you Dorie. I might see a touch of granny chic but not much. I have fallen in love with ginger jars which see to show up in the granny chic decor. Overall, I prefer light clean lines. We're actually in the process of making over our home. We went from a taupe wall to a very pale blue and just that color difference and changing out the light bulbs has made our house much lighter. Have a wonderful day!

Jan 31, 2021 07:04 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Nice recap, Carla. I never saw shiplap be a big thing here in Charlotte... mostly I just saw it on HGTV. As for barn doors, I'm finding that people still like them a lot. And like Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR you won't catch this granny living with granny chic! When I think of granny decor I think of green carpeting! :)

Jan 24, 2021 11:57 AM
Carla Freund

Interesting. I see shiplap in a lot of homes here. Seems like we have a lot of HGTV watchers. I don't know who is doing the granny-chic look. I haven't seen that here but it appears to be a thing. 

Jan 31, 2021 07:08 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi Carla,  Thanks for sharing these current trends in decor styles.  It's amazing what a little paint will do to update rooms.

Jan 24, 2021 08:11 PM
Carla Freund

Yes it is Bob. As I sit here in my open office typing, I see my husband on a ladder painting our foyer a light color. We went from taupe to a very pale blue and the difference is incredible. Have a wonderful weekend!

Jan 31, 2021 07:09 AM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Good morning Carla Freund great posts on how the trends are changing

Jan 25, 2021 07:15 AM
Carla Freund

Thank you Rocky! Have a wonderful weekend.

Jan 31, 2021 07:09 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Carla, great post, and thank you for sharing your thoughts on 2021 decor.  

Jan 31, 2021 08:16 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Carla,  I know with being inside more this year, my wife had me doing painting the living room and the bathrooms.

Jan 31, 2021 08:27 AM
The Woodland Team of Texas
The Woodland Companies - Austin, TX
Land Specialists

Thanks for sharing the information on this community, I hope you sell many of these homes. 


Feb 06, 2021 12:40 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Some of these are really good for customization and I agree with a lot of it even with my differences here and there but overall amazing amazing amazing! :1)

Apr 03, 2021 10:00 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is good information to share.

Take care, be safe and have a productive April.

Apr 06, 2021 04:47 AM