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These Are Your Favourite Home Design Trends for 2021… Or Not

January 22, 2021
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We couldn’t make up our mind on the hottest interior design trends this year, so we let you decide!

It’s been nearly a month since New Year’s Day has come and gone, and that means two things: 1) we’re now (very) firmly in 2021 and 2) it’s time for another breakdown of interior design trends that’ll likely be popular in Singapore. But rather than us telling you what’s trending this year, we let you tell us what’s trendy instead!

2021 interior design trends popular

So, here’s what we found out about your 2021 design preferences via a quick Instagram Story poll:

1. Terrazzo finishes: You either love them or you don’t.

Out of all nine 2021 design trends that we got homeowners to vote on, terrazzo had the narrowest yay-to-nay margin, with just 2% more participants polling in favour of the classic Italian material, which is typically made from a mixture of marble, granite, quartz, and glass.

2021 interior design trends popular

However, terrazzo fans will be delighted to know that there are more ways than one to bring its distinctive speckles into their homes this year. Like for instance, terrazzo can be used to create an eye-catching kitchen backsplash:

Sengkang West Road by The Local INN.terior 新家室

Or if you prefer, you could use budget-friendly terrazzo patterned laminates instead (as opposed to the real deal) to add fun and colour to your living room.

Sengkang East Avenue by Urban Home Design 二本設計家
Sengkang East Avenue by Urban Home Design 二本設計家

2. Built-ins with pocket doors are clear winners.

Built-ins with pocket doors had the highest ‘yay’ vote percentage (78%) out of all the home features, making it the most (if not, one of the most) popular 2021 design trend by far. And it’s not hard to understand why that’s the case.

2021 interior design trends popular

Modern-day pocket doors are basically a highly-functional upgrade over traditional casement (swing) doors; they take up less space when open, and their panels can be easily tucked into side compartments if you ever need more room to access dishware/cutlery/anything you’ve stored within your cabinets.

If you like, it’s also possible to customise the front of your pocket doors with rattan (for extra ventilation) or glass (for enhanced visibility):

Strathmore Avenue by Key Concept

Interior Firm: Key Concept

Pinnacle @ Duxton by The Interior Lab

Interior Firm: The Interior Lab

3. Curved edges are a crowd favourite too!

Joining pocket doors as one of the clear favourites of 2021 are curved edges, but unlike their counterparts, this particular design trend has already been making appearances in Singapore homes, at least ever since last year.

2021 interior design trends popular

Curved edges – or rather, curves in general – are a mainstay of the Art Deco style as they provide a graceful contrast to clean lines and stark angles. And in a contemporary context, they serve as a pleasing alternative to sharp corners, especially when it comes to home furniture and built-ins.

Take for instance, the soft, rounded profiles of this custom-made living room TV console and this kitchen island:

Clementi Avenue 5 by Happe Design Atelier

Interior Firm: Happe Design Atelier

Cantonment Road by Albedo Design

Interior Firm: Albedo Design

While patchwork tiles have their fair share of fans overseas, the local response to this design trend is (understandably) more lukewarm. After all, Singapore homeowners do prefer their dwellings to be more elegant and hotel-like than a mix-and-match (or should we say patchwork?) of different elements.

2021 interior design trends popular

Still, if you’re feeling adventurous or wish to break away from the norm, you can incorporate this design trend into your home by covering your bathroom/yard walls in a contrasting, but complementary mish-mash of tiles.

Telok Blangah Way by Insight.Out Studio

Interior Firm: Insight.Out Studio

Lorong Liew Lian by Urban Home Design 二本設計家

5. Most of you aren’t fans of upholstered surfaces either.

One likely reason why so many homeowners aren’t onboard with the idea of having upholstery is the perceived challenge of keeping fabrics well-maintained. But the fact is that this issue can be effectively circumvented with the right (read: easy-to-maintain and durable) textiles.

2021 interior design trends popular

Moreover, with the correct fabrics (and some creativity), it’s possible to create visually interesting features that’ll bring a soft, welcoming touch to your spaces, such as a panelled headboard or even a cushioned TV feature wall.

2021 interior design trends popular

Interior Firm: United Team Lifestyle

Punggol Drive by Mr Shopper Studio

Interior Firm: Mr Shopper Studio

6. Rattan is (surprisingly) a hit-and-miss…

Seeing as to how the tropical look and mid-century modern are popular design styles that both incorporate rattan, we had expected that there would be a wider margin in favour of this natural material being in homes this year.

2021 interior design trends popular

Be that as it may, rattan is most likely here to stay as a design trend for 2021 (and possibly beyond) if not for the natural touch that it brings to homes, then for its versatility as a material that can be used in both fixtures and furniture. Don’t believe us? Here’s proof:

Telok Blangah Parcview by 19 Eighty Three
Telok Blangah Parcview by 19 Eighty Three

Interior Firm: 19 Eighty Three

7. … And so is tinted glass.

Although it has the same ‘yay’ to ‘nay’ vote ratio as rattan, it’s no surprise that tinted glass isn’t the most popular (or unpopular, for the matter) design trend of 2021. That’s because it seems like it’s only recently that more local homeowners are warming up to the idea of using this privacy enhancing material.

2021 interior design trends popular

One innovative way to incorporate tinted glass into your home would be to use it for see-though bedroom wardrobes and/or display cabinets. With such fixtures, all you have to do is turn on the lights to put your collections on display, and then switch them off once you’re done to minimise visual clutter in your spaces.

Fernvale Road by The Interior Lab
Fernvale Road by The Interior Lab

Interior Firm: The Interior Lab

Alternatively, if you prefer a less dark (but more opaque) look, there’s the option of using frosted glass as well:

Sumang Lane by Carpenters 匠

Interior Firm: Carpenters 匠

8. We’re likely to see more shared study spaces this year.

We all know the reason why we’ll see more shared study spaces in homes starting this year (it begins with ‘C’ and ends with ‘19’, no prizes for guessing the right answer). And if you’re planning to build one, here’s an important design tip to keep in mind: Make sure there’s enough room for everyone.

2021 interior design trends popular

While you might be sharing your home office with another family member, it’s key that everyone has sufficient desk space for optimum comfort. If your study isn’t big enough or if there isn’t a spare bedroom that can be turned into a home office, we suggest having your workstations in a more spacious area (like the living room) instead.

Rivervale Crescent by Fineline Design

Interior Firm: Fineline Design

St. George's Lane by Dyel Design

Interior Firm: Dyel Design

9. More than half of you voted ‘yay’ for half-painted walls.

2021 interior design trends popular

Despite being relatively simple to pull off, half-walls are a surprisingly versatile design feature to have in your home; you can either use two contrasting hues (e.g. teal and flamingo pink) to create a dramatic look or you could even use a cork wall covering instead of paint. The sky – or your walls, at least – is the limit!

Vision Crest by Charlotte's Carpentry

Interior Firm: Charlotte's Carpentry

The Gale by Salt Studio

Interior Firm: Salt Studio


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