You can scroll through Instagram, turn to TikTok, or watch home tours on YouTube to find inspiration for your next interiors project. But, with more than 322 million monthly active users, Pinterest is one of the most popular platforms for inspo.
After scouring the searches and pins of its users, Pinterest has released its trends report for the year ahead.
While you might be questioning how accurate this evidence can be, according to the social media site, eight of its 10 predictions for 2020 came true, from internationally-inspired décor to eco-friendly habits, notably, thrifted homeware items. As such, it would appear the forecasting is worth taking seriously.
Although it has analysed everything from beauty and fashion to food and wellbeing, it’s the interior trends we’re most interested in.
In this historic year, our lives have inevitably changed, and we’ve adopted new ways of appreciating our homes along the way, which Pinterest predicts will have lasting power for years to come.
From the obvious shift towards transforming our homes to be more adequate for home working, to the rise of Japandi and the popularity of neon lights, these are the top trends Pinterest thinks you’ll be seeing everywhere in 2021.
To help you stay ahead of the curve, we spoke to interior designers and experts on how you can inject them into your abode.
You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
While they may be 8000km apart geographically, Japan and Scandinavia have a lot in common in terms of design, which might explain why this trend has taken off.
Japandi is defined as the fusion of Japanese design with Scandanavian aesthetic and is the rising home decor trend you need to know about. Think sleek lines, neutral colours and a calming set-up.
Wil Law, partner and home design stylist at John Lewis & Partners, said it takes the muted restful and textual spaces you often see in Scandinavian homes and combines it with the “simplicity, timelessness and craftsmanship of Japanese design”.
According to Law, its popularity over the years can be accredited to our “appreciation of neutral spaces and how these can calm our senses. Japandi interiors treat the home as a sanctuary, which is what we all need.”
To create a Japandi look in your home, Law suggests investing in some well crafted furniture, focusing on pale wood and clean lines.
He suggests this tranquil sideboard (John Lewis & Partners, £450) for a living room, advising that you “layer in heavy textures where you can, like boucle on soft furnishings or seating.”
If you opt for the former, try pairing with this jute boucle natural rug (west elm, £249), which featured in our review of natural rugs. Our tester noted that “it’s durable and soft, but easy to keep clean and doesn’t highlight dirt”.
When it comes to decorative pieces, Law advises you go for “artworks with line drawn motifs, to create a sense of harmony”, like this three faces line art poster (Desenio, from £8.95), which featured in our round-up of how to bring Matisse-inspired interiors into your home.
Law also suggests adding “more interest with accessories, choosing pieces that are ‘wabi sabi’ (finding beauty in imperfection) and have that handcrafted look”. This ursula flower pot (Nordic Nest, £26) should do the trick.
With Pinterest reporting an increased interest in modern wooden bed design, we’d suggest tapping into the trend with this minimalys teak bed (Tikamoon, £899).
A similar bed from the brand featured in our review of the best bed frames, with our tester praising Tikamoon for its eco-credentials and the way it channels the Japandi trend in its designs, as well as the robust design.
Similarly, bedding (in relation to the Japandi trend) has been a popular search and Pinterest predicts it’s only going to increase.
As such, Law suggests opting for 100 per cent linen bedding, noting that it’s perfect for a Japandi aesthetic. “It’s a natural fibre, has a very relaxed look and layers well with other textiles to create a simple, but tactile top of the bed,” he says.
This natural ticking linen duvet cover set (Chalk Pink Linen Company, £159) took the top spot in our review of the best bed linen sets, with our tester praising it for being “super soft and lightweight, incredibly cosy, and effortlessly chic”.
In terms of colour schemes, keep to “stone colours, contrasted with the freshness of white, and punctured with the sophistication of black”, advises Law. He adds that you should “keep wall colours and pieces of furniture tonal, in earthy neutrals, then layer in white soft furnishings to add a crispness to the space”.
With more than two million pictures on Instagram tagging the hashtag #shelfie, it’s no surprise that shelves are big news when it comes to interiors. So popular in fact that Pinterest predicts that kitchen shelves will be the new gallery walls. So what’s a shelfie, we hear you ask? It’s a trend that sees Instagram users share photos of a perfectly curated shelf, and we’ve asked the experts for some inspo to help you create your own.
Charlie Morrison, designer at Typology, recommends you opt for wooden shelves, noting Etsy as a great place for bespoke, made to order shelving. Morrison also likes these floating shelves from Funky Chunky (from £23).
Interiors writer Lisa Dawson says “Open kitchen shelves work well because they open up the space instead of crowding it.
“Removing wall cupboards makes the room feel bigger and brighter and adding your favourite crockery and accessories brings colour and personality to your space,” she adds.
Dawson says that coloured glassware is really effective when put on display: “When it’s placed by itself, one piece can look a little lonely but mixed with other, tonal shades, the display becomes a collection.”
Meanwhile, design blogger, Emma Jane Palin notes that shelves offer the perfect way to add “personality to a space, without spending a fortune or making
In the kitchen, she suggests “mixing up books, artwork, candles and objet d’art”, noting that she’d pair this XL vibrant orange vase (WA Green, £120) alongside a pound a bowl print by Rose Stallard (Print Club London, £85), a set of orange rim skull roca tumblers (WA Green, £28) and her trusty Ottolenghi Simple cookbook (Waterstones, £27).
Morrison also suggests adding plants to create your shelfie. This golden pothos (Hortology, from £6.99) featured in our review of the best house plants, with our reviewer noting that it looks good when dangling off a shelf, making it the perfect addition.
For some final words of wisdom, Palin’s says: “When styling shelves, try and style in groups of odd numbers (one, three or five), play around with heights, and most importantly, to experiment and have fun with it!”
Neon and LED lighting
It would appear we’ve got video-sharing platform TikTok to thank for this one, with a huge increase in LED and neon lights being searched and posted about within the platform.
And on Pinterest, there’s been a particular interest in neon rooms and LED light signs among Gen Z pinners, with “vibey lighting” set to be even bigger in 2021.
Gigi Foyle, founder of bag & bones, believes that “lighting is the most important element when it comes to interior design. Neon, in particular, has the ability to not just change the mood of the room, but also the people in it”.
Her favourite? A multi-coloured you’re my fave (bag & bones, £225), closely followed by you’re so cool (bag & bones, £225), both of which provide a sure-fire way to inject some personality and fun into your home.
Palin also opted for a neon sign from the brand, suggesting that this yellow smiley light (bag & bones, £60) is a great way to introduce neon into your space.
“It would look wonderful placed as part of a gallery wall, or even styled on some kitchen shelving,” adds Palin.
For something a little kinder to the pocket, yet still on-trend, we love these LED strip lights (Urban Outfitters, £15), which you can change colour using the remote control. Thanks to the self-adhesive strips, these can be placed anywhere in your home.
Alternatively, another way to create ambience at home is with colour changing lightbulbs, and the Philips hue white and colour ambience starter kit E27 (John Lewis & Partners, £129.99) took the top spot in our review of the best smart lights.
The Independent’s technology critic, David Phelan, says that “Philips knows pretty much all there is to know about lighting, including and how to illuminate a room in different colours or adapt to different situations”, making this starter pack an excellent go-to.
As we transitioned to a predominately WFH nation this year, the role of our homes transitioned also – it needed to provide a space for work, the gym, school and downtime.
As such, Pinterest predicts that many more of us will be looking for creative ways to separate a single room in 2021, noting a move away from open floor designs to closed-door concepts.
The image-sharing platform predicts we’ll also be transforming spaces to work as double duty – make way for the “cloffice” (closet and office).
Joanna Thornhill, interiors stylist and author of My Bedroom is an Office, suggests when it comes to turning an existing closet into a home office, utilising every surface possible is key. She also advises fixing a drop-down table in to act as a desk, as it’s the best ergonomic option.
This norberg (Ikea, £35) is the one she suggests you go for. When it comes to styling your cloffice, Thornhill suggests adding “add any motivational artwork to the back ‘wall’ and even consider painting or wallpapering it in a bold colour, to give you a visual pep-up.”
If you’re going for the latter, this electric lagoon white wallpaper (The Curious Department, £120) took the top spot in our review of the best wallpapers, with our tester praising it for being “wonderfully eccentric” and providing “maximum coverage”.
Thornhill also notes that “room dividers can be super useful for zoning off a working area within a living space, allowing you to mentally leave work behind once you’re done for the day”.
She suggests opting for a curved design, which is more “reassuring to our brains than sharp angles”, and loves this webbing room divider (Folk Interiors, £390), which “is very easy on the eye”.
Alternatively, this longitude panelled screen (French Connection, £210), “with its natural mango wood finish, would work well in any boho schemes,” says Thornhill.
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