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An Inspired Nation: Our Predictions for 2021 Home Decor Trends Revealed through Google Searches

Home is where the heart is, and it’s also where many of us have spent the bulk of our time over the past year. Whether we’ve been putting up shelves, crafting the perfect virtual quiz background or sprucing up our workspace, lots of us will have set ourselves the challenge of re-decorating our surroundings in the past 12 months.

In a bid to understand what some of the UK’s most popular decor themes and trends could be for 2021, we’ve analysed Google search data for hundreds of home decor queries and looked at how these have changed over the last four years*.

From log cabin aesthetics to sparkly home ornaments and even indoor water fountains, read on to find out our predictions for some of the UK’s most popular decorating trends for 2021.

2020: A Snapshot of Home Decor Trends from March to October

Our Favourite Room Themes

An increase in time spent at home last year meant that many of us turned our attention to previously neglected DIY projects and much-needed home improvements (as well as plenty of banana bread baking).

As such, we looked to Google for inspiration and ideas. Some of the room themes and general decor aesthetics that saw an increase in searches last year were:

We were also keen to add a little “pizzazz” to our surroundings, with “sparkly home ornaments” seeing an increase in searches of +125% and “gold décor” experiencing an +82% rise in searches between March and October. 

Susie Gibson, Design Manager for Next Home, identifies Bold Chic as one of the trends where crystal and sparkle feature heavily.
“The biggest trend we are seeing is a look we call Bold Chic. This is where statement sofas like Parker or Wilson in opulent velvet, navy and teal mix with dramatic retro-inspired Remi lighting, which is black with gold inners and hardware.”  

Top Decor Trends: Space Saving & Bringing the Outside Inside

2020 saw many of us convert our kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms into hybrid home offices. Saving space suddenly became a necessity – whether it involved rejigging living room layouts to make way for workspaces or tidying up tables to allow for monitors.

Our search behaviours reflect this need for space. From March to October last year, the term "space saving dining table" saw a +124% increase in searches while "space saving wardrobe" increased by +53%.

“The dining table is now the hardest working piece of furniture in the home, from being a work space, doing homework and crafting with the kids, to date night. At Next, we have increased our focus on designing multi-functional and space saving furniture that can flex with our changing needs,” says Susie.

It’s also not surprising that spending more time indoors has made many of us keen to incorporate the outdoors into our surroundings. Searches for “indoor plant pots” rose by +173% between March and October, while “indoor hanging baskets” saw an increase in searches of +50%. 

Interior Designer Nicola Burt says that the pandemic has made people want to feel closer to nature:

“I think many people have realised the benefits of having organic, living things around them. Plants are not only good to look at and bring life to a space, but many indoor plants have health-giving properties; detoxifying the air so we can sleep better, for example. There has been a rise in awareness of biophilic design and I think this is a trend that will continue to grow (sorry for the pun!).”

2017-2020: Home Decor Trends through the Years

Popular Room Themes

Through our research, we’ve identified some of the room themes which have stood the test of time and grown in popularity from 2017 to 2020*. These will likely continue to remain at the forefront for 2021.

Wicker and wood-based furniture have also soared in popularity, suggesting an increased desire to add a rural feel to our surroundings. "Rattan furniture" is +188% more popular now than four years ago, with "egg rattan chair" seeing a +531% increase in searches from 2017 to 2020.

In a similar vein, "rustic desk" is being Googled more (a +262% increase) and "rustic living room" has jumped up in searches by +170%. Nicola states that those trying to channel the rustic trend should first be clear on the type of aesthetic they want to create and ask themselves whether it works with their property.

“A relaxed rustic look with dark, dull metals would suit an industrial, urban space, whereas a more ‘cottagecore’ country look may work better in a rural or period property. The key idea is to make it look effortless; too ‘matchy-matchy’ or ‘neat’ doesn’t work. This look requires layers – whether that is pattern, texture or colour – to make it look cosy and inviting.”

Top Decor Trends: Indoor Plants & Upcycled Furniture

Over the past four years, we’ve been “greenifying” our home environments more and more in a bid to bring the outdoors in. Whether it’s investing in windowsill cacti, vines for the walls and ceilings or bonsai trees for our desks, adding plant life to our surroundings has become more of a priority.

Searches for “indoor plant wall” were +425% higher in 2020 than in 2017 while “indoor water fountains” saw an increase of +139% over the same period – with these upward trends likely to continue throughout the coming year.

In a bid to lessen our waste and environmental impact, we're also searching for upcycled furniture more. "Upcycled drinks cabinet" saw a huge +790% increase in searches from 2017 to 2020, while "upcycled chest of drawers" has risen by +184% (searched for 9,000 times in 2017, compared to over 24,000 times in 2020).

Top Decor Patterns: Herringbone & Houndstooth

In addition to settling on a particular décor theme, choosing the right prints and patterns is also a key part of the decorating process. From herringbone and chevron floors to tweed and tartan accessories, we’re often very specific with our Google searches when searching for home decor inspiration. But which patterns are the ones most likely to clutter our browsing history in 2021? 

"Pink herringbone tile” emerged as the query with the biggest increase in searches from our data set with a huge +2,367% rise – there were over 4,000 searches in 2020, compared to just 180 three years prior. “Basketweave floor”, “chevron parquet” and “hexagon tile” were other flooring terms that saw an increase in searches of +335%, +204% and +157% respectively when comparing 2017 and 2020 data.

“Herringbone has become popular in walls and floors as it works well with both traditional and contemporary interiors. The interest of the pattern with ordered symmetry is quite soothing and doesn’t overwhelm,” says Nicola. 
“Block colours and hexagon shapes are a big new look for bathrooms this year, in a matt rather than a glazed finish.”

Meanwhile, the animal print trend has also significantly risen in popularity. “Zebra print cushions” saw a +179% increase in Google searches from 2017 to 2020 while “safari nursery prints” has experienced a +504% increase in searches since 2017 – suggesting we’ll likely continue to see animal-inspired prints and patterns feature heavily in home decor throughout 2021. 

“Animal print and pattern has become a perennial. Jungle motifs from bold and impactful to soft and nature-inspired continue to be a dominant trend in patterns for interiors. We see people getting in touch with nature through animal illustrations on bed linen, blinds, towels and nursery products,” says Susie. 

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Popular Decor Trends in the UK

We’ve looked into some of the most popular trends for a few of the UK’s counties – but how do people’s tastes differ from one area to the next? From nautical decor to zebra print cushions, find out some of the most popular searches below.

The West Midlands and West Yorkshire are big fans of black and gold living rooms, while those in London are looking for Scandinavian kitchens and chevron parquet.  Searches for garden offices are happening most within Hertfordshire, while Essex dwellers are looking for inspiration around how to build a garden room, as well as gold pineapple decor. 

The Most Popular Colour Schemes

In addition to gaining an insight into each county’s decor tastes, we also looked into the most popular colours for some of our key themes above. Taking images from social media, we used a predominant colour tool to give a summary palette for Scandi, Indian, Biophilic, Rustic, Farmhouse and Modern decor themes.

We’ve found that the palettes predominantly feature neutral greys, browns and beiges, with light greens and blues also appearing in some. These neutral tones are prominent because of the woods and furniture forming the interior’s foundation which people can then build on, while the greens are a result of plant use.

Nicola says that we’ll be incorporating more green into our homes this year:
“Green promotes a sense of connection with nature, which many of us are missing at present. So bringing green into our homes helps us to feel that sense of closeness to nature, and creates the feeling of calm and wellbeing in our homes.”

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If our search behaviours and Google habits tell us anything, it’s that in 2021 we’ll continue to put more and more effort into our homes – sprucing them up with latest prints, patterns and design themes in a bid to make our surroundings as lovely as possible.

To discover more trends and inspiration for revamping your rooms, take a look at our Home Trends guide for all your decor needs. 

About the Experts

Susie Gibson

Susie manages a large and fantastic team of designers here at Next Home, designing, creating and developing products across furniture, decor, accessorization and textiles. She is constantly looking over a year ahead at lifestyle and product trends, colour and materials, as well as anticipating and predicting what Next customers will love and need for their lives and homes. 

Nicola Burt

Nicola Burt is an Interior Designer and founder of Nicola Burt Interior Design. Nicola is a Registered Interior Designer with the BIID, the only professional organisation for interior designers in the UK. Since 2010, Nicola has been an Interior Design Tutor at KLC School of Design in Chelsea.

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*Methodology: All data within this study has been collected from Google Keyword Planner from November 2016 to October 2020. The data periods are split into November 2016 – October 2017, November 2017 – October 2018, November 2018 – October 2019 and November 2019 – October 2020. As such, any mention of ‘2017’ refers to the period between November 2016 – October 2017 (and vice versa). 

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