2020 has come and gone, and what a year it was! A lot happened over the past 12 months, and with it have come changes in the way we live in and design our homes. We interviewed Landmark Homes North Shore & Rodney’s Senior Designer Wendy King to get her take on some of the biggest interior design trends for 2021.
An Emphasis on Sustainability
“One thing we’re seeing a lot more of in 2021 is a move towards being environmentally responsible, eco-friendly and energy efficient,” says Wendy. Whether this stems from an increased sense of social responsibility in a post-pandemic world, a need to protect ourselves from more natural disasters, or something else, who knows? But it can only be a good thing.
“Making environmentally friendly decisions in your new home build can extend to everything from the interior boards you use for your flooring, to whether the glue you’re using to adhere them is low-VOC” explains Wendy.
The good news? “There are so many ecolabels nowadays to check whether a product was produced sustainably or not, such as the Environmental Choice Eco-Label. It’s wonderful that we have these tools to figure out how good or bad a product is for the environment.”
Tiny Home Office Nooks
With more than 40% of New Zealanders working from home over lockdown – and many continuing to do so well into 2021, more and more people are incorporating home offices into their houses.
“When we work on people’s design, a lot of them are saying they are happy working from the kitchen table, or the garden” — essentially living the laptop lifestyle in their own homes! – “but they do need somewhere to keep all the office junk”.
So, we’re not always building an actual office in a room of its own, we’re seeing more home office “nooks” being created, perhaps with a big sliding door on them to keep the work clutter hidden. You can create these in your kitchen, in a hallway or corridor, even in a cupboard.
“With the well-designed office nook, there’s a desk for when you need one, a place for your printer, and room for all the bits and bobs that go with working from home, without them spilling over into your living space!”
Custom-Built Home Offices
That being said…there are still people who love to have a real office, with a large desk and the two big screens set up. But even there, things are changing.
“Before people used to say they would use a spare bedroom as an office. But actually, if you do that, you’ve got a lot of wasted space. Your desk sits in the corner, and you usually stick in a couch that pulls out into a bed for visitors — but that’s probably overflowing with papers!” laughs Wendy.
“Instead,” she explains, “You can design a long, skinny room that is 2m wide and 3m long, with a desk down one side. You haven’t wasted space, you can get 2 workstations in, as well as all the storage you need.” The end result? A dedicated work room, and a far more efficient use of square footage.
Getting Back to Nature
When it comes to paint colours and furnishings in 2021, Wendy says there is a step away from minimalism, and a shift towards a more natural feel.
“In terms of colour schemes, everything is tending to be warmer and more earthy. We’ve been doing bright white walls and minimalism for a long time — and people want to bring a bit of colour and warmth back in. So, we’re seeing more organic hues. Tans, clays, and bushy, olive-y and leafy kinds of greens.”
And for furniture trends? It’s exactly the same. “We’re moving away from black and white furnishings, to natural woods, leather chairs, sheepskin throws.”
Creating Tranquil Spaces
While this isn’t strictly a new design trend, it will continue to be important through 2021. Because now more than ever, following a year of hunkering down at home, we’ve realised that the open plan isn’t great for offering privacy, peace and quiet.
“You know the issue,” laughs Wendy. “One person wants to watch the rugby, the other person wants to watch a movie, or read a book. It doesn’t really work when you’re all sharing the same space!”
The good news? This can be as simple as designing your master bedroom to be a little bit bigger, so you can fit a comfortable couch in there. Or it can be building a cushioned window seat into a corridor of an exterior wall.”
Whichever way you do it, carving out space — sometimes literally! — for people to escape to, and be in separate areas, is very necessary in 2021 (and in all thoughtful interior design).
Brick Detailing with a Difference
’Innovative brick ranges are going to be all the rage in 2021,’’ says Wendy.
Midland Brick are importing some beautiful Ceramicas Moras bricks from Spain with a range of finishes, and GB Masonry from Australia is bringing back breeze blocks – all in very natural hues such as white, grey and charcoal.
Wendy’s favourite? “The gloss black brick from Midland! It’s a steely-black colour and looks stunning. There are some very exciting products becoming available in 2021.”
You could use these in your exterior or your interior, as fireplace or a feature wall, for example, as the team did in the Landmark Homes’ Hobsonville Point showhome, pictured above where they used painted brick inside and out.
Are you here to fuel your imagination, and dream up ideas for your new home? We’ve got more where this came from! Order your FREE copy of our Landmark book for 50 pages of design inspiration – or get in touch with your local Landmark franchise and visit one of our showhomes.