Interior Design

Living room trends 2021 – key looks for your living room

Discover the latest living room trends in 2021 from the designers and experts who know what's next on the horizon

Living room trends 2021 showing a blue living room with yellow patterned drapes and red patterned sofa.
(Image credit: Future / Jon Day)

These are the biggest living room trends you need to know about before you set out on a redesign – from fantastic florals to broken-plan living.

When it comes to the latest design trends, we are not interested in fads that will date quickly. Instead, we have focussed on timeless, elegant living room ideas that will endure beyond this year – so that you can be inspired and design a living room with confidence.

The latest living room trends 2021 are influenced by everything from catwalk fashion to our growing desire to design sustainably, as the living room pictures below demonstrate. 

Living rooms are often one of the hardest working rooms in your home, so harnessing trends to design a living room scheme that is welcoming, beautiful and practical is vital. 

1. Get creative with color choices

A blue living room with blue armchair, walls, rug and drawers.

(Image credit: Future / Jake Curtis)

Inspired by the vibrant patterns and ebullient hues seen on the catwalk, color is bringing new energy to interiors in 2021.

This bright living room trend can be found in new, bright living room paint ideas and colorful accessories – providing a much needed sense of relief and escapism in these trying times.   

‘Sometimes clients are hesitant about following color trends, believing that it will either make too much of a statement or date too quickly,’ says interior designer Rebecca Leivars. ‘One single block of a bold color can be the making of a scheme; it’s a great way to lift a room design.’   

Try using a splash of color against a neutral backdrop, or a combination of colors of the same range, such as blue walls with fabrics in various shades of blue. These hues will look stunning together and add depth and layers of interest to a scheme, perhaps with an emerald green or burnt orange accent thrown in for good measure.

‘When selecting living room color schemes, my best advice would be to look around you,’ explains Rebecca. ‘If you live in a city, stronger hues, such as reds, greens and yellows, can look great against our gray-blue skyline. If you have the luxury of green space, then you might want to choose a combination of earthy hues that blend beautifully with the scenery, or use orange and fiery tones to add warmth to the scheme.’

2. Play with pattern

An example of living room trends showing a purple color scheme with graphic black and white wall art.

(Image credit: Future / Paul Raeside)

Pattern is a great trend to introduce character to a room. 

'It can be used to define a space and change the tone of different areas,’ advises Bunny Turner, interior designer at Turner Pocock. ‘For example, you might want a bolder pattern on upholstery in a formal living area, with a contrasting pattern in an adjacent snug.’   

The key is to start with a fabric that has a striking pattern featuring more than three colors. From that fabric, choose the colors to be used in the scheme, then select a combination of designs in that palette – perhaps a stripe, a geometric, a floral and a textural option such as a coarse linen or herringbone.   

‘Consider, too, the amount of pattern on show,’ she says. ‘If you have a large patterned sofa, let it breathe by opting for plain curtains or ones lined with a fine design.’ 

3. Add natural beauty with wood

Wooden living room trends illustrated by a large parquet floor in a white living room with pastel sofas.

(Image credit: Future / Alexander James)

Out of fashion for a while, wood is now enjoying a bit of a revival. 

Wood introduces a sense of warmth and character into a scheme and works equally well in modern and traditional homes. 

‘We have seen a resurgence of interest in wood flooring this year, so there are now all kinds of parquet styles, extra-wide boards and different finishes available, says Sean Cochrane, creative director of Cochrane Design.   

Woods with a rustic appearance are popular right now, with rougher textures and grains popular in cozy living room ideas because they are a great way to give your room a lived-in look.

4. Include a mix of finishes

A neutral living room with pale paisley armchairs and large fireplace.

(Image credit: Future / Catherine Gratwicke)

A room without texture can feel dull and lifeless, so add tactile surfaces for warmth and interest. This season we are seeing more and more designers choosing to create textural contrasts that will appeal to the senses, such as rough and smooth, gloss and matt, hard and soft. 

Alternatively, use texture as an accent in a neutral room. Experiment with swapping accents colors for accent textures – a sharp, glossy table will stand out in a room full of softer finishes. 

Use in moderation, especially in small living rooms, as (just like color) including too many different textures will make a smaller space feel too busy and unbalanced.

5. Factor in florals

Living room trends illustrated by a green sofa with floral cushions, a large glass lamp and long floral drapes.

(Image credit: Future / Chris Everard)

The classic spring-time trend, nothing signifies the start of the new season like a floral. 

The delicate but impactful nature of florals can add a new dimension to any scheme, whether traditional or contemporary.

In recent years, we’ve seen tropical and painterly florals, chintz, and oversized blooms, but in 2021, flowers have emerged with a natural feel; think poppies, buttercups and foxgloves growing wild.  

Delicate, meadow-style prints are the prettiest way to add pattern and have a quintessentially country living room vibe – a nod to the ever-growing movement for buying local and even to the campaign to save the bee populations that thrive on these species.   

6. Embrace ‘broken-plan’ living

Living room trends illustrated by a printed screen behind a grey chair.

(Image credit: Future / Davide Lovatti)

Set to define the next decade, zoning will replace open-plan in a phenomenon being referred to as ‘broken-plan.’   

So what is it? 'Broken-plan' is a design concept that moves away from completely open-plan spaces.

Unsurprisingly, with more of us spending time at home – working, eating and relaxing – we are now looking to employ the use of screens, partial walls, freestanding furniture, cabinetry and house plants to create distinct zones and nest-like nooks intended to provide an escape from the rest of the home. 

7. Go for a global look

The 2021 global living room trend shown by a large Frieda Kahlo mural and yellow chairs.

(Image credit: Future / Jon Day )

International influences abound in 2021, from African weaves and geometrics to palm motifs and vibrant designs from the Americas and India.  

As many of us are dreaming of lazy, far-flung vacations in foreign lands, it comes as no surprise that many of us are hoping to recreate a global nomad scheme in our homes.   

Expect to see exuberant patterns, theatrical wall murals, bohemian living room ideas and unexpected bursts of color in living room trends this year and beyond...

In 2021 we are seeing a resurgence of color, pattern and maximalist interior decorating trends. The key is to contrast bright colors with plenty of neutrals and natural materials, to avoid an overwhelming look.

Mid century modern living rooms are still popular and 2021 is also the year that we finally did away with the once popular open-plan space. Zoning replaced open-plan, in a phenomenon referred to as ‘broken-plan’.  

Finally, with an ever-changing and challenging political, economical and social climate, it comes as no surprise to see nature at the heart of our design choices.

 

A bright green floral and geometric patterned wallpaper behind a blue sofa and neutral accessories.

(Image credit: Future / Polly Wreford)

Playing with color is a great way to add personality to a room. 

Yellow can be wonderfully uplifting, adding a fresh and vibrant feel; the trick is to use it as a backdrop to tie everything together. Having fallen out of favor in recent years, gray is another color making a comeback in 2021. 

This combination of colors in 2021 brings the message of strength and reliability, paired with the joy of sunshine filled days to come.

Jennifer Ebert
Jennifer Ebert

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. 


Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.