Interior Design

5 key textile trends for Spring/Summer 2021 – from world-class textile designers

Which hot-off-the-press textile trend will suit your home best?

Textile trends
(Image credit: Molly Mahon)

Textile trends appear a couple of times a year to keep us all interested in switching up our interiors. They can be inspired by current events – like we find ourselves in now – but often follow a catwalk trend or are slow evolution of a look that's been developing for some time. And these are Spring Summer 2021's most talked about.

You can follow them to the letter and give your home a design boost, take key aspects that resonate with your design aesthetic the most... or just enjoy the pretty pictures. 

We spoke to five fabulous textile designers and asked to predict the textile trends they think will be big in the first part of this year. For many more interior design trends, see our dedicated feature.

1. Global influence – by Andrew Martin

Textile trends

(Image credit: Andrew Martin)

Andrew Martin has been curating collections inspired by rare finds, blended eras and cultures since 1978, so we asked Design Director David Harris about this exciting trend. 

‘Since the wake of the travel generation, the accessibility to and interest in foreign textiles has boomed. Now in British interiors you can see kilim stripes from Asia, geometric motifs from West Africa and embroidery from Mexico.

'There are many people who have missed the freedom to go abroad in 2020, people are inspired by travel and wish to have permanent reminders of where they’ve been, or would like to go, and the global influence trend helps bring memories or aspirations from far flung places back into our homes. 

'When using textiles and colours, limit the palette to two or three shades to avoid overwhelming the room. Balance large scale patterns, with smaller-scale prints, and keep some areas devoid of pattern altogether.’ 

2. Performance fabrics – by Penny Morrison

Textile trends

(Image credit: Penny Morrison)

World-renowned interior designer Penny Morrison creates dreamy, harmonious spaces by pairing unexpected patterns and color palettes together, and her trend prediction makes for interesting reading – and reflects our findings that the fabrics we choose need to work harder than ever in 2021.

‘People are waking up to the use of "performance" or "outdoor" fabrics,' she says. 'For example, a "performance' velvet or linen is ideal for a family room with children and dogs and not just for outdoor use. 

'The best ones are easy to clean and are exceptionally durable so a great choice for upholstery. Now that more people are moving out to the country, or at least to somewhere in the city with a bit of outdoor space, there is much more demand for outdoor sitting spaces which can now be brightened up with patterned outdoor fabrics, umbrellas and cushions.’ 

See more about how to mix patterns in a room – our interior design masterclass takes you through the steps.

3. Feel good color combinations – Molly Mahon

Textile trends

(Image credit: Molly Mahon)

Printmaker Molly Mahon is based in Sussex in the UK, where she produces stunning fabrics, wallpapers and homewares using her signature block print designs in joyful colors. Inspired by nature and travels to India, Molly’s pieces will lift your mood. 

‘The current focus is to create a warm and atmospheric environment as we are all at home more,' she says. 'This can be achieved with bright and joyful designs, so my trend prediction is all about embracing color and pattern to the max. 

'Feel-good shades like rose pink, cherry, mustard yellow, midnight blue and grass green will all help to lift the mood. My new Greencombe collection oozes nostalgia and hope for sunny spring days and new beginnings and its coordinating colour palette means you can layer different patterns together. 

'Play with scale by mixing larger patterns with ditsy prints – this is a fun trend that has an eclectic feel.’

4. Informal botanicals – by Birdie Fortescue

Textile trends

(Image credit: Birdie Fortescue)

Interior designer Birdie Fortescue has a background in antique dealing which shows in her beautifully curated and designed collection of unique homewares and contemporary art. We asked Birdie what textile trend she feels will be important this season 

‘As we are spending more time at home with our families, we feel that the emphasis is on smaller, informal table settings rather than smart entertaining. We aren’t socialising with friends, but making that little bit of effort can lift the spirits and make an ordinary meal-time a bit special. The spring/summer trend for botanicals lends itself perfectly to the current mood of creating inviting, cheerful and colorful tablescapes.

'For example, a tablecloth instantly creates the effect of warmth and homeliness – something which has been so important this last year. Then why not add a coordinating printed napkin and placemat? Layer the table from here with an eclectic mix of crockery – your dinner service doesn’t need to match; add a contrasting side plate or bowl to create interest. 

'Focus on small arrangements of flowers; a quirky and informal look can be created using bud vases of different heights and tones filled with minimal stems, with perhaps a larger central looser arrangement linking with the smaller vases. For dinners, I would minimize the flowers and add an array of candlesticks in tonal colours, preferably in glass, with colored candles to finish the look.’

5. Bouclé – by Jonathan Adler

Textile trends

(Image credit: Jonathan Adler)

Potter, designer and author Jonathan Alder is the epitome of modern American glamor with his stunning luxe interior collections that span home accessories, furniture, lighting and textiles. 

As you can imagine, Jonathan is always busy but we managed to catch him for a few minutes and asked him for his spring summer textile trend prediction.

‘I want to bouclé all day and then, just when I think I’m done, I’ll also want to bouclé all night. It’s bouclé’s moment and I couldn’t be happier. I’m covering everything –sofas, chairs, my husband, my dog – in an ivory bouclé.’

Last year we started to see hints of this versatile slubby fabric appearing in interiors, the odd chair here and there but this year is going to be the year of bouclé – you heard it here first.

Sophie Warren-Smith
Contributing Editor

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 20 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time, both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor for indie magazine, 91, she trained to be a florist in 2019 and launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for modern weddings and events. For H&G, she writes features about interior design – and is known for having an eye for a beautiful room.